Community Innovation Fund

Founded and supported by the Office of the Chancellor, the MindHandHeart Community Innovation Fund seeks to leverage the creativity and problem-solving skills of MIT students, staff, and faculty to strengthen the fabric of our community. The Fund supports a wide array of projects that speak to and reflect the MIT Value's Statement, found here: All proposals for the Spring 2023 cycle will identify what Value(s) the project addresses and how the project addresses that value.

The next application cycle will open on February 13, 2023 and the application deadline is March 3, 2023. This cycle will be for projects that begin on April 15, 2023 or after.  

The application can be found here:

A blank PDF copy Innovation Fund application maybe found here to help you prepare to submit on the application site:

If you have an idea that you would like to discuss, reach out to Brandon Milardo to attend a virtual Info Session on:

  • Thursday, February 9 at 12:30pm
  • Monday, February 13 at 10:00am
  • Thursday, February 23 at 10:00am

The Fund offers grants of up to $10,000 and is organized into two tiers:

  • Proposals requesting over $2,000 should constitute a substantial one-time investment, system update, or innovative tool. Examples include courses, innovative event series, classroom interventions, and other large-scale projects. All applicants preparing proposals at this level are required attend an Info Session or meet personally with MindHandHeart staff in order to discuss your proposal. Applications that do not satisfy this requirement will be automatically rejected.
  • Proposals requesting $2,000 or less may constitute projects that spark community connections using existing methods to bring people together.

Examples of Community Innovation Fund projects include:

  • MIT Connect, a digital platform connecting like-minded members of the MIT community for lunch.
  • FAIL!, an event series aiming to de-stigmatize failure and build resilience.
  • 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.
  • Indoor Lawn, a surprise indoor lawn that appeared in the Student Center to calm and entertain.