The d'Arbeloff Fund is not currently accepting proposals. The 2018 guidelines will be available in August.

What you need to know

The Alex and Brit d’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education supports MIT faculty members in ambitious projects that enhance the undergraduate educational experience. We encourage proposals that focus on the use of innovative, active, or inclusive pedagogies to improve student learning and the student experience by transcending specific departmental curricula and/or making use of online technologies.

Resources are intended primarily for faculty-led initiatives, with the understanding that they may also involve non-faculty participants. Funding requests may include faculty and/or TA summer salary, UROPs, and materials/books, as well as limited equipment. We do not fund teaching release, conference expenses or travel, graduate student tuition, honoraria, guest travel or lodging, or RA positions.

Proposals for multi-year projects are accepted, but grants are made on a year-by-year basis. The review committee looks favorably on projects that share costs with departments or other entities.

Projects can be focused on any facet of undergraduate education, but priority will be given to those that:

  • Improve the first-year academic experience including the General Institute Requirements.
  • Explore ways of including algorithmic reasoning and computational thinking in the curriculum. Review the Chair of the Faculty’s working group report on computational thinking published in January 2017.
  • Develop student motivation, confidence, and self-efficacy by providing opportunities to demonstrate educational accomplishments in authentic contexts.
  • Support students in exploring and choosing majors.
  • Enhance undergraduate advising — including professional and career development discussions — between faculty and students.

What you need to do

  • Download the full guidelines in PDF format; an overview is below.
  • Visit the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) to review resources for developing your assessment plan. Attend TLL’s assessment workshop, generally offered in November.
  • Send your complete, detailed proposal, including a cover sheet, 3-6 page narrative, budget, and letters of support to darbeloff-fund@mit.edu by the deadline (generally in September).
  • Our staff will confirm receipt of your proposal by email.
  • The review committee typically meets in mid-fall; you will receive a decision letter by email before the end of the fall term.
  • For questions about your proposal or the process, contact us at darbeloff-fund@mit.edu or (617) 253-5629.

Proposal guidelines

A complete application includes the following:

  • Cover sheet — download in PDF format.
  • Proposal narrative (3-6 pages) including a detailed description of your project, activities and timeline, a description of how you will assess your project, and educational objectives with answers to the following questions:
    • How will the project enhance your teaching?
    • How will it improve the students' classroom experience?
    • What is the potential impact of the project at MIT? Estimate the number of students served now and in the future.
  • A description of staffing and resources (i.e. financial, space, or equipment) required.
  • Note interactions across departments or schools and/or among faculty and other members of the extended MIT community, such as alumni, close industrial partners, research scientists, and partners at other institutions.
  • Previous d’Arbeloff Fund recipients should also include a summary of past projects, noting any unspent funds.
  • A completed budget sheet that lists other sources of support, committed and requested.
  • Letters of support from the appropriate department head(s) addressing cost sharing and sustainability after d’Arbeloff funding ends.

Requirements and restrictions

The Review Committee places a high value on sharing best practices and on assessment of educational innovations. Grant recipients are expected to meet with the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) about assessment and/or attend the workshop and submit final reports at the end of their funding period.

Participation in projects supported by the d’Arbeloff Fund, whether for compensation or as a volunteer, qualifies as “significant use” of administered resources under MIT Policies and Procedures. As such, ownership of intellectual property, including copyrights in instructional materials and curriculum, will vest with MIT.