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Faculty seed funds

I. Seed Funds -  GENERAL
VI. Internships @ POLITO

I. Seed Funds -  GENERAL

Is mobility necessarily requested within the MITOR project?
Yes, the main scope of the MITOR program is to encourage direct contacts between MIT and POLITO labs through the mobility of their students and young researchers. Therefore we strongly recommend to plan and design the project on basis of this premise (exchange of phd-students, post-doc students and young researchers) in order to create new synergies. In this logic, the Project rewards proposals that involve balanced  two ways exchanges.
Are there any dissemination activities to pursue during a research stay at one of the both host universities?
Yes. All MITOR project grantees should conduct at least one MITOR colloquia, a seminar which summarizes their activities and provides a general overview about the research interests of the involved labs.  We also expect seed funds awardees to present their project at the annual MITOR Board meeting—the next one being planned for the spring 2011 in Turin—and to submit a brief report on their research collaboration.
What is a MITOR colloquium?
The MITOR colloquium is a seminar to be held by seed funds awardees, either at their  home or their host institution in order to disseminate their activities and the opportunities provided by MITOR.  Each group that has been awarded MITOR funding should conduct at least one MITOR colloquium.
Before the MITOR colloquium: please let us know so we can advertise it. After the colloquium, please send us a summary of the contents and discussion points, which will be published on the MITOR webpage.
What is an Academic Host?
All  POLITO students who are applying to coming to MIT need to have a faculty who host them in their Lab, supervise their research and works with the MIT-Italy Program to obtain the researchers’ visiting status. The same applies to MIT students wishing to go to POLITO.
Should we provide any documentation after finishing our project in the framework of the MITOR program?
Yes. All MITOR seed fund recipients are expected to submit a brief report about the utilisation of the grant awarded and the activities conducted within the MITOR program.
Where can I learn more about experiences of prior applicants of the MITOR program?
On the MITOR website ( you can find a complete list of  seed funds recipients and further details on their research projects.


Which costs will be covered by the MITOR funds?
The seed funds awarded within the MITOR project cover:
  1. mobility of PhD students, post-doc students and young researchers from POLITO to MIT and vice versa for 3 – 6 months
  2. mobility of graduate students from POLITO to MIT in order to finalize master thesis or for pursuing research activities within an ongoing project for 3 – 6 months
  3. short exploratory travel or study visits of tenure track faculty to MIT or POLITO
  4. workshops, seminars

With the exception of summer internships for MIT students, all funds will be transferred to the MIT PI for disbursement according to the criteria provided in the proposal.
What is the maximum amount we can apply for?
The maximum amount which can be granted in the current call is  $20,000. All requests for a higher budget cannot be considered.
Can I apply for funding, which covers project expenses for more than one year?
No, funding will be awarded annually and should be expended within the year -- ie by the end of 2011 for proposals submitted in 2010. If additional funds were needed,  applicants can re-apply in the next call.
How should we calculate our request for funding?
Please note that MITOR funds are not supposed to cover any kind of salaries or equipment. Therefore all costs need to be calculated on basis of additional living direct expenses, i.e. flight expenses, housing costs per month, living costs, visa, etc.
Can we use the awarded grant to provide our students, who are involved in the project, with a scholarship?
No. MITOR funds awarded are not supposed to cover any kind of salary.
Can we use the awarded grant to buy any equipment for our project?
No. MITOR funds awarded are not supposed to cover any kind of equipment.
Can we modify the budget plan provided in the proposal during the project?
The funds granted should be used according to what has been outlined in your proposal. Major modifications of the budget allocations during the project are not recommended.
MIT is charging a 10% overhead charge. Should this be already included in our budget? 
Yes, it is recommendable to include 10% for MIT overhead costs in your grant requests.
When will the winners receive the assigned funds?
Funds will be transferred to the winners as soon as they are available. By MIT rules funding can only be transferred into MIT accounts. Hence all funding will be transferred into the account of the participating MIT faculty.
Who will administrate the funds, once they have been transferred?
Funds will be transferred to the MIT PI participating in the collaboration who will disburse them according to the budget.
How will expenses for travel etc. be reimbursed to the participating students and faculty?
Since all funds will be transferred to the participating MIT faculty as soon as they are available, students and researchers travelling on these funds will have to arrange reimbursement with the relevant MIT faculty.We kindly ask to agree on preferred procedures for both sides.
How much of the grant is at the disposal of the project winners?
The grant awarded will be directly transferred to the account of the participating MIT faculty and is immediately at your disposal. Please note though, that you can spend only 90% of the grant awarded, since there is a 10% MIT overhead charge included.
How much time do we have to spend the grant?
The grant awarded in the current call should be expended within the project year—ie by December 2011 for proposals submitted in 2010--, and in accordance with the budget plan outlined in the proposal.
We have been awarded a travel grant, how can we utilize these funds properly?
Travel grants may be awarded to applicants, who have presented a high-quality proposal,  but could not be fully funded.   These grants can be used for exploratory visits to MIT or POLITO in order to strengthen already existing contacts or to make new ones to facilitate future participation in the MITOR program or a student research exchange.


Who can apply?
MITOR is a joint-collaboration project and funds are supposed to be requested jointly by MIT and POLITO faculty / PI’s. Only tenure track faculty and research staff with PI privileges qualify as PI's. There can be max. 2 representatives  for each university.
Why is there not a specific application form for MITOR but only a generic one for MISTI global seed funds?
MITOR is one of the several MISTI GLOBAL SEED FUNDS which connect MIT students and faculty with research and innovation in Europe and Asia. The common MISTI application form is meant to facilitate the submission and the assessment of proposals, and make the initiative more visible.
Who should be the Applicant and Co-Applicant of each university?
At most 2 representatives per university can apply for seed funds. The lead applicants—at MIT and POLiTO-- need to be tenure a track faculty. Co-applicants can be researchers, students or faculty.  Please note that it is not compulsory to present two applicants for each university. It is enough for the faculty to list the students or researchers involved.
What does International collaborator correspond to?
International collaborator defines the applicant from POLITO side. International co-applicant   defines the co-applicant (please refer to question 24) from POLITO side.
Can the international co-applicant also be a member of a foreign partner university, i.e. tenure track faculty from neither MIT nor POLITO?
The MITOR project can only reward and fund staff members and their research activities from POLITO and MIT. If you worked with a colleague from another university on the project, which you are currently presenting, you can mention this collaboration and might also take advantage from it in your ongoing research, but you cannot request any funds for your colleague from the other university.
What details are requested in part III Description of the proposed project and/or research of the application form, which have not been mentioned yet in part I Brief Abstract?
In part I you are supposed to give a really brief abstract (max 250 words) of the envisaged collaboration project, i.e. just the title and a really short explanation of the project’s background.
In part III you are supposed to go further into detail, i.e. description of the scope of your project, research activities, explicit background, methods to be applied, prior studies related, etc.
How are the budget tables for Travel to be completed / filled out?
In the budget table provided for travel and timeline, firstly please fill in all planned travel expenses from MIT to POLITO (MIT staff who plan to come to POLITO), and from POLITO to MIT, name of the team member (if already known, otherwise please fill in category / title), the approximate travel dates, the planned activities in the period spent abroad and the funds requested for the stay. Please note that the funds requested for each include all expenses (e.g. housing, travel costs, visa, scholarship, etc.).
Please fill in the tables for all categories, i.e. MIT faculty (post-doc, PI), MIT students (MA students, PhD-students), POLITO faculty (post-doc, PI) and POLITO students (MA students, PhD-students).
Please note, that the maximum fund which can be awarded per project amounts to $ 20.000.
Which kind of expenses fall under Other Expenses?
The budgetary line Other Expenses includes all upcoming costs for conferences, meetings and workshops planned in the framework of the envisaged project.
What do you mean by Activities Outside Funding?
In this section, please fill in (if applicable) what kind of activities you planned and / or pursued already outside the requested seed funds ( Ie conferences, publications, workshops)  Please indicate also sources of funding for these kinds of activities.
What do you mean by Project S ustainability?
In this section, please provide some ideas on how you would finance your project past the MITOR  “start-up” phase and how it may impact your research group.
How should we submit the application form?
You should submit the application online.
Which documents should be provided for a request of funding renewal?
Applicants, whose project has been already funded and intend to request a renewal for the following year, should submit a new application form AND include a progress report. This report should include major results achieved so far and a detailed listing of further planned activities


What are the selection criteria for the upcoming call?
The MITOR projects will fund only proposals of scientific & lab excellence. In addition, the selection board will give priority to projects that:
    1. are new, or are entering a new phase
    2. promote the mobility of PhD students, post doc and young faculty
    3. are likely to be sustainable beyond the grant period
    4. involve a cross-disciplinary approach
    5. spur new collaborations centred on younger researchers
    6. require relative little funding –maximum  $ 20,000 a year
    7. involve a balanced, reciprocal exchange between MIT and POLITO
    8. match the specific subject areas you have applied for
What should be the minimum duration of a research stay within the project?
The research stay of students and young faculty at the host institution should be between 3 and 6 month in order to be fruitful for both sides.
What is the evaluation procedure?
All proposals will first evaluated by MIT and POLITO faculty in the relevant field. These evaluators will review the proposal taking into consideration the importance of the scientific problem or project and its potential contribution to the field.  The final selection will be made by MIT members of the MITOR board, after consultation with their POLITO counterparts based on the requirements and priorities of the current call.
When will the selection results be published?
Results will be announced and e-mailed to all applicants by the end of November.


Will incoming students and researchers be provided with a support for finding accommodation at the host university?
Everybody going to MIT or coming to POLITO has to take care of housing by themselves.
Students and faculty from MIT can refer to the service office at POLITO, which is in charge of any kind of support regarding housing and visa issues.
If you need any help to find an accommodation please contact the colleagues from POLITECNICO at the following email address: and they will try to forward helpful links and addresses for housing in Turin.
Students and faculty from POLITO can refer to the ‘housing office’ at MIT ( which will provide you with information for housing in Boston and surrounding. In addition, you can visit the bulletin board of the European student club--the association of European Students at MIT and Harvard that is a good source of housing opportunities
Will I need a visa to go abroad for a research stay?
MIT: Yes, if you want to obtain access to MIT libraries and labs you will need a visa. Before you can obtain from MIT the forms for the visa, your visit will need to be approved by your host department head and by the VP of research. For visiting students and scholars the procedure takes about 45 days.  Only students and researchers staying 3 months or longer are eligible for this title.
POLITO: Detailed information about the visa procedures will be provided by our service offices at MIT and POLITO:
                MIT International Student Office ( ISO)
MIT International Scholars Office:  
                POLITO International Students:
Please contact them for any information regarding visa issues.
How is a visiting status defined? Is it applicable for all POLITO categories?
The visiting status is a formal title for foreign researchers and students at MIT and provides them with access to libraries, labs and other services of the university. NB: Visiting students at MIT CANNOT take classes and labs for credit.
Researchers and faculty –with a PhD and a proven record—are eligible for a visiting scholar status. Graduate students are eligible for a visiting student status, recent graduates are usually treated as post-docs. The visiting status requires a research stay of at least 1 semester.

VI. Internships @ POLITO

Can we choose our host company in Turin?
MIT Interns in Turin are hosted by faculties and laboratories of the Politecnico di Torino and companies affiliated with the university’s incubator. Students apply in keeping with the procedures described at the MITOR homepage.  Based on the company’s interests, the students’ preferences and skills, we will try to find a mutually beneficial match.
What is the indicative duration of the internship at POLITO?
The internship should last at least 8-10 weeks in order to be fruitful for the students and the company.  Dates for beginning and end of the internship need to be agreed with your contacts  at MIT and POLITO.
What is the deadline to apply for MITOR internships?
There is actually no deadline for applications and interested students can apply anytime> However, we strongly encourage all MIT students interested in Summer and Fall internships at POLITO to apply by March 30th . Earlier applicants will be given preference. 
Where can I learn more about experiences of prior MITOR interns?
On the MITOR website ( ) you can find information about 2009 and 2010 MIT interns at POLITO.  With their  consent, we can put you in touch with them for further information. .
Will we be provided with housing?
Everybody going to MIT or coming to POLITO has to take care of housing by themselves.
Interns, from MIT can refer to the service office at POLITO, which is in charge of any kind of support regarding housing and visa issues.
If you need any help to find an accommodation please contact the colleagues from POLITECNICO at the following email address: and they will try to forward helpful links and addresses for housing in Turin.
Will the MITOR project cover housing costs?
All costs are to be covered by the MITOR grant, which you will receive before you come to Turin.
Do we need to prepare any documentation at the end of our internship in Turin?
Yes. We require a final internship report from all participants of the MITOR program.
The report –individual or by tem—should include a short summary of the project, your role in it, lessons learned and relationship with your work at MIT.  Pictures are welcome. The report will be published at the MITOR homepage and will provide additional information for students interested in participating in the MITOR project.