Seed Funds

MIT Skoltech Program Third-Round Call for Seed Fund Proposals

The MIT Skoltech Seed Fund Program is pleased to announce its third-round call for proposals.  Proposals will be accepted from MIT Principal Investigators from any school, department, laboratory, or center.

The MIT Skoltech Seed Fund Program encourages both:

  1. New applications for innovative projects that have the potential to benefit either the development of Skoltech (http://www.skoltech.ru/en/) or the mission of the Skolkovo Foundation (mission statement can be found at https://sk.ru/foundation/about/ ). The Program especially encourages proposals that promote experimental or applied research at Skoltech or other Russian academic and research institutions. 
  2. Renewal applications to allow for the completion of research projects that were funded in the first round of the MIT Skoltech Seed Fund Program (grants that expire in January 2018).

The Program has supported 24 projects, with over $2 million in funding. A list of past seed fund awards can be found at: Year 1 Seed Fund Grants and Year 2 Seed Fund Grants 

Interested researchers are encouraged to submit proposals in the following 3 categories:

1. Research projects in the areas of science and engineering below:

  • Life Sciences and Biomedicine
  • Design, Manufacturing, & Materials
  • Energy
  • Computational and Data-Intensive Science & AI
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Photonics & Quantum Materials
  • Space

2. Projects in the areas of policy, economics, humanities, arts, and social sciences. The Program is especially interested in research projects in the fields below:

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • International Collaborative Programs
  • Technology & Policy
  • Russian studies in general, including Russian history, Russian art, and Russian economy

3. Non-research projects to promote engagement and collaboration in topics and activities that may impact Russia, Skoltech, or other Russian institutions, such as developing a course, teaching a course, student exchange, event organization (e.g., a hackathon or other related activity), etc.

Preference will be given to proposals that include collaboration with Skoltech or another Russian institution, that involve MIT and/or Skoltech students in a meaningful way, or that have the potential for sustainability beyond the funding period.

How to Apply

The deadline to submit proposals is January 26, 2018. The MIT Skoltech Seed Fund will award grants in amounts up to US$ 75,000 total costs, for a grant period of one year. Applicants will be informed of the results by the end of February 2018. Funds will be available for use from March 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019.

Funding may be used for, but is not limited to, MIT salaries (including summer salaries as well as RA, postdoc, and other salaries), tuition for MIT students, materials & supplies, travel & meeting costs to facilitate collaboration in Russia or for a foreign collaborator to meet at MIT, and indirect costs. Funding should not be used for salaries for foreign collaborators.

Applications must include a project proposal and a project budget. For both the proposal and the budget, please use the following templates word-icon.png proposal-template.docx  excel-icon.png budget.xls.  Please submit the project proposal and project budget via email to edernst@mit.edu. Any area- or budget-related questions can be raised via this email address, as well.

At the end of the grant period, grantees will be required to submit a brief report to the MIT Skoltech Program office highlighting the accomplishments and results of the project, the project’s impact on Skoltech or the Skolkovo Foundation, any publications resulting from the project, as well as a final financial statement. The report should be 2–4 pages in length, and may be used in whole or in part in materials submitted to governing bodies and on the MIT Skoltech Program website. 

MIT Skoltech Seed Fund awards a Second Year of Seed Grant Funding

The MIT Skoltech Seed Fund has awarded in excess of $800,000 in second-year Seed Grant Funding to 11 projects for 1 year. The grants are awarded to 11 researchers from 9 MIT Departments and Programs representing 3 schools. 

The call for proposals by the MIT Skoltech Seed Fund welcomed submissions for innovative projects that have the potential to benefit the development of Skoltech or the mission of the Skolkovo Foundation. The second year MIT Skoltech Seed Fund awardees address a wide range of topics:

Discovering New Superconductors from Quantum Critical Electron Fluids 

Riccardo Comin, Department of Physics, MIT
View abstract

Early Onset Biomarkers Enable Intervention Against Liver Cancer

John M. Essigmann, Departments of Chemistry, Biological Engineering and Center for Environmental Health Sciences, MIT
View abstract

Development of a Project Based Class on Engineering Innovation

Douglas P. Hart, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
View absract

Where will You Export Next? Knowledge Diffusion and the Evolution of International Trade

Cesar A. Hidalgo, Collective Learning Group, MIT Media Lab, MIT
View abstract

Probing the Specificity of Toxins from Type II Toxin- Antitoxin Systems

Michael Laub, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, MIT
View abstract

Technological Domain Formation

Christopher L. Magee, Institute for Data, Systems and Society, MIT
View abstract

Safe All Solid State Batteris

Jennifer L.M. Rupp, Electrochemical Materials Laboratory, MIT 
View abstract

Extracting and Employing Intellectual Property Constraints in the Space of Design Alternatives

Warren Seering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT 
View absract

Recovering Hydrocarbons from Flare Gas with Reverse-Selective Membranes

Zachary P. Smith, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
View abstract

Damage Resistance via Anisotropy-Graded Microstructure Design

Cemal Cem Tasan, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
View abstract

3D-Printing of Functional Carbon Nanotube-Hydrogel Composites for Advanced Wearable Sensors

Xuanhe Zhao, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
View abstract

Building Bridges between MIT and Skoltech 

MIT PI: Elizabeth Wood, Department of History
View abstract

MIT Skoltech Seed Fund awards $1,200,000 in First Year of Seed Grant Funding

The MIT Skoltech Seed Fund has awarded the first year seed grants to 13 projects for 1 year, to researchers from 9 MIT departments, representing 3 schools, and 1 program. 

The call for proposals by the MIT Skoltech Seed Fund welcomed submissions for innovative projects that have the potential to benefit the development of Skoltech or the mission of the Skolkovo Foundation, and strongly encouraged proposals that involve collaborative research with Skoltech or other Russian academic and research institutions.  

The MIT Skoltech Seed Fund awardees address a wide range of topics: 

Boundary Element Methods for Shape Analysis

Justin Solomon, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT
View abstract

Massive Multiple-Access for the Internet of Things

Yury Polyanskiy, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT
View abstract

Towards Theoretical Foundations of Unsupervised Deep Learning

Aleksander Madry, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT
View abstract

Identifying Aggregation-Prone and Aggregation-Resistant Conformations of Amyloid Beta

Collin Stultz, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT
View abstract

A Novel Product Design Environment for Health Monitoring Wearables

Stefanie Mueller, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT
View abstract

Programming and Reprogramming Cardiac Tissue

Laurie Boyer, Department of Biology and Biomedical Engineering, MIT
View abstract

Photo-Ferroelectric Materials for Photovoltaics and Photonics

Rafael Jaramillo, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
View abstract

Big Data Challenges and International Collaborative Programs in Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy

Erik Katsavounidis, Department of Physics, MIT
View abstract

Building Bridges Between MIT and Skoltech

Elizabeth Wood, School of Humantieis, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT
View abstract

MIT Global Startup Lab in Russia: Fostering Technology Entrepreneurship

Elizabeth Wood, School of Humantieis, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT
View abstract

Russia in the Post-Paris World: New Energy Landscape

Sergey Paltsev, MIT Energy Initiative 
View abstract

Developing Novel STING Agonists and STING Agonist Delivery Vehicles

Karl Wittrup, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
View abstract

Model Reduction for High-frequency Wave Scattering

Laurent Demanet, Department of Mathematics, MIT
View abstract