The Office of Graduate Education created the Grad Student Life Grants in 2002 to foster community building and innovative ideas on campus for graduate students. In Fall 2019, we expanded this to cover more facets of the graduate experience under Grad Student Experience Grants; also offering more funding cycles for improved flexibility.
Successful proposals have followed a variety of formats, from events embracing large and inclusive constituencies, to those providing a focused experience for fewer individuals, to those offering a framework or structure for ongoing contact. Both individual grant authors and teams of organizers have executed successful projects.
Funded in 2022-23
This cycle, we continue to see new and innovative grant applications. As more programs are funded this academic year, we will continue to update these grants. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Boricua Graduate Community
Empowering the next Puerto Rican generation in STEM and building community amongst the students at MIT.
MIT DOES THE BIG APPLE
The Lindy Hop Society teaches MIT students to perform a classic choreographed routine: the Big Apple.
Double Dutch Nights
We’re teaching and doing double dutch to fun music to build community
WAWD? Radio is a digital radio platform shared by the larger MIT SA+P community that focuses on providing a platform for all to broadcast from, no matter the content.
Writing Together Online
Empowering students to come together to write papers dissertations, theses, etc. These sessions create a community of scholars who connect, set realistic goals, and write together to motivate each other.
Political Science Women’s Coffee Hour
The Political Science Women’s Coffee Hour is a monthly event run by women graduate students for other women and women-identifying graduate students in the political science department, which creates a space where students can meet and support one another.
Microbial Engineering and Sciences Seminar (MESS)
MESS is a monthly seminar series where graduate students in the microbial sciences present their research to the larger Microbiology community at MIT.
Graduate Womxn in Biology (gwiBio)
The Graduate Womxn in Biology group seeks to serve the graduate womxn across the biology department through professional development, mentorship, and outreach.
Bi-monthly community development events where MCP students are invited and encouraged to build community across the graduate education community at MIT.
We are seeking to encourage more individuals that are under-represented in STEM to apply to the CSB program by offering application assistance during the 2022 CSB application cycle.
LGBTQ+ speaker series
Speaker series featuring LGBTQ+ biologists to increase community.
Graduate TA Coffee Break
Holding regular “coffee breaks” and “check-ins” for graduate teaching assistants in the department . These “check-ins” facilitate community amongst grad instructors.
We would like to continue to hire acroyoga teachers for lessons twice a week open to the entire MIT graduate student community to further increase the size of the community and facilitate interactions among all levels.
MITEC Speaker Series
We will host bi-weekly lunch seminars featuring graduate student speakers from various departments, capped off with a mixer with The Engine with all speakers and the general community invited.
Urban Planning Film Series
Bi-weekly film + discussion series on topics related to cities and urban planning.
Graduate Student Families Pool Fun
A bi-monthly family swimming reservation for graduate student families at the Z-center instruction pool.
The Empowerment Conference provides networking, self-care, and community-building opportunities tailored for graduate womxn at MIT.
Funded in 2021-22
This year graduate student life grants underwent some further refining after last years transition to focus more broadly on the graduate student experience incorporating broader categories of events. We reduced the number of cycles to three per year July, October, and April.
Brief descriptions of the funded grants will be coming soon. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Westgate Courtyard Project
Building community among on- an off- campus students and their families by improving the Westgate courtyard and gardening.
The Empowerment Conference is a mutli-day series of events and talks connecting grad womxn to resources, information, and wellness activities.
EAPS LINK-12 Classroom Visit Demonstration Kits
We are creating science demonstration kits for topics centered around atmospheres, oceans, and planets, for K-12 classroom visits by EAPS department scientists.
Writing Together Online Plus (WTOP)
The program is designed to assist MIT graduate students, who need community, peer-support, and structure to make progress in their research and writing.
DIY Art Kits for MIT Graduate Students & Families
Providing enriching art programming via DIY Kits to Graduate Students and their young families.
Pride welcome video
As a team of LGBTQ+ students, we are recording interviews with the LGBTQ+ professors in the school to make a welcome for students.
Breaking Into Dance
We will offer a beginner focused break dancing class by teaming up with a local non-profit organization, The Flavor Continues.
Building community one meal at a time
PhD students meet and share recipes and/or meal that they really connected with
EconSibs Mentoring Program
The EconSibs program is a mentoring program to facilitate first- or second-year students connect to a student further along in the program to bridge gaps among the classes and help the new students adjust.
MIT Student Veterans Day Celebration
We are holding a celebration for our student veterans in Morss Hall on Veterans Day.
Aero Astro Next Frontier Gallery
Create inspiring composite images by photograph Aero Astro graduate students with their research projects on campus building rooftops with astronomical backgrounds.
EECS Black Tea
A monthly lunch/tea where black students in EECS can connect and build community.
MIT Graduate Women in Economics Community Building
Our proposed project is to host events during the Spring 2022 semester that facilitate interactions across cohorts of graduate women conducting economics research at MIT and that help to establish a supportive network in this community.
Political Science TA Check-in and Mentorship
This project is meant to build morale and support among TAs in political science by creating opportunities for them to learn from and commiserate with one another.
LNS Student Seminar
This is a weekly lunchtime seminar among MIT LNS graduate students during which we present to each other on our research in an informal setting.
THERE ARE NO BAD SKETCHES! / An Introduction to Drawing
The THERE ARE NO BAD SKETCHES! workshop exposes students to a multi-media way of capturing a sense of place through an observational tour of the Cambridge and Boston area. This course operates under the premise that there is no such thing as a bad drawing. That a sketch is a tool for you to quickly capture any environment, idea, or fleeting moment.
We would like to hire acroyoga teachers for weekly lessons open to the entire MIT graduate student community. Acroyoga combines communication with acrobatics to build community.
Kids’ Art Class
Providing online art classes for MIT Grad Students with children.
Chemical Engineering PhDCEP Student and Alumni Mentorship
Foster connections and mentorship among current students and alumni for a small, specialized dual-degree program (PhD in Chemical Engineering and MBA at MIT Sloan).
The Leadership Conference provides career development and leadership skill opportunities tailored for graduate womxn at MIT.
NE GWiSE Spring to Action 2022
This event series will include panels, workshops, and speakers discussing what we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and strategies for moving forward in a positive way, particularly as it relates to the experience of graduate women and gender minorities in STEM fields in academia and in their future careers.
Connection Time: Yoga in person
The “Connection Time” project aims to be a weekly meeting of physical exercise and personal connection outdoors
Getting to know ME REFS!
ME REFS hosting de-stressing events to get to know REFS and other resources!
A repeating student/faculty event classic for MechE, bringing together the community as a whole!
Building community – Grad students with kids
Fun weekend activities and gatherings for graduate students who are also parents.
MIT Science Policy Review Lunch Seminar and Publication Launch Event
Events designed to engage the MIT community in formal and informal discussions of important topics at the intersection of technology and policy on a national and international scale
Computational and Systems Biology (CSB) Seminars
Seminar series focused in computational and systems biology topics
Acroyoga Lessons Intermediate and Beginners
We would like to hire acroyoga teachers for lessons twice a week open to the entire MIT graduate student community to encourage all levels of practice!
Resin Jewelry Workshop
We are using resin to create rings, earrings, and pendants in a hands-on workshop.
Policing Book Club
BGSA will host a book club on racism in policing in America.
#ShutDownSTEM is a department-wide day of learning and discussion to understand how racism has shaped STEM, and what to identify what we as a department can do to build an anti-racist and inclusive departmental culture.
South Asian Speaker Series
A cross departmental virtual speaker series of South Asian architects, planners and urban designers across the semester.
EAPS Book Club Meetings
Graduate students in the EAPS Book Club will meet in person every other month to discuss a book that we will all read prior to the meeting.
Funded in 2020-2021
This year graduate student life grants underwent a transition to focus more broadly on the graduate student experience incorporating broader categories of events. Also students are now able to four times per year July, October, January, and April (note July grant cycle was not held for 2020).
See brief description of the funded grants below. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through music, movement, and storytelling, Rainbow dance provides a symbolic journey into the world of Nature and relationship, encouraging the growth of an empowered and self-nurturing child.
VIRTUAL MUSIC TIME FOR KIDS
A virtual music instruction to promote education and bonding for children and their parents.
COMMUNITY BUILDING THROUGH ICE CREAM SOCIALS
The CMS Graduate Student Ice Cream Social will help connect CMS master’s students across class years through bi-monthly ice cream social hours.
SYNERGY II: COMMUNICATING OCEAN SCIENCE THROUGH ART
Synergy II is designed to unite ocean scientists (e.g. doctoral students from the MIT-WHOI joint program) with artists (from Art League Rhode Island) in finding a common language to communicate oceanographic life and activity through artistic expression.
CAREER PANEL AND WORKSHOPS FOR WATER SECTOR
Connecting graduate students with industry/ NGO professionals and academics to offer perspectives on potential career paths within the water sector.
WRITING TOGETHER ONLINE
Training and mentoring graduate students to facilitate writing groups for grad students to build a community of academic writers with the MIT writing center.
FORCE OF NATURE
Developing and publishing raps on Youtube which introduce and explain topics in Earth Science (and hopefully beyond).
FIND YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE
Find Your Next Adventure is a chat series that features weekly hour-long fireside conversations between graduate students and successful female professionals from all career trajectories.
JOURNEY TO A PH.D.: A CONVERSATION WITH DR. MALIKA GRAYSON
Womxn in MechE, gwaMIT Mentoring, and Black Graduate Student’s Association host Dr. Malika Grayson, author of Black Girl’s Guide to the PhD., to discuss her experiences obtaining her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell and how she leveraged strong mentoring relationships to tackle academic and personal challenges.
VIRTUAL PAINT NIGHT
Paint night for graduate students to relieve pressure and to develop their artistic creativity.
HOME COOKING AROUND THE WORLD (PLANT BASED VERSION)
Student-lead virtual home cooking session with plant based recipes from different regions across the world.
DRAWING CLASSES FOR GRAD STUDENTS
Online drawing classes for graduate students in computer science to counter the isolation and stress they are experiencing in these difficult times.
BLACK ART COLLECTIVE
The Black Art Collective is a forum and an opportunity for students of color to create community and share common experience through art, as well as an opportunity to share their talents with the broader MIT community through the finale showcase event.
CONNECTING MINDS TALK SERIES
A monthly talk series for junior researchers in brain and cognitive science at MIT and other institutions to present their research, provide feedback on others’ work, and foster collaboration in a student-only space.
OUTDOOR YOGA & MEDITATION SESSION
Outdoor yoga and meditation to create a grounding and relaxing environment for small groups of students.
GLASS SHARDS WOMXN SCIENTISTS SPEAKER SERIES
The Glass Shards speaker series invites womxn scientists in the field of biology to discuss career journeys and professional development with womxn biology graduate students.
FACULTY PANEL DISCUSSION
Panel discussion where MIT Professors discuss how to address the challenges faced by graduate students, especially women, and those from minority and LGBTQ communities.
OUTDOOR ACRO YOGA CLASSES
Teaching acroyoga to grad students to create a sense of community and grounding.
VIRTUAL MARTIAL ARTS FOR KIDS
Eight week online Martial Arts course for kids!
ONLINE ART CLASS
Virtual art class for the Children of MIT community members, with a great focus on graduate students.
MUSIC TIME FOR KIDS
A virtual music education class for children of grad students and other in the MIT community.
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MAKER COMMUNITY QUILT
Developing a sense of community and shared experience with individual square made using different fabrication techniques.
STUDENT TAUGHT HAND THROWN CERAMICS WORKSHOP
Teaching students how to hand thrown ceramics to build community and creativity.
We are organizing a summer cooking club for graduate students to socialize and have fun together.
Mentorship project directed to MIT LatinX undergraduate students interested in learning about the graduate student experience.
MIT SCIENCE POLICY REVIEW VOLUME II PRINT EDITION
Creating a print version of the second volume of MIT Science Policy Review.
VIRTUAL MARTIAL ARTS FOR KIDS, ONLINE ART CLASS, MUSIC TIME
Creative classes for children of MIT students.
URBANISM IN DIALOGUE – STUDENT-LED DISCUSSION SERIES
A student-led discussion series promoting engagement on urbanism between students of analogous fields at MIT.
Funded in 2019-2020
In the 18th annual round of Graduate Student Life Grants, 12 new proposals and 6 renewal proposals out of the total 21 submitted were offered funding by the Office of Graduate Education. Since the program was introduced in 2002, the grant selection panel has reviewed 550 proposals and funded 329 of those. For more information, contact email@example.com.
RFP 18.07 WOMEN IN POLITICAL SCIENCE COFFEE HOUR (RENEWED)
A monthly coffee hour for women student in the Political Science Department.
RFP 18.20 BGSA COMMUNITY GATHERINGS (RENEWED)
Provides a venue for community building among MIT Black graduates, their allies, faculty and staff, and local leaders in addition to stimulating discussions about cultural, social, political, and professional topics.
RFP 18.23 THE MICROBIAL ENGINEERING AND SCIENCES SEMINAR (RENEWED)
Monthly seminars to foster the exchange of ideas between the people working on microbiology across diverse departments at MIT.
RFP 18.26 MIT GU-ZHENG CLUB (RENEWED)
Helps promote public awareness and appreciation of traditional Chinese arts and ultimately fosters cultural diversity and creative expression on campus.
RFP 18.28 CREATING A DMSE REFS PROGRAM (RENEWED)
Starting a DMSE REFS program in order to provide a happier, healthier environment for the students of the department.
RFP 18.30 MAKERCUP (RENEWED)
Sharing knowledge and building community through a personal project competition and teaching events.
RFP 19.01 MEDIA LAB FUTURE OF WOMEN
A community women’s group for women in Media Lab.
RFP 19.03 MAKERWORKS FACULTY-STUDENT FAB FRIDAY
Sharing knowledge and building community between faculty and students in a Maker Space event and build activity.
RFP 19.05 AMY’S BREAKFAST CLUB
Weekly breakfast meetings with Prof. Finkelstein and her advisees to foster an environment where students feel comfortable discussing preliminary research ideas.
RFP 19.06 CHEME KAYAKING & VIRTUAL REALITY
Three interactive events, cooking, kayaking, and virtual reality, that encourage faculty and students to work together in an engaging atmosphere.
RFP 19.09 GPSW FRIDAY WRITING RE-TREAT!
Bringing GPSW Faculty and Students together through sharing food and friendly conversation during the one hour lunch break between two intensive Friday classes attended by all GPSW students and multiple faculty members.
RFP 19.10 POLITICAL SCIENCE FILM FESTIVAL
Brings together students and faculty with research interests in political issues and an appreciation for cinema to discuss the events depicted in classic films from the perspective of political scientists while also creating an informal and collegial space to build relationships in the department and across the university through a shared appreciation of classic film.
RFP 19.11 EAPS MATRIX LUNCHES
Matrix lunches allow members of the EAPS department who serve in very different roles (student, administrator, research scientist, faculty) to meet and converse over lunch.
RFP 19.13 DUSP ANTI-RACIST WORKSHOP AND READING GROUPS
An anti-racism workshop and sustained reading groups for DUSP students and faculty will help the community interrogate “the roots of racism in white culture with the intention of dealing with racism at its source, as well as with its impact on communities of color”.
RFP 19.14 FACULTY-STUDENT FIELD SOCIALS
A series of social events which aim to bring the students of each “field” of economics together with their peers and the faculty that are working on similar topics of interest.
RFP 19.15 LGSA FACULTY SERIES
Facilitates networking and mentorship relationships between LatinX students and faculty members, allowing graduate students to learn from these successful LatinX role models.
RFP 19.16 SCARVES FOR ALL
MIT Architecture faculty and students join forces to design Spring/Summer 2020’s most desirable accessory!
RFP 19.17 FAIL! – INSPIRING RESILIENCE
FAIL! Conference aims to connect grad students with faculties and de-stigmatize failures by having faculty members share stories of failures, humbleness, and resilience.
Funded in 2018-19
In the 17th annual round of Graduate Student Life Grants, 22 new proposals and 2 renewal proposals out of the total 37 submitted were offered funding by the Office of Graduate Education. Since the program was introduced in 2002, the grant selection panel has reviewed 529 proposals and funded 329 of those. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RFP 16.13 RUSSIAN CONNECTION CULTURAL GATHERINGS (RENEWED)
Inclusive activities for Russian-speaking graduate students and others in the graduate community with an interest in Russian language and culture.
RFP 17.14 MUTUAL PICTURES: SA+P SCREEN & DINE (RENEWED)
Film screening and dinner events for the graduate student art and filmmaking community.
RFP18.02 SPACE MOVIE NIGHT
A space community building movie night.
RFP18.03 MIT SLOAN GREATER CHINA CLUB PROGRAMS
Indoor activities for students and spouses, including terrarium making, embroidery classes, chocolate making, and paint night.
RFP18.07 WOMEN IN POLITICAL SCIENCE COFFEE HOUR
Monthly coffee hour for women student in the Political Science Department.
RFP 18.08 BIOLOGY DIVERSITY COMMUNITY 2019 MENTORSHIP EVENTS
Events for underrepresented students in the biology community.
RFP 18.09 HOW TO INFLATE ALMOST ANYTHING
A practical and collaborative workshop series to teach students how to make inflatables, resulting in a public-facing exhibition.
RFP 18.14 DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION NIGHTS AT THE THIRSTY EAR PUB
Allows cultural and underrepresented minority groups the chance to foster connections within the MIT community in the welcoming atmosphere of the Thirsty Ear Pub.
RFP18.16 ECONOMICS MENS ET MANUS
Active events for Economics PhD students to foster interactions across cohorts and across fields.
RFP 18.17 BLACK MIRROR VIEWING PARTIES + EDUCATED DISCUSSION
Evening events that brings together graduate student fans of the popular TV series to watch select episodes and discuss, question, and consider possible directions for their creative technology work.
RFP 18.20 BGSA COMMUNITY GATHERINGS
Community-building amongst MIT Black graduates, their allies, faculty and staff, and local leaders that foster stimulating discussions about cultural, social, political, and professional topics.
RFP 18.21 MACHINE VISION EVENT SERIES
Machine Vision is a series of workshares and discussions to build bridges between graduate students, scholars and artists at MIT working to imagine the future of increasingly blurry boundaries between human and computer perception.
RFP 18.23 THE MICROBIAL ENGINEERING AND SCIENCES SEMINAR (MESS)
Monthly seminars to foster exchange of ideas between the people working on microbiology across diverse departments at MIT.
RFP 18.26 MIT GU-ZHENG CLUB
Promotes public awareness and appreciation of traditional Chinese arts and fosters cultural diversity and creative expression on campus.
RFP 18.28 CREATING A DMSE REFS PROGRAM
Starting a DMSE REFS program in order to provide a happier, healthier environment for the students of the department.
RFP 18.29 VIRTUAL REALITY COMPASSION DANCE
An Afro futurist Virtual Reality project used as tool for civic engagement and facilitating healthy conversations about race and class.
RFP 18.30 MAKERCUP
Student-to-student teaching events and a personal project competition that encourages new members to get involved in the MIT Maker community.
RFP 18.32 MAS LATINO
A festival celebrating Latin American culture and talent at MIT through arts and sciences.
RFP 18.12 CLASSICAL INDIAN MUSIC CULTURAL ENRICHMENT
Performances, lecture demonstrations, and master classes by expert classical Indian musicians geared specifically to students in the MIT community.
RFP 18.15 NETWORKING EVENTS FOR JAPAN TECH TREK
Post-trek events for trip participants from several cohorts.
RFP 18.19 IMAGINATIVE TRANSFORMATIONS: INDIGENOUS ARTISTS SPEAKER SERIES
A series of Indigenous artists presentations to open dialogues with MIT students and community members.
RFP 18.22 COMMUNITY EXPERIENCES OUTSIDE OF MIT CAMPUS
Generating community experiences outside of MIT campus by attending cultural and sporting events in Boston.
RFP 18.34 MONTHLY SOCIALS FOR THE MEDIA LAB BLACK COMMUNITY
An effort to provide a safe space of conversation, strength, and support for the Black Community within the MIT Media Lab.
Funded in 2017-18
In the 16th annual round of Graduate Student Life Grants, 10 new proposals and 12 renewal proposals out of the total 30 submitted were offered funding by the Office of Graduate Education. Since the program was introduced in 2002, the grant selection panel has reviewed 492 proposals and funded 305 of those. For more information, contact email@example.com.
RFP15.08 BREAKING THE MOLD CONFERENCE/HACKATHON (RENEWED)
An interactive one-day event to build tools to combat unconscious bias and intolerance.
RFP15.13 ECONOMICS GRAD FAMILIES (RENEWED)
A department-based initiative that creates sub-groups of Economics PhD students, and offers social events such as Field Lawn Day, Trivia, and Snow Day.
RFP15.18 SCM ROUND-THE-WORLD DINNER/MOVIES (RENEWED)
Community-building dinners with movies and cultural events for students in the Supply Chain Management program.
RFP15.29 POSTSCRIPT DINNERS (RENEWED)
A series of small group dinners open to all Architecture graduate students to facilitate research-based discussions.
RFP16.05 BUILDING SCIENCE KITS FOR SCHOOLS (RENEWED)
Events at MIT Edgerton Center where graduate students assemble molecule kits from existing materials, to be given as outreach materials to local K-12 schools.
RFP16.07 BIOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENT SCIENCE RETREAT (RENEWED)
A one-day Spring retreat to bring Biology graduate students with different lab affiliations together for academic talks, poster session, and social events.
RFP16.10 ASL & DEAF CULTURE CLASS (RENEWED)
American Sign Language classes offered to the MIT community, in partnership with MindHandHeart.
RFP16.11 POLITICS AND POLICY COMMUNITY BUILDING (RENEWED)
Community-building events and local outings for graduate students from various departments interested in science policy.
RFP16.13 MIT RUSSIAN CLUB (RENEWED)
Various cultural events for Russian and Slavic community, hosted by MIT Russian club, and open to all interested graduate students.
RFP16.16 BCS INTERDEPARTMENTAL STUDENT SOCIALS (RENEWED)
Monthly interdepartmental student socials and focused discussions hosted by graduate students in Brain and Cognitive Science.
RFP16.17 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MONTHLY SOCIALS (RENEWED)
Monthly joint socials for graduate students and faculty in Mechanical Engineering.
RFP16.20 GENERAL AUDIENCE GRADUATE SEMINAR @ SIDNEY-PACIFIC (RENEWED)
Monthly dinner-time seminars by various members of the graduate student community, hosted by Sidney-Pacific residence.
RFP17.02 REEL FUTURES
Monthly gathering open to the entire MIT community to explore the future through the vehicle of cinema. REEL FUTURES will feature a screening of films about the future by living filmmakers, with a focus on emerging directors.
RFP17.04 WINTER MINDFUL ACTIVITIES
Indoor activities for students and spouses, including terrarium making, embroidery classes, chocolate making, paint night.
RFP17.05 GRADUATE FAMILY BRUNCH
Series of brunches at Westgate for campus & off-campus families.
RFP17.06 FIERCE FOREVER
Drag show with graduate student performers, open to the entire MIT community.
RFP17.09 DUSP ESCAPE THE ROOM
Collaboration and team building through “escape room” activities.
RFP17.10 URBANAFRICA CULTURAL EVENTS
Co-hosted events for student groups interested in African issues, including museum events, book talks, film screenings, theater and dance performances relevant to styles or traditions across the African Diaspora.
RFP17.14 ACT-BRIDGE SCREEN + DINE
Film and art presentations by MIT students and local collaborators, hosted by students in Art, Culture, and Technology program and open to the art and filmmaker community at MIT.
RFP17.17 OPEN SOURCE HARDWARE SUMMIT
Partnership between MIT students and the national non-profit Open Source Hardware Association (OHSWA) to kick start a more active campus community interested in open source hardware.
RFP17.18 COOKING SERIES
Student-hosted cooking class series, open to all students.
RFP17.19 ONEMIT LAB CRAWL
Sloan students visit research labs to foster connections and collaborations.