J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation, Spring 2020 | MIT J-WEL

J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation, Spring 2020



The J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation submission cycle for Spring 2020 opened March 2, 2020. Submissions are due by April 24, 2020.



J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation

J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation promote creative mechanisms to promote excellence in undergraduate or graduate education at MIT. Grants awarded have additional relevance for global settings. 

Since May 2017, J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation have awarded over $710,000 to 21 MIT faculty-led projects. 

Call for Proposals Spring 2020

We are pleased to invite proposals from MIT faculty that promote innovations in education, related to undergraduate or graduate education. Proposals are due April 24, 2020. See "Proposal Preparation and Submission" further down the page for more information. 

Any subject topic is welcome, and we are interested in creative, unusual ideas. Faculty across all MIT Schools: of Architecture and Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; Management; and Science, are encouraged to apply. Each project proposed should benefit MIT residential learners; and may address first-year or upper-level classes, or those relevant to graduate education.

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
  • Learning through research
  • Incorporation of entrepreneurship
  • Novel methods of pedagogy

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, communication skills and a growth mindset.

Applicants should consider their innovation as primarily impacting MIT learners, but must consider how the project could extend beyond MIT. 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.


J-WEL Grants in Higher Education Innovation are awarded twice per year, with Spring and Fall cycles. The Spring 2020 Grant Application opens March 2, 2020, with proposals due April 24, 2020. Funding decisions will be announced in May 2020.  


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

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. 

Review Process

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


    • The proposal must be overseen and submitted by one or more MIT faculty members.
    • The lead faculty member(s) will submit a ‘Projection’ (link) of the proposal prior to funds release.
    • 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. This may be in webinar format.
    • 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


    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 AT mit.edu to request a meeting or phone conversation.


    Key Dates

    • March 2, 2020: Call for Proposals released

    • April 24, 2020: Submissions due

    • May 2020: Decisions released


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