J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation, Fall 2018 | MIT J-WEL

J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation, Fall 2018



The Fall 2018 Call for Proposals in Higher Education Innovation is now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied. Decisions were released on December 5, 2018.




We invite proposals from MIT faculty that promote innovations in education. Each project proposed should benefit MIT residential learners, and could include freshmen innovations, those for upper-level classes, and those relevant to graduate education.

Any subject topic is welcome, and we are interested in creative ideas. Faculty across the MIT Schools of Science, Engineering, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Architecture and Planning, and Management are encouraged to apply.

Proposals may include:

  • A new or significantly revised subject
  • New learning modules
  • Innovative in-class, homework, or exam assessments
  • Methods of pedagogy
  • Hands-on projects

All applications should include assessments for success and impact of the proposed project.

We encourage proposals that contribute to student success: promoting confident, entrepreneurial problem-solvers, with broad multidisciplinary education, tools to define a career, resiliency, and a growth mindset. 

Applicants should consider their innovation as primarily impacting MIT learners, but must address how the project proposed could fit into a more global sphere. Thus, proposals should have the potential for impact in global settings and with global learners.

J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation may be complementary to MITx grants but any proposal for a course on the edX platform should be directed to the MITx Grant Program.


Funding is provided to support all aspects of the project. 

This includes content creation, tool development, a part-time TA (if needed), undergraduates, and a partially funded (shared) department-based postdoc or lecturer to coordinate the proposed project, travel costs, accommodation, media production, etc. 

Funding levels are typically $10,000 – $40,000.

Review Process

Proposals are reviewed and discussed by the J-WEL Higher Education Advisory Group and selected based on specified criteria and available funding. 


    • The proposal must be overseen and submitted by one or more MIT faculty members.
    • Projects must be documented, as a narrative, after the grant is awarded.
    • The lead faculty member(s) will participate in and present at J-WEL Weeks and/or other forums.
    • The lead faculty member(s) will submit a report that summarizes specific results on student learning and other findings, including results of their defined project metrics, within two months of the project end date.
    • The lead faculty member(s) should participate(s) throughout the project; however, development and teaching may also involve students, postdocs, and others.
    • A letter of support from the department head (or unit) must accompany the proposal.

    Proposal Preparation and Submission

    1. Proposal Form
    2. Budget
    3. Letter of support from the Head of Department

    Submissions should be emailed to JWEL-HE-Grant-Program-at-mit.edu.

    Additional resources

    • Key practices
      Key research-based practices for teaching and learning are summarized in this document; for advice on how to incorporate them into your proposed module(s), contact: odl-residential@mit.edu. Use this same email address if you would like to develop a residential-only module (which lies outside the scope of this call).

    • What is a module?
      A module is a learning unit or segment that can be studied on its own or in sequence with other modules. We use the definition offered in the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education: a self-contained unit comprising a set of outcomes, where an outcome is what the student will know or be able to do as a result of a learning experience and is a driver of the instruction and assessment for the module.


    Meetings with J-WEL staff are available and encouraged to help you explore the suitability of your proposal topic. Please contact jwel-he-grant-program@mit.edu to request a meeting or phone conversation. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis—we anticipate being fully booked as the submission deadline approaches.

    For additional information on grant requirements and examples, please visit the Higher Education @ J-WEL Grants Page.


    Key Dates

    Submissions are due by November 9, 2018. 

    • September 27, 2018: Call for Proposals released

    • November 9, 2018: Submissions due

    • December 5, 2018: Decisions released


    Contact us at: JWEL-HE-Grant-Program-at-mit.edu