Dean's Grants
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

We are excited to announce the launch of the new Dean’s Grant pilot program, aimed at fostering innovation, collaboration, and professional development across SHASS, MIT, and the global community.

The Dean’s Grants are open to faculty, instructional staff, and non-academic staff and will support team-based proposals, community facing events, larger awards, and other proposals that the SHASS Travel and Discretionary Annual Fund would not normally fund. The second round of proposals is due February 1, 2024.

Preference will be given to proposals that align with one or more of the main themes below:

Main Themes:

  1. Research and Scholarship: Projects that advance knowledge or artistic production in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
  2. Professional Development: Individuals or teams seeking to develop their own or others’ skills, expertise, or leadership capabilities.
  3. Diversity: Projects or activities that promote diversity, equity, and belonging within the academic community.
  4. Community Engagement: Events or activities that connect SHASS with the public and foster reputation and recognition of MIT’s contributions to the world.
  5. Interdisciplinary Activities: Proposals that promote interdisciplinary collaboration across SHASS disciplines or the broader MIT community. Proposals creating connections among the humanities, the arts, and social sciences are encouraged, as are projects that make connections outside SHASS.
  6. Digital Learning: Proposals that leverage technology to enhance digital learning experiences and promote accessibility.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Hold a full-time position in the following categories: Faculty, Academic Instructional Staff, Academic Research Staff, Non-Academic Staff: Sponsored Research Staff (Technical and Administrative), Support Staff, and Administrative Staff.
  • Appointment is greater than one year of service
  • Pre and postdoc scholars are not eligible. Students are not eligible.
  • Non-Academic Staff must have completed new employee six months probationary period
  • Be in good standing with MIT, and no active disciplinary actions
  • If the applicant is a faculty member that holds significant discretionary funding, the following principles apply: 
    • Junior faculty are given priority and encouraged to apply even if they hold significant discretionary funding. 
    • Tenured faculty holding regular chairs or significant discretionary funds will not be given priority for the Dean’s Grants unless the funds are committed for a documented purpose.

Proposals Criteria:

  • Proposals must be connected to one’s work and role at MIT and SHASS. For example, a scholar would not typically be considered for an artistic project, and an administrative staff member would not typically be considered for a research project.
  • Individuals or teams may apply for any grant category. Teams are defined as two or more people with a shared interest or common goal to which individuals formally or informally belong.
  • Proposals that are good candidates for other sources of MIT funding (such as the d’Arbeloff or Alumni Funds programs) are discouraged.
  • Professional development opportunities that directly overlap with those already offered at MIT are not eligible for funding. For instance, proposals covered under MIT’s Tuition Assistance Plan are not eligible. (Staff are encouraged to check MIT’s career development programs for relevant learning opportunities.)

How to Apply:

  • A 1–2-page narrative including (1) a description of the project and (2) an explanation of the project’s contribution to one or more of the themes above.
  • If requesting more than $5,000, provide a detailed budget. In addition to direct costs, please include, if needed, employee benefits, overhead, and proposed cost-sharing.
  • Funds are non-recurring.
  • There is no maximum grant amount, but requests for smaller amounts (e.g., >$5,000) are more likely to be successful than requests for larger amounts (e.g., $30,000). The Dean’s Office has limited funding for this program, and its ability to fund larger amounts is especially limited. If justified, grants for teams can be higher.
  • Proposals are accepted three times per year on October 1, February 1, April 1, or the next business day.
  • Send applications and any inquires to Veronica Vivas: vvivas@mit.edu