Request for Proposals

The MIT Council on Educational Technology invites proposals from members of the MIT community for demonstration projects that explore the application of computer and communications technology to advance global learning experiences at MIT.


Preliminary proposal due: Dec. 15, 2008

Final proposal: Feb. 2, 2009

Awards announced: March 20, 2009


Several studies and reports at MIT such as those of GEOMIT (Committee on Global Education Opportunities for MIT) and the Report of the Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons have asserted the increasing significance of providing our students with global perspectives and experiences as part of their education. The Task Force has called for global educational opportunities to be made available to all MIT students without financial or academic penalty.

The increasing emphasis on providing global educational experiences and global perspectives to all our students, presents opportunities for technology-enabled innovation in areas such as flexible education delivery, rich collaboration, as well as blending situated and remote experiences.

The Call for Proposals

The MIT Council on Educational Technology (MITCET) plans to sponsor a small set (3-5) of demonstration projects to explore the application of computer and communications to advancing the Institute’s goals of providing MIT students with global experiences and global perspectives as part of their MIT education. The experiments will bring an internationally informed focus to a range of MIT initiatives that explore applications of technology to advising, teaching and research.

Specifically, MITCET invites proposals from faculty for projects that employ computer and communications /(educational) technology to address objectives including but not limited to the following:

  • Provide laboratory, project, and other experiences that support greater appreciation of global contexts and unique perspectives (e.g., through remote laboratories; collaborative, multi-institutional collaborations).
  • Support work and communication among geographically distributed groups and improve the quality of interpersonal and group interactions.
  • Create options for undergraduates to participate in MIT courses and continue to make progress on their degree programs, while engaged in activities abroad. (For example students from the MISTI program while on assignments in other countries).
  • Demonstrate the value of MIT OpenCourseWare in supporting the international activities of MIT students.
  • Apply technology to facilitate and enrich MIT programs such as the International Research Opportunities Program (IROP), D-LAB, as well as other institutional and school-based initiatives that support student global experiences.

Preference will be given to projects that involve multiple departments and collaboration across MIT schools.

We encourage looking at opportunities that leverage current innovations such as those from the iCampus or d’Arbeloff supported initiatives as well as projects that intersect with other GIR/Priorities (Design core; Advising)

Projects are expected to begin activity in summer 2009, and funding will be provided for a maximum of two years. Although we strongly encourage student-involvement in project formulation and implementation, each project must have a faculty principal investigator, and project submissions will be accepted from faculty only.

Preliminary proposals should clearly identify the strategic importance of the initiative, the need being met, and the role of technology in meeting that need. Final proposals should include a draft assessment plan that specifies the goals of the assessment, the questions to be addressed, and the method by which the assessment will be carried out.

Submission details

Preliminary proposals should be a most 2 pages long. They should clearly identify:

  • Specific goal of the initiative and significance.
  • Faculty PI /s and the other major contributors.
  • Specific milestones for the first year.
  • Major categories of funding and estimated amounts, and an estimated total for the first year and (if applicable) the second year; although a detailed budget is not required at the preliminary proposal stage.

Applications invited to proceed to a final proposal will be required to provide a draft assessment plan, as indicated above. For curriculum innovations, final proposals will also be asked to provide documentation of departmental commitment to sustain the activity, if the demonstration is successful.

Preliminary proposal, due December 15 should be sent by email to

Faculty interested in applying are invited to contact any member of the Educational Technology Council to discuss their ideas.

Professor Hal Abelson
Co-chair, MITCET
Dean Daniel Hastings
Co-chair, MITCET
Dr. M. S. Vijay Kumar
Executive Officer, MITCET
MITCET Members:
Professor John Belcher
Mr. Evan Broder
Ms. Rumi Chunara
Ms. Cecilia d’ Oliveira
Professor Peter Donaldson
Dr. Jerrold Grochow
Professor Steven Hall
Professor Diana Henderson
Professor Eric Klopfer
Professor Steven R. Lerman
Professor James Orlin
Ms. Ann Wolpert
Professor Dick Yue

>> preliminary proposals – limited to MITCET members