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Call for AWS Cloud Credit Proposals

Note: We are not distributing AWS credits at this time. We hope to restart the HAI-AWS Cloud Program shortly and will update the website accordingly. Please check back soon.

The Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence offers researchers the opportunity to submit proposals to receive up to $100,000 per year of credits to be used on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud in support of the HAI research vision (AI: Human impact, Augmenting human capabilities, and studying Intelligence). Credits are intended to be used to advance promising, novel, or emerging research that requires advanced computational resources provided by the commercial cloud. We will give preference to proposals that distinctively take advantage of capabilities better served by the cloud/AWS rather than other computing infrastructures, including but not limited to: using particular AWS services or datasets, needing dynamic scalability to high distributed peak computing availability, needing high-availability servers, using serverless event-driven computing, evaluation and testing against a wide variety of machine architectures, and needing not widely available particular capabilities, such as high-end GPUs. However, we also encourage potential users to put in a small proposal for initial exploration of cloud computing usability for their projects.

Proposals of all sizes will be considered. Smaller proposals (under $15,000) will receive expedited review and can be more narrow in scope.

Larger proposals will be more likely to succeed if they are likely to initiate or sustain meaningful interdisciplinary collaborations across the University and beyond.  Boldness, ingenuity, and potential for the transformative impact of the proposed research, especially in comparison to research typically supported by existing funding mechanisms will be prioritized, as will proposals that span more than one of the three HAI focus areas:

  • Human Impact:
    • Guiding, forecasting, and studying the human and societal impact of AI, domestically and globally
  • Augmenting Human Capabilities:
    • Designing and creating AI applications that augment human capabilities.
  • Inspired Intelligence:
    • Developing AI technologies inspired by the versatility and depth of human intelligence.

Proposal Requirements

Proposal length requirements by tiers:

  • Small: ≤ $3,000 for 12 months - One paragraph of text
  • Medium: $3,001 – $15,000 for 12 months - Up to one page
  • Large: $15,001 – $100,000 for 12 months - Up to two pages, excluding references

Proposals should cover the below items, but budget details are only needed for Medium and Large proposals

  • Scope of Work
    • Brief overview of the project (e.g., Background, Objectives, Expected significance, Relation to longer-term goals, Relation to the present state of knowledge in the field, etc.)
    • Statement of Computational Work: Description of experimental methods and computational work, including how you will use the cloud credits for this work
  • Expected results or deliverables and timeline
  • Budget: use AWS Pricing Calculator  to estimate usage and produce a budget (for Medium and Large projects).
  • Budget Justification: Briefly justify how the requested machine type(s) and estimated usage is suitable for the proposed work

Period of Performance: One calendar year from the date the account is successfully set up. Extensions are not permitted.

Applications will be accepted and considered on a rolling basis.  Applications will be accepted for proposals of up to $100,000; larger proposals may be broken down into phases and submitted on a quarterly basis.

Proposals will be accepted from all Stanford researchers, however students or other researchers who do not have PI status will be required to secure endorsement of the proposal from their PI-eligible faculty mentor.

Reporting Requirements

Timely and substantive reporting of the value derived from cloud credits grants is important to HAI’s ability to continue and expand our grant programs.

  • Six months after account set up, or when applying for additional credits for a previously-approved project, recipients must provide a 1-2 paragraph summary of research status and results, credit usage, and next steps.
  • One year after account set up or upon exhaustion of the credits allocated, recipients must provide a final report of research results, credit usage, and a list of publications, articles, or conference talks emerging from the research.  Projects receiving larger credit grants will be expected to provide more detailed reports.

Data Security

AWS is suitable for Low, Moderate and High Risk Data as classified by the Information Security Office. Learn more about comprehensive information on classification.

AWS is authorized for use with High Risk Data after a Data Risk Assessment is completed. Applicant agrees to adhere to the Minimum Security Standards for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Containerized Solutions and the Administrative Guide Section 6.3.1: Information Security.

High Risk Data, including Protected Health Information can be processed on most AWS services. See this list of eligible services for HIPAA data.

Award Selection

These grants are made possible by a gift from AWS.  Award decisions will be made by Stanford HAI.  Please see our statements on HAI’s commitment to independence, and to transparency around our values and our fundraising policy, as well as Stanford’s policy on openness in research.

Application Form

Please submit applications here.

Please read the AWS Promotional Credit Terms & Conditions

Questions? E-mail us at