Envisioning, Exploring, and Shaping the Future Together

Disruptive ideas need to be nurtured. VMware collaborates with the world’s leading faculty to develop and incubate innovative research approaches, and to accelerate the transformation of ideas into world-class technology solutions.



Faculty Research Collaborations

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Systems Research Award

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IT Academy Instructor Opportunities

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Early Career Faculty Grants

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Academic Software Licensing

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Faculty Research Collaborations

VMware is committed to sponsoring academic research in areas of importance to the future of computing. Our support for faculty enables graduate student researchers and post-docs, and helps to cover the expenses involved in developing new technology in a university setting. Some recent faculty research collaborations include:

  • Arizona State University
  • Bar Ilan University
  • Brown University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • ETH Zürich
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Imperial College London
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Politecnico di Torino
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • Technion
  • Tel Aviv University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University College London
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • University of Utah
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin at Madison

VMware Systems Research Award

VMware’s annual Systems Research Award recognizes early career systems researchers who have made notable contributions to computer science systems research, and who demonstrate an outstanding level of innovation, academic research leadership, and industry impact with their work. The recognition includes a $100,000 gift to the researcher’s university in support of his/her research. Eligible faculty must be within five years of their first tenure-track appointment.

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Justine Sherry is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Professor Sherry received the 2020 VMware Systems Research Award. Sherry is recognized for contributions to the field of networking, is known for early and influential work to identify and drive a research agenda around network "middleboxes", and has also made well-rounded contributions to the field of NFV.



Mohammad Alizadeh is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Alizadeh received the 2019 VMware Systems Research Award. He is recognized as a pioneer of datacenter networking, and his innovative protocols and concepts are influencing datacenters across the globe. He also role-models breadth and versatility. A second major body of work has involved programmable data planes, to advance the idea of software defined networking. Professor Alizadeh has been exploring the area of "learning for computer systems" which aims to replace heuristics with principled solutions grounded in paradigms such as reinforcement learning.



Tiark Rompf is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University.

Professor Rompf received the 2018 VMware Systems Research Award. He is recognized for radically new approaches to performance- and safety-critical systems, in particular through rethinking the role and relationship between high-level and low-level languages. His systems-oriented approach is illustrated well by his far-ranging explorations of lightweight modular staging (LMS), a platform and methodology for enabling run-time code generation.



Tim Kraska is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Professor Kraska received the 2017 VMware Systems Research Award. He has been widely recognized for his early work on hybrid human-machine data management. On the systems side, his work includes a pioneering reference architecture (CrowdDB) for hybrid crowdsourced queries. He has continued to role-model a style of holistic systems treatment in his early research by formulating and tackling research problems that together represent a powerful new vision for the future of database systems.

Matei Zaharia is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Professor Zaharia received the 2016 VMware Systems Research Award. His accomplishments as a young researcher include developing the well-known and widely used open source projects Apache Spark, Apache Mesos, and Tachyon (now Alluxio). Zaharia’s academic work has received thousands of citations, and his software is being used by thousands of developers worldwide.

Early Career Faculty Grants

The Early Career Faculty Grant program is intended to recognize the next generation of exceptional faculty members. A gift to the researcher’s university is made in support of his/her research and to promote excellence in teaching. Early career faculty must be within five years of their first tenure-track appointment. Recent grants include:


2021 Cohort:

  • Baris Kasikci, University of Michigan
  • Reza Shokri, National University of Singapore
  • Yufei Ding, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Caroline Trippel, Stanford University
  • Leilani Battle, University of Maryland


2020 Cohort:

  • Cristiano Giuffrida, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Alvin Cheung, University of California, Berkeley
  • Brandon Lucia, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Yiying Zhang, University of Califorinia, San Diego
  • Baishakhi Ray, Columbia University


2019 Cohort:

  • Ryan Stutsman, University of Utah
  • Vincent Liu, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jana Giceva, Imperial College London
  • Ling Ren, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Kartik Nayak, Duke University
  • Fahad Dogar, Tufts University
  • Mosharraf Chowdhury, University of Michigan


2018 Cohort:

  • Ding Yuan, University of Toronto
  • Bharath Raghavan, University of Southern California
  • Aurojit Panda, New York University
  • Aruna Balasubramanian, Stony Brook University
  • Taesoo Kim, Georgia Institute of Technology


2017 Cohort:

  • Tim Kraska, Brown University
  • Don Porter, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Minlan Yu, Yale University
  • Mahesh Balakrishnan, Yale University
  • Eno Thereska, Carnegie Mellon University


2016 Cohort:

  • Mohammad Alizadeh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Peter Bailis, Stanford University
  • Chris Rossbach, University of Texas, Austin
  • Simon Peter, University of Texas, Austin
  • Vijay Chidambaram, University of Texas, Austin


2015 Cohort:

  • Xi Wang, University of Washington


2014 Cohort:

  • Dan Boneh, Stanford University
  • Keith Winstein, Stanford University
  • Matei Zaharia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


The Scholar-in-Residence (SiR) program brings together exceptional university faculty with VMware researchers for deeper collaboration over a specific time period. SiRs often takes place during a faculty member’s summer break or sabbatical year. Collaboration focuses on research objectives mutually defined in advance. Recent scholars include leading faculty from:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Bar Ilan University
  • Technion
  • Tel Aviv University
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

For a listing of current open positions, visit our careers page.


IT Academy Instructor Opportunities

Full- or part-time faculty members at eligible institutions can build their technical expertise and teach new technology skills as a VMware IT Academy instructor. See the VMware IT Academy pages for details.

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Academic Software Licensing

VMware offers academic software licensing to educational institutions for teaching, research and personal discovery. (Software licensed for academic use cannot be used for campus infrastructure, non-academic purposes, or any for-profit activity.)


  • Accredited, degree-granting higher education institutions world wide that offer 2, 3, or 4 year programs (or equivalent).
  • Career or technical schools offering accredited degrees or certificates through in-person or distance education programs.
  • Secondary education (ages 14-17).