MISTI's Global Seed Funds program supports MIT's global engagement by promoting collaborations between MIT faculty members 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 a general fund for projects in any country and several country funds with their own requirements. All funds adhere to the general GSF guidelines.

Most funds provide a maximum of $30,000 per proposal. Since 2008, the program has awarded over $11.7 million to more than 530 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 general deadline for the 2016-2017 grant cycle will be September 19, 2016. Applicants will be informed of the results in mid December 2016. Funds will be available for use from January 2017 through August 2018. 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.