SHASS Travel & Discretionary Annual Fund
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

The Dean’s Office is excited to make available annual funds to all full-time faculty, instructional staff, and non-academic staff. We are committed to supporting systematic investment to make SHASS a rewarding place to work, learn, grow, and teach for all. These expenses should support professional activities related to one’s work at SHASS.

Tenure and Tenure-track faculty can access up to $3,000 per year. All other staff can access up to $2,000 per year. Requests must be made to the section or department heads and the relevant Director of Finance and Administration.


  • Expenses are to support the applicant’s career and contributions to the SHASS community.
  • All faculty ranks, academic and instructional staff, and non-academic staff (administrative, research, and support staff) are eligible. You must be considered full-time by MIT.
  • Conference travel must be sponsored by a professional society.
  • Prior approval must be obtained from the department headquarters (either the department head or the Director of Finance and Administration.)
  • Retroactive approval for travel or other items is expressly prohibited.
  • Unused funds in given years cannot be “carried forward” to subsequent years.
  • Current chair holders are not eligible.
  • Lecturers must have completed a minimum of three semesters of teaching at SHASS before they are eligible to submit a proposal. Staff must have completed six months.

Roles and responsibilities:

The individual applying for funding is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that proposals are not personal in nature and have a clear and justifiable connection to your professional activity.
  • Consulting with the Assistant Dean of Finance and Administration with any questions related to this policy.

The department leadership is responsible for:

  • While units will entertain requests throughout the year, units are to provide the Dean’s Office with a funding request twice per year with a brief note justifying their approval of such activity.
  • Ensuring and evaluating connection to professional activity.
  • Appropriate tracking of requests.
  • Raising questions about whether expenses are allowable with the Assistant Dean of Finance and Administration.

The Dean’s Office is responsible for:

  • Fund the Travel & Discretionary Annual Fund through transfers to the approving unit.
  • Audit approvals to ensure written approval was granted prior to expense or travel initiation.
  • Review the program for effectiveness, impact, and inclusivity.

For questions about this program, email Senior Financial Officer Veronica Vivas