Uggh, Azure and academics, there is no MSDNAA freebie to help academics (Professors, researchers and students) experiment with Azure.  This appears to be the case for Amazon and Google, definitely SalesForce.  Sure you can get 90 day single use passes from me, but what happens after 90 days?  Most research, classes and work goes past 90 days.

What to do as an academic?  Project Hawaii, and the professors who are using the Project Hawaii for their classrooms can be found at:

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hawaii/instructors/

Project Hawaii is oriented to Windows Phone and Azure, not just pure Azure.  Project Hawaii is a set of API’s and the documents about the various APIs are:

Now you can crush your competitors!