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Education Innovation Grants

Since 2017, the Jameel World Education Lab has awarded more than $5 million in funding for teaching and learning research across numerous MIT fields and spanning the educational life cycle from pK-12 to higher education to workforce learning

The Jameel World Education Lab Grants in Education Innovation application is now open. The deadline is end of day Wednesday, 13 March 2024. A PDF of the application questions is available for your reference.

Questions? Zoom Info Sessions will occur on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 at 2:30pm and Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 9:30am.

Since 2017, the Jameel World Education Lab has awarded more than $5 million in funding to MIT faculty and principal investigators for research and projects to address teaching and learning across the life cycle, from pK-12 to higher education to workforce learning. Over the years, grants have supported educational innovations across a rich variety of MIT fields: mechanical engineering, literature, architecture, computer science and artificial intelligence, aeronautics and astronautics, management, physics, and more.

“Our Education Innovation Grants support MIT research that can improve learning everywhere. We share ideas, disseminate emerging findings, and collaborate with innovators who join us to lead global change in education. Educators in dozens of countries will learn from this year’s inspiring efforts to tackle core challenges in education with innovative new methods and means. Through light-up sneakers, glassblowing, and autonomous vehicles, grantees are enabling learning from curriculum-linked real-world projects, prototyping effective ways to embed evidence-based insights and research into the design of learning experiences, and enabling transitional learners to benefit from high-quality education.”

          - Anjali Sastry, Faculty Director, Jameel World Education Lab

Frequently Asked Questions

Faculty members and Principal Investigators are eligible to apply for J-WEL grants. Others may apply on behalf of a team that includes a Faculty or PI (such applications require a statement from the collaborating Faculty or PI).

Whether they are applicant or team member, the identified lead Faculty or PI should participatesignificantly throughout the project and oversee the work. Grant activities, including design, development, testing, and documentation may also involve students, postdocs, and others.

Employees of MIT Open Learning whose work falls entirely within Open Learning are not eligible forJ-WEL grants. OL staff who are collaborating with researchers or faculty elsewhere at MIT are encouraged to apply through the collaboration anchored elsewhere at MIT.

All applications require an expression of support from the relevant department chair, due by the application deadline.

The application portal will open in February. The J-WEL Grants Advisory Committee will review and select proposals after the March submission deadline. The Committee is anchored by senior MIT faculty along with MIT research and project collaborators. Grants will be selected for funding based on specified criteria and available funding.

J-WEL will announce this year’s grants by the end of April. Funds will be made available by the end of June.

Proposals may request up to $80,000.

View All FAQs →

Recent Grants

In 2023, Education Innovation Grants totaling $917,526 supported 14 research projects exploring a range of topics, including electrical engineering, extended reality, physical movement, and ecological sustainability:


An online platform for explaining, promoting, and facilitating embodied education at MIT and beyond

Jennifer Light
Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science and Technology; professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Light’s work on embodied education aims to close the gap between the growing body of research on movement and the learning process and the pedagogical strategies that educators use. Light seeks to find ways to help schools integrate physical activity and academic instruction at all levels — for example, teaching elementary school geometry through yoga, middle school physics through martial arts, and high school history through dance.

Learn more about Jennifer Light's project in the Grantee Spotlight


Developing an ACT-R and error-based cognitive architecture for the development of virtual reality hands-on training

John Liu
principal investigator, Learning Engineering and Practice Group; lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering; digital learning scientist, MIT Open Learning

Hands-on manufacturing skills are crucial for success in today's technology-driven world, but the rapid advancement of manufacturing technology creates a gap between industry needs and workforce training. Liu proposes that extended reality offers a promising approach due to its scalability and personalized feedback potential, particularly for non-traditional education pathways.


Light up kicks: engaging youth in shoe design using culturally sustainable pedagogy

Cristina Sáenz
invention education manager, Lemelson-MIT Program
Michael Cima
David H. Koch (1962) Professor of Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; faculty director, Lemelson-MIT Program

Lemelson-MIT researchers plan to create an inventive curriculum for elementary students between 9 and 11 years old, centered on building a prototype shoe with lights. The curriculum addresses waning interest in STEM among young learners, focusing on diversity and multiculturalism to engage students from different backgrounds in the innovation process. Ultimately, this curriculum aims to boost diversity in the innovation ecosystem.


Making implicit knowledge explicit: tacit knowledge transfer from expert glassblowing instructors to less-experienced students at the MIT Glass Lab

Andrés Felipe Salazar Gómez
research scientist, MIT Open Learning

Implicit knowledge is know-how that an expert is usually unable to verbalize, codify, or explicitly transfer to others. Salazar-Gomez seeks to understand representations of tacit knowledge using overt and covert attention signatures in a mentor/apprentice setting. This study will use scene point-of-view videos, eye tracking, and detailed instructions from glassblowing experts to naïve learners to create instructional resources that will be offered as novel instructional material.

See More Grant Recipients →