Grants in pK-12 Education Innovation, 2019 | MIT J-WEL

Grants in pK-12 Education Innovation, 2019


Call for Proposals

J-WEL invites MIT faculty to submit proposals for J-WEL Grants in pK-12 Education Innovation. These are encouraged to have clear global relevance but, at the same time, local applicability.

***The 2019 Call for Proposals is now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied.***



The Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) is a recent initiative that addresses three core demographics and levels of education through collaboratives for each domain: pK-12, Higher Education, and Workplace Learning. Each collaborative organizes its efforts on focus areas identified as keys to transformative change in education. In each area, the collaboratives sponsor research at MIT and develop programs that bring together educational innovators at MIT with J-WEL members to address member educational opportunities and challenges.


Objectives for Grants in pK-12 Education Innovation 

The following list includes the priorities that we expect will be included in the projects. Projects should include as many of these as appropriate (i.e., hitting more is better):

  • Impact global pK-12 learners, as well as have a local applicability. Global impact may refer to a particular geographical location, or with regard to specific learner populations. We use global to reference regions outside of MIT.
  • Identify a real problem in the target population for the project and include information and data as evidence of this problem.
  • Use aspects of MIT education that are uniquely powerful, such as problem-solving and research-based learning.
  • Provide metrics for success and descriptions of how these will be measured, both locally and in diverse global settings. Measurements should be matched to the outcome anticipated and may include data from qualitative and/or quantitative sources.
  • Connect to relevant framework(s) or set of standards, which can potentially allow a variety of audiences adopt the work. 
  • Consider the use of technology to solve problems in learning and teaching. This may include the use of digital solutions to address inequities in education experienced around the globe.
  • Employ learning strategies that will be inclusive of learners across socioeconomic class and geographic location and learners of all abilities and disabilities. 
  • Propose work that has not been done before and that the faculty member(s) has (have) the intent to continue beyond the duration of the grant.
  • Explore collaboration among two or more faculty members.
  • Global partnerships with J-WEL members, or other "similar" organizations is helpful.

We are particularly interested in the following:

  • Curriculum development, pedagogy and/or assessment in developing/emerging contexts. 
  • Integration of findings in learning sciences.
  • Best practices in online learning. 
  • Project should be grounded in what we know about how people learn.
  • Engagement of girls in STEM-based subjects.
  • Ways to accelerate the learning process for students who have little access to education.
  • Innovative methods for building teacher capacity, including those who teach in non-traditional settings, outside the classroom, and at scale.
  • Vocational and technical education informed by the future of work. 



  • Proposal must be submitted and overseen by one or more MIT faculty members.
  • Learning outcomes must be transferable both within MIT and to colleagues in other institutions.
  • Must have a dissemination/institutionalization plan. 
  •  Lead faculty member will participate in and present at J-WEL events and/or other forums.
  • Faculty must be willing to release content under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  • The lead faculty member(s) must 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.
  • A letter of support from the department head must accompany the proposal.
  • Lead faculty member(s) should participate(s) throughout the project, though development and teaching may also involve students, postdocs, and others.


Proposal Preparation and Submission

To prepare your proposal, please download and complete the following documents prior to submitting online via the “Apply Now” button.




Consultation meetings are available with J-WEL staff to help you prepare your proposal, with particular emphasis on research design. Please contact to request a meeting. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis–we anticipate being fully booked as the submission deadline approaches.  


Award Information

Awards for the J-WEL Grants in pK-12 Education Innovation range from $20,000 to $100,000 and will be for 12 months in duration, ending in Spring 2020. We anticipate awarding between 2-4 grants in Spring 2019. Awardees may reapply in subsequent years.

Please look at the list of projects being supported under the J-WEL Grants in 2018. 

For additional questions or clarification, please contact


Key Dates

  • December 13, 2018: Call for Proposals released

  • Dates TBD: J-WEL conversation/information for faculty 

  • Dates TBD: Optional individual meetings with J-WEL staff 

  • February 8, 2019: Proposals due

  • March 15, 2019: Decisions announced to grantees

  • Spring 2019: Work on projects begins

  • April 1-4, 2019: J-WEL Week