The application deadline has passed. Guidelines below are for projects that began in January 2014.

The Alex and Brit d’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education is soliciting preliminary proposals from MIT faculty members for ambitious projects to enhance the educational experience of our undergraduates. Projects that involve faculty-student direct interaction, that cross disciplinary boundaries, or that aspire to provide dynamic, effective teaching, particularly through the introduction of online learning, are all appropriate.


Projects can be focused at any level of our undergraduate education. Special attention will be accorded to enhancements of subjects offered in the first year and as General Institute Requirements (GIRs). The d’Arbeloff Fund Review Committee is interested in proposals aimed at fostering faculty participation in the educational experiences of undergraduates, especially freshmen, beyond the classroom. The Committee also welcomes proposals for projects that will explore the ways in which online learning experiments can be applied to MIT subjects. Collaborative projects with the potential to affect large numbers of students over time, transcend specific departmental curricula, or span multiple subjects are particularly valuable.

Examples of possible proposal areas include: establishing and enhancing HASS Exploration (HEX) subjects; creating online modules to be used within a subject or across subjects; providing opportunities aligned with the Faculty resolution that envisions every MIT freshman having a faculty mentor; and enhancing freshman participation in appropriately focused group UROPs, project teams, or other forms of supervised research with faculty.

The Committee is looking for projects that will lead to long-term commitments by schools and departments and are likely to become regular parts of the MIT curriculum, thereby contributing visibly to MIT’s leadership role as a top-tier educational institution. Initiatives may be more practicable as small-scale projects, such as intense hands-on experiences or pilots in pedagogical innovation, but they should be designed with scalability in mind. A project’s survival should not be entirely dependent upon the continuing involvement of only one key faculty member or key students.

For all projects, the d’Arbeloff Fund Review Committee encourages assessment of the value of our educational innovations and the dissemination of results.

Preliminary Proposal

The preliminary proposal (2-3 pages) should include:

In addition, previous recipients of d’Arbeloff grants should summarize the outcomes of those projects and note any unspent funds from those projects.

Completed preliminary proposals are due by Friday, September 27, 2013. The d’Arbeloff Fund Review Committee will review the preliminary proposals; applicants who pass the initial screening process will be invited to submit final proposals by Friday, November 22, 2013.

For the final proposal, applicants will be asked to address comments and questions from Committee members and provide final budgets. They will be expected to attend a workshop on assessment and include a plan for assessing the outcomes of their projects. In addition, they must receive a letter of support from their department heads addressing the sustainability of the projects after the d’Arbeloff funding terminates.

Preliminary proposals should be sent to Please contact Dean Mary Enterline (3-9763) or Dean Diana Henderson (3-0507) if you would like additional information.

Requirements and Restrictions