Advanced Technology Group
in the Corporate Strategy Office

ATG Faculty Fellowship Program Guide

Program Overview

The NetApp Faculty Fellowship (NFF) program was established to encourage leading-edge research in storage and data management and to foster relationships between academic researchers and NetApp’s technical community. Recipients of NFF awards have demonstrated to NetApp through a proposal and review process to be working on research that NetApp believes may be making a significant and relevant contributions to the greater body of work and to the storage and data management industry. Proposals can be submitted at any time using a submission form (see below), and members of the Advanced Technology Group (ATG) regularly review the proposals with the intention to provide decisions within three months of a proposal’s submission.

NFF Research Interests

The NFF program is interested in proposals that describe an innovative project that a researcher desires to pursue over the next one to three years and the proposed research has some alignment with NetApp core technology and business interests (storage and data management). Topics of particular interest include:

      • Data Security in next generation data centers
      • Data management and security in hybrid clouds
      • Datacenter and enterprise networking
      • Novel Data Systems, including NoSQL databases, Big Data systems, and data streaming systems
      • IoT and real time analytics
      • Storage for mobile ecosystems
      • Storage Class Memories in the storage hierarchy
      • Cloud Storage
      • Automated data management to meet service level objectives
      • Workload capture, analysis and performance monitoring tools
      • Software reliability and diagnosability
      • Software Defined Storage
      • Virtualized infrastructures
      • Deep archives for long term data retention
      • User Interfaces and Simplifying Install and Management of storage systems

Recipient Benefits

      • NetApp recommends the department, university or institution for a grant from the NetApp University Research Fund (NURF) at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF). The amount varies however it usually covers a significant amount of the cost for a graduate student to work on the project for a year.
      • A sponsor from NetApp will be assigned to communicate and in some cases may collaborate with project’s PI(s) and team for one year.
      • An invitation for the PI and one graduate student to attend the next annual University Day held by ATG (travel not included).

Recipient Expectations

      • NetApp encourages all work from the project to be placed in the public domain or made available under liberal licensing agreements with no financial encumbrances.
      • NetApp requests a dissemination of results to be made available to the community, including a presentation made to NetApp ATG.

Eligibility Requirements

      • The NFF program accepts research proposals from full-time faculty and post-graduate researchers employed by an accredited university that has a PhD program in the field of the proposal’s principal investigators.
      • In order for the PI’s department, university or institution to receive a grant from the NetApp University Research Fund, they must be able to demonstrate being eligible as 501(c)3 not-for-profit institution subject to U.S. tax law, and non-U.S. institutions must provide proof of non-profit equivalency.

Submission Process and Requirements

Submission Documents

To assure key information is readily available with each proposal, submitters are to use the NFF Proposal Template (see below). A submitter may attach supplemental information about the project, however it is not assured that all supplemental information will be reviewed as part of the decision making process. The submitter should also provide the PI’s CV or a link to the CV.


      • A proposal submission must not contain confidential or proprietary information unless the PI has pre-arranged a non-disclosure agreement with NetApp before the submission. Without such an agreement, NetApp is not under obligation to treat the submission as confidential or proprietary.

Submission Steps and Deadline

There are no set deadlines to submit a research proposal to the NFF program. You can send the submission form and any additional documents to, and you should receive a confirmation within a few days.

Review and Decisions

NetApp intends to complete reviews and make decisions on proposals within 3 months of their submission dates. The main PI on the proposal will receive a decision notification by email.

Various factors are considered by NetApp in determining whether a proposal receives an award.  These include the proposal’s technical value, relevance to NetApp business, and level of innovation, along with experience and track record of the PI(s), feasibility in supporting any NetApp dependencies, and more.


      • Receiving a proposal submission does not obligate any part of NetApp or its partners, and any decision regarding the proposal that is made by NetApp is under the sole authority of NetApp and is not subject to appeal.
      • Receiving a NFF award does not entitle the recipient or the recipient’s institution access to NetApp confidential information or equipment, any such needs require separate agreements independent from the NFF award and program.

To submit an ATG Faculty Fellowship Proposal please download the template below.