Research at Cisco



A submission neither creates nor implies any obligations on the part of Cisco, its affiliates, or partners, and Cisco's decision regarding your proposal is at the sole discretion of Cisco and are not subject to appeal. Cisco accepts the following types of submissions:

Who May Apply

The Applicant and Principal Investigator listed on a proposal must each be a full-time faculty or research staff member at a university or other research institution. Students, adjunct faculty, or part-time faculty/staff may participate in the research and be listed on the proposal but may not be a Principal Investigator. To be eligible to receive an award, an institution subject to U.S. tax law must qualify as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Non-U.S. institutions must provide proof of non-profit equivalency.

Cisco Sponsor

All submissions require an internal Cisco Sponsor. A Cisco Sponsor must be: a regular full time employee, and a recognized Subject Matter Expert in the technology area of a research proposal, without a potential conflict of interest associated with the areas of business development, marketing, or sales. Cisco Sponsor cannot be a current or past student of the Principal Investigator (PI). Proposals are not funded without a Cisco Sponsor. The identification of a Cisco Sponsor is the responsibility of the PI. Researchers may identify Cisco Sponsors through personal networking at conference, workshops, and other affiliations. If a Cisco Sponsor cannot be identified, researchers may send an inquire to before submitting proposals. Cisco Research Center will attempt to help identify a Cisco Sponsor.


Deadline for submissions is Friday of the first week of each calendar quarter (January, April, July, October). Funding decisions occur within 120 days from the quarterly submission deadline.

Budget Breakdown

Budgets depend on the institution and geography, since costs vary. Research funds are to covers cost associated with:

  • Graduate or post graduate students employment
  • Limited release time (1-2 months) for PI
  • Research support costs (e.g., equipment, laptops, incidental costs)
  • Travel associated with research (e.g., conferences, standards)
  • Overhead for research gifts is limited to 5%

Intellectual Property

DO NOT submit any confidential or proprietary information to Cisco unless you have executed the appropriate Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Cisco uses information and materials you provide to conduct an internal review and evaluation. Cisco has no obligation with respect to that information and material.

General Term and Conditions for Research Gifts

  1. Standard Term of the Gift is one year from approval date. Extension can be requested by sending request to
  2. Cisco extends Gift Funds to Donee solely for the purpose of pursuing scientific research in the area proposed by the PI.
  3. An impact report will be requested upon completion of the project. The PI will receive an email requesting a report to be completed online. The report gathers information about published papers and presentations, financial summary of expense, overview of research results.
  4. Cisco has no expectation of obtaining or retaining any business or securing any improper competitive advantages as a consequence of providing this Gift to Donee.
  5. Donee, through its employees and representatives, has not provided, nor represented that it would provide, to Cisco, any business or other competitive advantage to Cisco on account of such Gift.