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Facebook Reality Labs Liquid Crystal Research Awards

Deadline to apply is July 1, 2020, 11:59 PM PST.

Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) brings together a world-class team of researchers, developers, and engineers to create the future of virtual and augmented reality, which together will become as universal and essential as smartphones and personal computers are today. And just as personal computers have done over the past 45 years, AR and VR will ultimately change everything about how we work, play, and connect. 

They are developing all the technologies needed to enable breakthrough AR glasses and VR headsets, including optics and displays, computer vision, audio, graphics, brain-computer interface, haptic interaction, eye/hand/face/body tracking, perception science, and true telepresence. Some of those will advance much faster than others, but they all need to happen to enable AR and VR that are so compelling that they become an integral part of their lives.

Liquid Crystal (LC) research is one of several research areas in the AR and VR Optics and Display group in FRL. The goal of our LC research is to develop advanced LC optics and display technologies and to integrate them with existing and emerging AR/VR optical and display solutions. Our aim is to provide better user experience, enable breakthroughs in the AR/VR optical design space, and help pave the way to AR glasses and next-generation VR headsets.

The aim of the FRL Liquid Crystal Research Awards is to encourage young generations in the LC field and in other cross-disciplinary fields to help unlock the possibilities of LC technology in the AR/VR field. FRL is pleased to invite researchers, graduate students, and postdocs (who have graduated in the last three years), with research experience in the liquid crystal field, to apply for this award. 

In order to support academic work that addresses our challenges and opportunities while producing generalizable knowledge, FRL is pleased to offer six research awards.

The awards include one Diamond Award of $5000, two Platinum Awards of $3500, and three Gold Awards of $2500. 


  • Applicants must either be a graduate student currently enrolled in a Master’s or Ph.D.program, or a postdoc in an academic research group who graduated within three years from the application date. 

  • Applicants must have a proven track record of achieving significant results demonstrated by first-authored publications in leading research journals, or relevant conference presentations organized by ILCS, SID, OSA, SPIE, IEEE, or similar. 

  • This award is not open to any current Facebook employees, including STE, FTEs, interns, or contingent workers. 


Awards must comply with the applicable US and international laws, regulations, and policies.

How to Apply

To apply for this award, please submit the following documents through this link. 

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV; required): A CV that lists your research projects and publications to help them understand the significance of your research for AR/VR application and the quality of your results.

  • Cover letter (required): A cover letter to share with them who you are, your research experience and passion,  the connection between your research in liquid crystal and the AR/VR field, and how this award will help you pursue your research goal.

  • Prior publications in the AR/VR field (required):  Along with your application, please submit at least one full paper of your prior first-authored publications which can demonstrate the quality of your work in the intersection area between liquid crystal technology and the AR/VR field.

  • Recommendation letter (optional): At least one recommendation letter is preferred, but not required, along with your application. The recommendation letter could come from your professor or your collaborators.

Important dates 

  • Deadline to apply is July 1, 2020, 11:59 PM PST.

  • Awards notifications will be sent by email to award winners by September 1, 2020.

Administrative Information

If you are selected, you will be asked to provide the name of your institution, the institution’s tax ID number, and details for both a finance contact and authorized authority that can sign award documentation. Payment will be issued to the awardee’s institution in the form of an unrestricted gift.



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