Microsoft Education Grants

by Anni Martin
Microsoft education grants include the donation of free or discounted software.

As one of the largest software vendors in the world, Microsoft Corporation provides financial resources for educational institutions, faculty, and students. These include donations of software, technology services, curriculum, training, internships, and scholarships, as well as cash awards. Microsoft education grants are available to K-12 and higher-education institutions worldwide.

Partners in Learning

Microsoft's Partners in Learning program focuses on creating technology-rich learning communities and technology-savvy students. To reach this goal, Microsoft can provide free lesson plans, discussion groups, and online learning communities. Educational institutions are eligible for free or reduced-cost software and hardware along with training and technical assistance to promote "Schools of the Future." Registration is required for most web-based events, discussion groups, and learning communities. Lesson plans are freely available on the Partners in Learning website,

Dynamics Academic Alliance

For faculty and students in higher education, Microsoft provides the Dynamics Academic Alliance (DynAA). This grant program focuses on business education and offers software donations for the classroom such as Microsoft Dynamics, which includes enterprise resource planning and customer-relationship applications. DynAA also offers technical support for its business software. DynAA includes free online training, course material, online discussion forums, a job-posting board for business faculty and students, and connections with Microsoft Dynamics partners. The academic institution needs to be a member of DynAA in order for faculty to access these resources.

External Research Cash Grants

Microsoft External Research provides several opportunities for cash grants for academics worldwide. These opportunities are for faculty members and graduate students in computer science, electrical engineering, or mathematics. Nominations for these awards come from the academic institution and are given to individuals who are advancing teaching, learning, and innovation in technology. The Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship awards $15,000 for one academic year to an outstanding woman graduate student. This scholarship also includes a travel stipend to attend a conference. The Microsoft Research PhD Fellowships are another cash grant covering tuition and fees for a doctoral student for two years, including a stipend for living expenses. Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowships, another form of cash award, are given to seven faculty members from around the world each May. In August, 2010 the awards totaled $200,000 for academic computer science research. In addition, faculty receive free software and ability to participate in events. Microsoft External Research also provides internships, academic awards, and research collaborations worldwide.

About the Author

Translating technical jargon into everyday English is one of Anni Martin’s specialties. She is an educator and writer who spent over 13 years teaching and creating documentation at the University of Missouri. She holds a Master’s Degree in educational technology as well as Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Missouri.

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