Selection Criteria

Grant Selection Criteria

A multidisciplinary committee selected from inside the Institute and from our Catalysts evaluates all applications. These individuals are participating under our conflict of interest and Catalyst guidelines.

Please note:

  • Funding must be for research done in MIT laboratories
  • Proposals must be submitted by a faculty member at MIT (exceptions for sponsored research staff that are accorded principle investigator status)
  • Outside and cross-disciplinary collaborations are welcome
  • This is a competitive selection process and only the top ranked proposals will be funded

Selection Criteria for Ignition Grants

The criteria for selection include:

  • Will this greatly help move the technology towards commercialization?
  • Is this technology likely to be spun-out of MIT within 3 years?
  • Is this a totally novel, unique, and potentially disruptive technology? Would the faculty member be taking a risk (vs. doing an extension of existing work)?
  • Will this result in a “high reward” by addressing real market needs if successful?
  • Would this technology have broad, fundamental implications? Cross-disciplinary applications are especially desirable.
  • Is there an opportunity for creating new IP? Lack of prior IP or publication is a plus.
  • What is the likelihood of technological success? Is the scope appropriate for the $50k budget? High risk is OK, as long as feasibility can be determined within one year.
  • Is Deshpande Center support - such as funding, partnerships, and mentoring - critical to the success of this idea?
  • Is the PI eager to participate in programs and partnerships early on to increase likelihood of commercialization? Will the PI be a role model in encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in his/her lab or department? Is this team eager to benefit from the Deshpande Center Catalyst Program?

Selection Criteria for innovation Grants

The criteria for selection are similar to Ignition Grants with the following modifications or additions:

  • Is this technology likely to be spun-out of MIT within 1-2 years?
  • Is there a strong market need or potential impact? Does this technology have a high likelihood of being licensed? Is there a business model that makes sense?
  • Is there a proof of concept already? Is there a likely, clear path to success - for example IP, device, code, etc. - within a year?