MIT D-Lab Fieldwork Grants provide funding to send students abroad and continue work initiated at D-Lab to benefit communities in the developing world. These grants are intended for projects that began in a D-Lab class, independent study, UROP, research fellowship, or other D-Lab context.
Eligibility: MIT freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who:
- Are currently taking—or have taken—a D-Lab course.
- Are currently doing a UROP at D-Lab or IDIN research fellowship or have in the past.
- Are currently working on or have worked on a D-Lab project in any other capacity.
Note: You are not eligible if you have guaranteed travel funding through a class.
MIT D-Lab Fieldwork Grants
MIT D-Lab Fieldwork Grants provide funding from the MIT Underclassmen Giving Campaign to send students abroad and continue work initiated at D-Lab to benefit communities in the developing world. These grants are intended for projects that began in a D-Lab class, independent study, UROP, research fellowship, or other D-Lab context. Spring 2016 grants are intended for projects and travel to take place over the summer of 2016.
The Underclassmen Giving Campaign
Since October 2006, MIT freshmen, sophomores, and juniors have been donating their time and money to support student grants (this year, D-Lab Fieldwork Grants) through the Underclassmen Giving Campaign (UGC).
Each semester, volunteers gather in Lobby 10 for a one-week campaign, encouraging classmates to support their fellow students by helping fund their project ideas and turn them into reality.
Fundraising and Voting
Donating to the UGC is simple. Each fall and spring there is a campaign to raise money to support grants for the upcoming year in Lobby 10 from freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Donating via the UGC website is also an option. Each underclassman who donates gets to vote for her/his favorite project! While all three D-Lab Fieldwork Grant nominees are guarenteed funding, additional Peer Impact Prize awards of $1500, $750, or $325 will be awarded based on the number of votes received. Underclassmen can certainly donate as many times as they want during the campaign, each donor is allowed only one vote.
Finalist Responsibilities & Qualifications
UGC finalists will represent the UGC, D-Lab, and their project throughout the campaign period. If a team project is selected for funding, the team must designate one individual to represent the team. Finalists may promote their project using various marketing channels, such as, but not limited to: face-to-face communication, e-mail, text messaging and social media. Finalists may not endorse any project other than their own. The MIT Annual Fund will provide information on the finalist’s projects at Lobby 10 booth sessions, co-sponsored class council and UA events and online. Finalists are not responsible for soliciting gifts and should refer prospective donors to a UGC committee member.
- Attend a 20-minute informational meeting to learn about the UGC
- Provide D-Lab staff with the requested project information
- Participate in a two-minute marketing video explaining the project’s focus
- Attend the UGC’s kick-off candidate poster session in Lobby 10
- Promote your project during the UGC campaign period. Promotional opportunities include: Lobby 10 booth sessions, co-sponsored class council or UA events, speaking opportunities at class or a student organization meeting, e-mail, text messaging, and social media channels
- Publicize the UGC
- Make your own gift during the campaign period
- Provide a blog post and images to D-Lab and UGC at the end of the project
- Strong communication skills
- Belief in giving back to the MIT student community
- Enthusiasm for MIT and D-Lab
- The ability to make time for UGC activities
Spring 2016 Timeline
- Applications due: March 2
- Announcement of finalist selections: March 10
- UGC informational meeting (required): Week of March 14
- Finalist two-minute video recordings: Week of March 14
- UGC kick-off candidate poster session:12-2 pm on April 11 in Lobby 10
- Campaign and voting: April 11-15
Download the D-Lab UGC Fieldwork Grant application here!
Download an Overview, Process, and Timeline of the D-Lab UGC Fieldwork Grant program here!