Expedition Grants


Click to learn more about the Underclassmen Giving Campaign.

Since Expedition Grants are sponsored by the Underclassmen Giving Campaign, we are putting the final choices in the hands of underclassmen, who can vote for their favorite finalist during the Campaign!

Expedition Grants, open to all continuing MIT freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, enable students to serve someplace that they have never been before. The purpose of an Expedition Grant is to help you travel to an unfamiliar region to do work on a project of potential continuing interest. These grants are intended for service projects that are exploratory in nature, and we hope that this service work might even set the groundwork for future projects that have the prospect of sustainable benefit for the community.

Service Expeditions can be done anywhere in the U.S. or abroad – with appropriate concern for safety, of course. We can’t send students to places on the MIT Advisory list that are “High” or “Highest” level. And we have to be convinced that students have appropriate safety precautions in place for any site.

Timeline for Summer 2014 Applications

Thursday, March 20, 4 p.m.: Application deadline

  • Submit your 2-3-page application via email to AND
  • Bring a hard copy to the PSC, along with your availability for an interview on Thursday, March 20, or Friday, March 21. Interview slots are first-come, first-served, so if you are looking for a Thursday interview it is in your best interest to submit your application early!

Thursday & Friday, March 20-21: Interviews

Monday, March 24:  Finalists notified

by Wednesday, April 2: Finalists will record a two-minute video describing their proposed project in the MIT Annual Fund office.

Week of April 14:  Showcase and voting!  Finalists will showcase their plans in Memorial Lobby with pitches and posters. Finalists must be available from 11:30-2:30 on Monday, April 14, to present their intended project to their peers in Memorial Lobby. (If this time presents a problem, let us know.) Donors to the Underclassmen Giving Campaign will get the chance to vote for their favorite finalists.

How to Apply

Expeditions are purposeful, and the purpose of these is public service. Expeditions involve unknown territory, which makes them a great opportunity to explore a place that’s new to you. 

PSC Expedition Grants are open to all continuing MIT freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. 

Cover Page

  • Name
  • MIT ID
  • Year
  • Phone where we can reach you
  • Email
  • Term Address
  • Permanent Address
  • If you are working in a group, list the other members
  • Total amount requested
  • One-paragraph abstract

Project Description (~2 pages)

  • Give us the details, emphasizing what service you plan to provide, to whom, and how.  Be specific: we’re looking for a thoughtful, realistic plan and timeline.
  • Tell us what preparation you’ve done or are planning to do.  What connections do you have in the community? How can you function effectively in a place you’ve never been?  What precautions are you taking to make sure that you stay healthy and safe?  What will you do ahead of time to make the work a success?
  • Explain what you bring in terms of knowledge, skills, experience, ingenuity, etc.
  • What’s your motivation? Why this location and this plan? What do you hope to learn?
  • If you are working as part of a group or team, what will be your individual contribution?
  • How do you plan on being involved with this work or with this community after this experience?


  • Include estimates for all amounts needed. Expedition Grants can provide up to $5,000 in funding.
  • List any other funding sources, actual and pending

Content for Poster (must be sent to by the March 20 deadline for your application to be considered complete!)

  • Concise, snappy title of proposed project (10 words max)
  • Location of proposed project
  • Goal of proposed project (50 words max)
  • How a PSC Expedition Grant will help the execution of your strategy (50 words max)
  • 3-4 images (photos, illustrations, charts, map, etc.) that are relevant to the proposed project

Digital Headshot of Yourself (must be sent to by the March 20 deadline for your application to be considered complete!)

  • We want your peers to know who you are! Your headshot will be featured on the Underclassmen Giving Campaign website and on the Campaign's poster.

The Fine Print

By accepting a PSC Expedition Grant, you will be committing to the following:

  • To participate in a poster session to display your intended project on Monday, April 14, in Memorial Lobby
  • To participate in a brief video to summarize your project. This video will be featured on the Underclassmen Giving Campaign website.
  • To participate in our evaluation process
  • To submit a short report explaining what the funding helped you to accomplish
  • To acknowledge the Underclassmen Giving Campaign and MIT Public Service Center as a sponsor
  • To permit us to publicize your work through our website, print materials, and other publicity
  • To submit photographs and/or video of your Expedition Grant experience by September 10, 2014
  • To complete all required paperwork prior to beginning your project work


Expedition Grants are generously funded by MIT underclassmen through the Underclassmen Giving Campaign.