2023 Sony Research Award Program Submission Terms and Conditions

Sony Corporation of America, Sony Group Corporation, Sony Europe B.V., Sony Research India Pvt. Ltd. and other Sony companies, and all third parties that we work with (collectively "Sony") are very pleased that you wish to submit a research proposal ("Proposal") as part of the Sony Research Award Program ("Program"). You may not submit your Proposal unless you agree to these binding Submission Terms and Conditions ("Terms") on behalf of yourself and your university/institute. In order to have your Proposal considered by Sony as part of the Program, you must submit your Proposal to Sony by 11:59 pm PDT on September 15, 2023, and agree below to the following:

Who can apply?

Sony will accept applications from PIs who meet the eligibility criteria below.

PI's institution: PIs must belong to a university, educational institution, or governmental/non-profit research institute. (e.g., we accept submission from research institutes that are categorized as governmental and NPO/NGO in nature index tables).

PI's position: A PI must be a full-time professor (adjunct professors and adjunct researchers are not eligible) or researcher and be eligible to supervise Ph.D. students at the PI's institution. Full professors, associate professors, and assistant professors are eligible to apply. For the UK, this includes Senior Lecturers, Principal Lecturers, Lecturers, and Readers who are eligible to supervise Ph.D. students at their institutions.

Countries: The PI's institution must be in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America.

Co-PI(s): We accept applications that have a PI and one or more co-PIs for the same proposal as long as all co-PIs are acting from the same institution as the PI. However, only one award is made to the primary PI and the primary PI's university/institution if the proposal is selected. All co-PIs must meet the same eligibility criteria as that for a PI, and co-PIs will be required to sign program documents.

How to apply.

See the specific instructions on the Sony Research Award Program Submission Guidelines ( page for submission requirements.
Only submissions that follow the instructions and that are in the English language will be considered.

What you can expect.

Sony will review Proposals that are submitted through the application link before the deadline. Proposals must be submitted via the online submission form that is specified in the link. You will receive a confirmation email once your submission is complete, and you must keep this confirmation email as proof of each submission. Sony will determine the award nominees and will notify them around March of 2024. If you are nominated to receive an award, after you are notified, you, your institution, and Sony will negotiate the terms of the collaboration.

What you agree to do.

If you are nominated to receive an award, you agree that you will participate and take certain actions to advance your Proposal. This includes, at a minimum:

  • Come to a mutual agreement with Sony on Program terms, including objectives, publication, and intellectual property ("IP") before funding is available. If you and Sony cannot agree on terms, you will not receive the award.
  • Conduct research for a one-year research period.
  • Provide at least 3 quarterly reports and a final research summary to Sony.
  • At Sony's option and expense, support a visiting researcher from Sony.
  • Bear any overhead costs and expenses, as the award is all-inclusive. No other expenses will be compensated in addition to the award.
  • If using Open Source Software (OSS), only use or create software with a license listed by the Open Source Initiative and do not use or create software subject to any of the following licenses:
    • a) GNU GPL v3
    • b) LGPL v3
    • c) Affero General Public License (AGPL)
    • d) Server Side Public License
    • e) Any of the JSON “do no evil” licenses

We have the right to use your Proposal.

DO NOT SUBMIT CONFIDENTIAL OR PROPRIETARY INFORMATION WITH YOUR PROPOSAL. Your Proposal is not confidential or proprietary. By clicking the acceptance box at the end of these Terms, you agree to grant Sony all rights to anything that you share with Sony in your Proposal. We may or may not use your Proposal in a product or service. We may or may not have products and/or services currently in development that are similar or even identical to your Proposal. You are free to continue using the Proposal in any way you see fit. Proposals will not be returned. If you do not agree to give us these rights, do not agree to or accept the Terms below, and do not submit your Proposal.

How we will handle IP.

If your Proposal is chosen, you and Sony will negotiate the terms of the collaboration. IP rights are negotiable at the award stage and will be specified in the sponsored research agreement. At a minimum, Sony and its corporate affiliates require the right to utilize, for noncommercial uses, the results of the research, including potentially patentable subject matter, that it sponsors. Sony and its corporate affiliates will also require full noncommercial use rights to any background IP that is required for Sony and its corporate affiliates to utilize the research results sponsored. We will negotiate the specific terms after your Proposal is selected. If you and Sony cannot agree on terms, you will not receive the award.

What happens if there is a dispute regarding your submission?

You agree that any dispute regarding your submission will be decided by binding arbitration, unless it is your institution's written policy to not be subject to binding arbitration, pursuant to JAMS' Streamlined US, or for EU under EU Arbitration Rules and Procedures, or for India under Indian Code of Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, depending on where your university/institute is situated. To begin arbitration, either you or Sony must make a written demand to the other party for arbitration. In the US, the arbitration will take place before a single arbitrator located either in San Jose, California or a location that is mutually agreed upon. In the EU, the arbitration will take place before three mutually picked arbitrators before the European Court of Arbitration. In India, the provisions of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 shall apply and the arbitration will take place before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre India Representative Office in Mumbai, India. The filing fees to begin and carry out arbitration will be shared equally between you and Sony. This does not prohibit the arbitrator from awarding the prevailing party their fees and expenses of the arbitration.

Each party's liability is limited.

Under no circumstances will either party be liable to the other party for any consequential, direct, incidental, indirect, punitive, or special damages related to the Program or your submission or Proposal, even if such party or its authorized representative has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some US states or EU countries do not allow the limitation of consequential or incidental damages, so the above exclusions or limitations may not apply to you.


These Terms are the entire agreement between Sony and you with respect to your submission and your Proposal. If for any reason a court of competent jurisdiction finds any provision of these Terms unenforceable, such provision will be enforced to the maximum extent permissible, and the remainder of these Terms will continue in full force and effect.

For the click through box

I certify that I am authorized to bind both myself and my university/institute. I have carefully read and agree to all of these Terms on my and my university's/institute's behalf.