Kelly Douglas Fund
Research and Teaching Grants





The Kelly-Douglas Fund allocates a part of its annual budget to support teaching and research by members of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. These funds are distributed on a rolling basis each semester. Since the Fund is a small one and seeks to assist as many deserving projects as possible, grants are typically modest: no individual may receive more than $500 in a given academic year, and a majority of grants awarded are for smaller amounts. Please visit the application process page for more information.


Grants to support teaching

Who may apply?

The Fund accepts applications from instructors (including lecturers, graduate students, and visiting lecturers) who have not received funds from an alternative source.

Although members of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences are given first preference, applications from outside the domain of HASS receive full consideration, as long as they engage intellectual concerns central to the disciplines comprising the School. 

What sorts of proposals are funded?

Teaching grants take a number of forms. In the past, the Fund has offered partial support for course-related field trips, museum fees, and, on occasion, the purchase of instructional material (on the condition that these do not revert to personal use at the end of the teaching period). The Fund has also regularly helped offset the costs of honoraria for guest lecturers, and subsidized tickets to take members of a class to see a performance. These examples are meant to be indicative of the kinds of activities the Fund supports; they do not exhaust the list of possibilities. Proposals are judged upon the merit of proposed activity and an assessment of their impact upon undergraduate learning.

Are there any strings attached to these awards?

We expect the applicant's home department or section to demonstrate its commitment to the proposed endeavour: applicants are expected to seek and to receive some financial assistance from their home departments before applying the Kelly-Douglas Fund. The Board is aware that departmental resources vary across the School, and therefore does not set a quantitative minimum. It does, however, expect that a department or section will back the application to the best of its ability.

In general, the maximum an individual may apply for is $500 — though most grants are for lower amounts. Support to offset honoraria is capped at $200.

Grants to support research

Who may apply?

The Fund accepts applications from current lecturers, visiting faculty and graduate students in SHASS. Research grants are restricted to applicants whose access to other sources of funding is limited. Consequently, regular tenured and tenure-track faculty are not eligible for research grants.

What sorts of proposals are funded?

Typically, the Fund subsidizes travel expenses (usually airfare) to conferences, as well as to carry out research (for fieldwork or to consult libraries, archives and other repositories of information). The Fund does not contribute to expenses incurred for food or entertainment, or to equipment related to the research project. It has, on occasion, helped offset such costs as indexing services provided by a vendor — though it cannot pay individuals hired by the grantee.

Are there any strings attached to these awards?

The Kelly-Douglas Fund expects the applicant to apply to other sources as well. For conference-related travel in particular, the applicant is expected to receive some departmental support. This requirement is especially important in the case of graduate students: we assume that the primary responsibility for nurturing a graduate student's development rests with the home department, the fund’s function being supplementary. Conference travel is only funded if the applicant is actually presenting a paper — the Fund does not pay simply to attend a conference.

The maximum an individual may receive each year is $500.


For additional information, contact