INSAIT Graduate Research Fellowship


The INSAIT Graduate Research Fellowship (INSAIT GRF) program offers the opportunity to highly motivated graduate students from around the world to engage in research activities under the mentorship of INSAIT faculty. The program is modeled after the top successful research programs at MIT, Caltech, and ETH Zurich. Participants are expected to contribute to ongoing projects within their groups and potentially co-author paper submissions for top computer science conferences and journals.


The program spans 8 – 12 weeks, and the exact duration of the project is determined between the student and their mentor. To ensure optimal student engagement and benefits, remote project work is not permitted. Students are expected to be physically present at the institute in Sofia, Bulgaria, for a minimum of 8 and maximum of 12 weeks.


All selected students will receive a monthly stipend of 2000 EUR to cover their living expenses. The accommodation for the students will be arranged for and the cost will be covered by INSAIT in addition to the stipend. We also provide travel and visa support for the selected candidates.

Who can apply

Graduate students enrolled or recently graduated from a Master’s degree program at any accredited university are eligible to apply. The students should have pursued or be in a STEM major, such as computer science, mathematics, physics, or engineering. We strongly encourage applications from communities typically underrepresented in STEM.

Program timeline

Applications are accepted continuously throughout the year. Candidates will be informed of the outcome of their applications within one month of applying. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a brief online interview. Upon selection, candidates will receive an invitation to the program and will have five days to confirm their participation.

Once selected, applicants will engage with their mentors to discuss projects, define project scope/plans, and establish the timeline for their fellowship. The duration of the project cannot exceed 12 weeks.

How to apply

Applicants need to submit their application materials through our online platform. Your application should include the following documents in PDF format:

  • A current CV
  • An unofficial transcript or a Master’s diploma from your university
  • A one-page motivation letter, addressing:
    • Why you are interested in our graduate research program
    • General research areas that interest you
    • Whether you have prior research experience

Program requirements

Throughout the program, summer students have to deliver:

  • Project plan discussed with their mentor. The project plan should be ready at the beginning of the program. 
  • Final report which summarizes your work structured as a conference paper. Very often the aim will be for the final report to be submitted to a suitable conference.
  • Final presentation to be given as part of the INSAIT seminar series


For questions about the summer research opportunities at INSAIT, please contact [email protected]


Q. If I am graduating in the spring of the year I am applying in, am I eligible for the program?

A. Yes.

When exactly can I start working on my research project?

A. The exact start and end date of your summer project are decided between you and your mentor. Once you have been selected and matched to a mentor, you need to contact them to discuss the timeline of your project.

Is any preference given to local students compared to international ones?

No! Students are evaluated solely on their application materials, irrespective of where they come from.

Can I continue to work on this project beyond the end of the program?

A. In general yes, this is something to be discussed between you and your mentor. 

Can I take a vacation during the research program?

A. Vacation time during the summer can be taken only with the approval of your mentor.