SfGS Funding sources

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Student Group funding

Both GSC and ASA (LEF) give funding to student groups throughout years. They have specific application deadlines for each funding period.


Graduate Student Council Funding

According to the GSC website, "[GSC Funding Board] allocates approximately $100,000 per year in event and capital funding to graduate student groups at MIT. This is the largest distribution of money to graduate student groups anywhere at the Institute." They fund small-to-middle-sized events--such as seminar series, movie nights, small social events-- and capital expenses. To apply, you first submit an online application. Once you receive the funding, you have to advertise the event through the events.mit.edu calendar and posters with a GSC logo ([this] or [that]). As of May 2006, there are 4 chances to apply in a year: June and September (for events between July and December) and December and February (for events between January and June). You can get a sense of how much to expect from past funding allocations to student groups, available on their website.

The detailed procedure required is listed here.


Large Event Funding by the Association of Student Activities

This is intended to cover a large event with a total budget of between $3,000 and $10,000. An event like Earth Day@MIT falls under this category. LEF favors an event held jointly by multiple groups. To apply, you need to submit both an application and a proxy form. The funding deadline for LEF is different from that for GSC, and make sure you know the correct deadline. The application procedure is described here.


Funding for Individuals for Conferences and Project Trips

by Elke Hodson


Public Service Center grants

For personal trips to conferences the PSC will give up to $500 per person. For project trips for example through D-lab, I'm guessing the amount is about the same. Below is an example of a letter Muyiwa Oni wrote. He received the full $500 from the PSC for a student conference in Switzerland about sustainble development. Most grant applications should be emailed to Sally Susnowitz who heads the PSC.

sample PSC grant application

Sample budget


Funding from the MIT Deans

I personally have fundraised for students twice in the past. Both times were for conferences, but the same pot of money is open for travel for any student project. Asking for $1500 or for one office to pay for one student's travels is not unreasonable. What I did is write formal letters preferably on thicker paper using the electronic version of the MIT letterhead. You'll have to search for it under the MIT homepage or modify the letter included below. I wrote to all the Deans, the Chancellor, Provost, and President Hockfield. Each letter was addressed individually and hand delivered in envelopes to the administrative assistants in the offices listed below. You should double check that the same people are still the deans, etc. before writing.

sample funding letter


Dr. Phillip Clay, Chancellor 10-200

L. Rafael Reif, Office of the Provost 3-208

Dr. Susan Hockfield, President 3-208

Dr. Larry Benedict, Dean for Student Life 4-110

Daniel E. Hastings, Dean for Undergraduate Education 4-110

Dr. Isaac Colbert, Dean for Graduate Students 3-132


The Provost and President's letters were forwarded to:

Tracy Purinton, Assistant Dean for Student Activities, Student Life Programs, W20-549


This is what Tracy wrote me in an email....

You recently submitted a request for funding on behalf of the Students for Global Sustainability (SfGS) to President Hockfield.

The MIT Fund is a fund comprised of contributions made by the President, Provost and Chancellor's Offices. This fund was designed with hopes of supporting a range of events, programs, and activities that will reach a number of students and contribute to campus life as a whole. As the person responsible for managing this fund on behalf of these offices, I believe your request falls within the guidelines of this fund given that your organization is open to all MIT students, and that the participants in the conference will then bring back what they've learned/experienced to the MIT community.


General rules for applying for funding are:

1. Always include a detailed budget of what you will do with the money.

2. Always ask just for what you need. It helps the next time you ask for funds.

3. Be as professional as possible with your requests.

4. When applicable, be sure to send in the required reports after the end of the trip and to thank your sponsors!

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