MISTI's Global Seed Funds program supports MIT's global engagement by promoting collaborations between MIT faculty and researchers and their counterparts abroad.

Program description

MISTI GSF enables participating teams to collaborate with international peers, either at MIT or abroad, with the aim of developing and launching joint research projects.

MISTI GSF comprises several country, region or university-specific funds created by MISTI country programs.

In addition, MISTI GSF administers two funds created by the MIT Office of the Associate Provost for International Activities: the MIT-Africa - Imperial College London Seed Fund, a jointly funded initiative with Imperial College London; and the MIT Global Partnerships Fund, created as an outcome of the report, A Global Strategy for MIT, designed to establish new region-specific mechanisms for engagement.

All funds adhere to the general GSF guidelines and eligibilty criteria. View the complete list of available funds.

Most funds provide a maximum of $30,000 per proposal. Since 2008, the program has awarded $17.7 million to 841 faculty research projects.

Proposals must be jointly submitted by the MIT and international applicants. Applicants are encouraged to involve MIT undergraduate and graduate students in their projects.

Funds are intended to be used during the initial phase of developing an international collaboration. Funds are not considered as sponsored research and cannot cover salaries or materials. As such, no intellectual property should be derived from these funds, nor should they be cited in technology disclosure forms.

Selection process

Grantees are selected through a two-tier process.

  1. An evaluation committee first reviews the proposals for scientific accuracy. This committee is comprised of MIT faculty who review proposals in their own fields of research.  
  2. Taking this review into consideration, a selection board for each fund selects proposals based on the overall quality of the proposal and priorities of the fund. The selection boards are comprised of faculty from across MIT.

Over 100 MIT faculty members participate in this review process each year. The process is overseen by the GSF Advisory Committee.

Application process and deadline

Applicants must submit their proposals using the online application portal.

The 2019-2020 GSF call for proposals opens in May. The application deadline is September 16, 2019. Applicants will be informed of the results in mid December. Funds will be available for use from January 2020 through August 2021. At the completion of the grant cycle, all unused funds will be returned to MISTI Global Seed Funds. 

Grantees are required to complete a short activity report at the end of the grant period.