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Design grant and residency for scholars

The Autodesk IDEA Studio is a design residency program for students, faculty, and industry professionals who use Autodesk products in new and imaginative ways with compelling and inspiring results. Selected researchers receive a small grant and access to an inspiring studio space at Autodesk headquarters in San Francisco.

  • Up to 2 residency projects are supported per quarter.

  • The average grant amount is approximately US$18,000.

  • Each residency lasts approximately 1-3 months.

  • A team of employees provide consultative guidance and mentorship.

Application process  top

Projects are selected through a quarterly proposal submission process.

  1. Prepare a project proposal (.doc, .docx, .pdf, or .zip, maximum 5 MB).

  2. Prepare a curriculum vitae (.doc, .docx, .pdf, or .zip, maximum 5 MB).

  3. Complete the online proposal submission form.


Proposal writing tips  top

  • Focus on innovation. We support projects that use Autodesk products in novel ways to solve problems. Think boldly, creatively, and imaginatively about how design technology could be used to solve tough problems, and describe your proposed project in that context.

  • Specify intended results. Be clear about what you would plan to create during the IDEA Studio residency. Include a descriptive project plan that specifies the products you would use and how you would use them to achieve the results.

  • Craft the right project scope. Make sure your intended results would be achievable within the residency timeframe. Residencies typically last between 1- 3 months.

  • Consider including a case study. Case studies are a great way to test and demonstrate project innovations. For example, if your plan is to create a unique workflow, consider including a case study as a final step in your project plan.

  • Ensure achievability. We expect IDEA Studio residents to drive their projects to completion. A team of Autodesk experts is available to consult with residents along the way. Consider applying with a classmate, colleague, or student to make sure you have the skills to execute the proposed project plan.

  • Get inspired by past Autodesk IDEA Studio projects.

Eligibility  top

The IDEA Studio Program is open to students, faculty, and industry professionals. Researchers from around the world may apply. Export compliance, visa, and related requirements must be fulfilled for non-U.S. citizens.

Frequently asked questions  top

1. What deliverables are expected of IDEA Studio residents?
Past residents have created repeatable workflows, built software plug-ins, and performed validation studies to explore new technology use cases. . When we review proposals, we consider whether the proposed deliverables are achievable within the residency timeframe and if the applicant's skill set matches the needs of the project plan to ensure success. 

2. What kind of support do Autodesk employees provide IDEA Studio residents?
A team of Autodesk employees supports each residency project. Employees provide consultative guidance and mentorship for IDEA Studio residents through meetings, phone calls, and emails. Employees do not provide product training or implementation support (such as coding). Consider applying as a team, if you need implementation support to transform your idea into a reality.

3. What are qualities of a strong submission?
Strong submissions use Autodesk products in imaginative ways. We evaluate the soundness of the project plan and the achievability of the deliverables within the timeframe. We look for residents who are passionate about their areas of inquiry with the background necessary to achieve impressive results. Other factors include a project that tells an interesting story, the scalability of deliverables, and diversity of institutions and companies represented.

4. How long is each residency?
Residencies typically last between 1- 3 months.

5. Do I need to be a U.S. citizen in order to apply?
No, applicants do not have to be U.S. citizens. We encourage researchers from around the world to apply. Please keep in mind that export compliance, visa, and related requirements must be fulfilled.

6. Does Autodesk provide IDEA Studio residents with visas?
Once we select residents, Autodesk helps with the visa process, as needed. It is the applicant's responsibility to secure the visa. Autodesk cannot be responsible if a visa is denied. If you anticipate that you will need a visa, include provisions for visa fees in the grant amount you request.

7. What should I include in my grant request?
Include any expenses necessary to support your proposed research project, provisions for housing in San Francisco and relocation costs. Universities may require applicants to include overhead expenses. Autodesk does not have a published policy on overhead expenses.

The average grant amount is approximately US$18,000. 

8. How are grants dispersed to IDEA Studio residents?
Grants are paid directly to the resident's institution or company in a lump sum. An IDEA Studio Use Agreement must be signed before the payment process can be initiated.

9. Who owns the intellectual property of IDEA Studio project results?
Intellectual property ownership terms are assessed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the topic and scope of the proposed project. Once selected, Autodesk works with an applicant's institution or company to reach an IDEA Studio Use Agreement with agreed-upon intellectual property terms.

10. Where should I stay in San Francisco during my residency?
We provide housing recommendations to accepted applicants. IDEA Studio residents choose and coordinate their own accommodations. Include provisions for temporary housing in the requested grant amount, if needed. We recommend budgeting at least $3,000 per month for a furnished studio apartment within walking distance of the IDEA Studio.


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