The MindHandHeart Innovation Fund seeks to leverage the enthusiasm and problem-solving skills of the MIT community to find new and inventive ways of increasing awareness about mental health, building communities of support, and promoting life skills— all of which have been shown by the Jed Campus Program to enhance student wellbeing and reduce risk on college campuses. The Fund offers grants of up to $10,000 to invest in cutting-edge ideas and grassroots solutions developed right here by our faculty, students, and staff.
Notable accomplishments from the past two years include:
- 40 Innovation Fund projects funded out of 110 applications in five cycles.
- Over $130,000 awarded to make MIT a more healthy and welcoming place.
- 18 Innovation Fund projects funded in AY16-17.
- 11 projects are already self-sustaining and have found a permanent home on campus.
- 53% of projects spearheaded by MIT students.
- 178 events supported by the Innovation Fund with over 3,500 participants.
- Examples of Innovation Fund projects:
- MIT Connect, a digital platform connecting like-minded members of the MIT community for lunch.
- You Belong @ MIT, a Teaching and Learning Lab initiative fostering academic belonging in the classroom and academic departments.
- Portraits of Resilience, a book capturing the stories of MIT students and faculty who have overcome adversity.
- Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week, a week bringing the MIT community together through spontaneous acts of generosity.
- Puppy Lab, a student-led initiative bringing friendly canine company to campus.
- OpenMind::OpenArt, an art workshop and gallery drawing attention to mental health and wellness at MIT.
- Notice and Respond, a training to help faculty, staff, and students recognize and respond to mental health concerns.
- Motivate and Move, a series of programs to help graduate students develop healthy work and self-care skills in combination with physical exercise.
- Failures in Graduate School, an event series where faculty share personal stories of overcoming failure.
- Sunshine Makes Us Happy, colorful Adirondack chairs placed in MIT’s Eastman Court.