Progetto Rocca - MIT-Italy

Progetto Roberto Rocca

Roberto Rocca 1922-2003

The “Progetto Roberto Rocca” is a collaboration between MIT and the Milan Politecnico (POLIMI) Italy’s top engineering school, funded by the Fondazione Fratelli Agostino and Enrico Rocca to honor Dr. Roberto Rocca (1922-2003) an alumnus of both institutions. Since 2005, the Progetto has been  providing $250,000 a year to support the two-ways circulation of people, ideas and scientific practices between MIT and Politecnico in the fields of materials science, mechanical engineering, bioengineering and life sciences, energy, electrical engineering and computer science. Projects that focus on buildings, infrastructure and planning are considered only if they privilege mathematical and physical modeling and the novel use of materials. Priority is given to collaborations involving younger scholars - junior faculty members and graduate students and post-doctoral researchers and new projects. Proposals and applications are evaluated and selected by members of the MIT-Italy Program Scientific Committee.

The Progetto Rocca has jump-started more than 20 MIT-POLIMI faculty collaborations, and funded more than 70 doctoral and postdoctoral Rocca Fellows at MIT and POLIMI. Many of these collaborations have led to joint publications and received other forms of academic recognition. In July 2010, the Progetto has been extended until 2015.

Roberto Rocca as a graduate student at MIT

Typical awards range between $2,500 for exploratory travel grants and $42,500 for a one year post-doctoral Rocca Fellowship at MIT In particular, the Progetto supports:

  • One-year “Roberto Rocca post-doctoral Fellowships” at MIT for recent Politecnico Ph.D.s
  • 6-12 months “ Roberto Rocca doctoral Fellowships ” that bring  Politecnico doctoral students to MIT as visiting students
  • 3-6 months study and research grants at Politecnico for MIT doctoral students and advanced undergraduates
  • seed funds (up to $15,000) for collaborative MIT/Politecnico faculty projects
  • lectures by MIT professors at Politecnico, and vice versa.
  • small MIT-Politecnico workshops on topics that are the subject of joint investigations

The Progetto Roberto Rocca is managed through the MIT-Italy Program. Its priorities and orientations are spelled out in the agreements signed by the Fondazione Rocca with MIT and Politecnico and are reviewed yearly by the Progetto’s advisory board, composed by representatives of MIT, Politecnico, and Fondazione Fratelli Rocca.

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