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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Apple Scholars in AI/ML PhD Fellowship Program

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Biological, Physical and Social Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; College/School Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:August 06, 2021
Subject:Apple Scholars in AI/ML PhD Fellowship Program 2022


Deadline for Internal Review:September 01, 2021

Project Description

The Apple Scholars in AI/ML PhD fellowship was created to recognize and support PhD students in Computer Science and related areas who are pursuing research in artificial intelligence and machine learning, with a unique focus on work that is related to Apple’s core values.

The Apple Scholars in AI/ML PhD fellowship program recognizes the contributions of emerging leaders in computer science and engineering at the graduate and postgraduate level. The PhD fellowship in AI/ML was created as part of the Apple Scholars program to support the work of outstanding PhD students from around the world, who are pursuing cutting edge research in machine learning and artificial intelligence.


Nominees must meet the following criteria to be considered:

  • Nominee must be enrolled full time at the nominating university at the start of Fall 2022, and expect to be enrolled through the end of the 2023/2024 academic year
  • Nominee should be entering their last 2-3 years of study as of Fall 2022
  • Nominee must not hold another industry-sponsored full fellowship while they are an Apple Scholar in AI/ML (Fall 2022 to Summer 2024)

Research Areas

Nominees should be pursuing research in one or more of the following research areas. The subtopics listed under each research area are not meant to be exhaustive or prescriptive, but rather highlight areas of particular interest to Apple.

Privacy Preserving Machine Learning
Federated Learning, Differential Privacy, Cryptographic Tools, Secure Multiparty Computation

On-Device Machine Learning
Model Compression, Model Representation, Hardware/Software Integration, Model Personalization, Efficient On-Device Inference, Efficient Continuous Learning

Human-Centered Machine Learning
Social Signal Processing, ML for Multimodal Interaction, ML Design and Human Factors, Usable ML Tools and Products, Interactive ML

AI for Health and Wellness
ML and RL for Mobile Health, Time Series Representation Learning, Physiology-Informed Machine Learning, Modeling Multi-Modal Sensor Data

AI for Accessibility
Accessible User Experiences, Automatic Personalization/Adaptation, interactions via New or Combined Modalities, Participatory Design with People with Disabilities

AI Ethics and Fairness
Bias and Fairness in AI, Interpretable AI, Introspection

Speech and Natural Language
Speech Recognition, Text to Speech, Conversational and Multi-Modal Interactions, Machine Translation

Knowledge Graph Generation and Database Systems
Knowledge Extraction and Information Retrieval, Knowledge Inference, Large-Scale Graph Data Management, Machine Learning and Data Systems Integration

AI for Autonomous Systems
Reinforcement Learning, Imitation Learning, Multi-Output Models, Imbalanced Data

Augmented Reality and Computer Vision
3D semantic scene understanding, SLAM and Relocalization, Neural Network Architectures for 3D, Computational Photography and Videography, Visual Representative Learning, Active Sensing

Fundamentals of Machine Learning
Deep Learning, Reinforcement Learning, Unsupervised & Self-Supervised Learning, Optimization, Interpretability, Large-scale ML

AI for Industrial Intelligence
Hardware Aware AutoML, Few-Shot Learning, Weakly-Supervised / Semi-Supervised Learning

Amount per award:

  • Amount covering full tuition and fees (enrollment fees, health insurance) for (2) academic years
  • $40,000 USD gift each year to help with living expenses and related expenses
  • $5,000 USD each year to support research-related travel and associated expenses

Duration of award: 2 Years

Number of awards:  approximately 15

UW-Madison has been invited to nominate up to three PhD students


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, please email a single PDF to
Please include the following information:

  • Cover Sheet, with name, contact information, and the research area(s) for which you would like to be considered  (see above)
  • Student CV and publication list
  • Research Abstract (200 word maximum)
  • Research statement covering past work and proposed direction for next 2 years (5 page maximum, including citations)
  • Letter of recommendation from current advisor addressing aspects of the eligibility requirements (1 page maximum)

Sponsor Deadlines

Applications are due to Apple by September 30, 2021.