Public Service Center Grants

what we do

LEAP Grants

LEAP Grants: Learn. Explore. Act. Prepare.

Note: we are currently only offering LEAP Grants for student projects in the US (although the beneficiaries of your work may be in other countries).

LEAP Grants support MIT students’ public service activities. LEAP Grant funding can help you carry out a service project such as a volunteer day or philanthropy event. LEAP Grants can also help you learn about service and social responsibility or build your skills to tackle a community challenge.

LEAP Grants are not intended to provide comprehensive support. They typically cover one type of expense such as materials, transportation, or conference registrations. LEAP Grants may also cover a combination of expenses at a modest level.

Who can apply?

LEAP Grants are for:

  • Full-time, continuing MIT students from all departments and programs, undergraduate and graduate
  • Exchange students who are registered as MIT students for at least a semester (for instance, visiting CME students) and who will be at MIT for at least a month after the funded activity takes place
  • Individuals or groups

We are not able to fund:

  • Post-docs
  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Alumni

When?

The spring and summer 2015 deadlines for submission are the following dates at noon:

  1. May 5
  2. June 8
  3. July 6
  4. August 3

We will not review applications between these deadlines.

There is also a required minimum lead-time between these deadlines and when you intend to use the funds:

  • 2 weeks in advance for requests other than out-of-state travel
  • 4 weeks in advance for out-of-state travel

What do we support?

LEAP stands for Learn, Explore, Act, & Prepare. These grants help students to do service work and to build their skills and knowledge to be effective at service work.
LEAP Grants can be used for these types of expense:

  • Materials
    For example: supplies for an after-school K-12 education project, printing materials for a community workshop, prototyping supplies for a technology-based project.
  • Education
    For example: registration fees to attend service-focused conferences, workshops, and trainings.
  • Events
    For example: MIT student-run philanthropy events such as galas and fundraising runs, wrap-up events for MIT student-run programs or classes bringing together students and community members, or bringing a service-focused speaker to campus. Please note, we do not cover fees to take part in philanthropy events such as registering for a run or attending a gala dinner.
  • Travel
    For example: MBTA fees for your student group to do a local volunteer day, ground transportation expenses for a weekly service commitment, out-of-state travel to enable you to get to summer, IAP, or Spring Break service placements. If what you have in mind fits one of these categories, but you’re not sure if it’s an appropriate request, email hynd@mit.edu and ask. Please note, LEAP Grants are not full-funding packages. If you need travel and living expenses for a substantial service project, check our Fellowships and Internships programs.

How much should I ask for?

LEAP Grants are typically between $50 and $1,000, depending on the nature of the service project. The following restrictions apply:

  • Out of state travel grants are capped at $1,000 per person
  • Conference, workshop, and training fees are capped at $500 person
  • For student service groups, grants for out of state travel and conferences are limited to two members for a particular event or activity, and one is generally preferable.

If your costs are modest, you may receive full funding from a LEAP Grant. However, in many cases a LEAP Grant only provides partial or seed funding. For larger requests, preference will be given to applicants who are pursuing multiple funding sources.

Ready to apply?

Click here for application guidelines.

 

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