MIT Graduate Fellowships in Design

The MIT Morningside Academy for Design seeks graduate student candidates for the inaugural cohort of Design Fellows. Currently enrolled graduate students are invited to apply for 9 months of fellowship stipend as well as full tuition and health insurance beginning this fall semester. Eligible candidates are current Master’s or PhD candidates in any MIT department or school who will be in residence at MIT during the fellowship period and who are enrolled as of September 2022. Candidates should have a strong interest and a proven track record as designers or in research with a major component of design. While design is viewed in many ways across the MIT community, these fellowships will prioritize students whose education and research emphasize design with a focus on users or community members who will benefit from or interface with their work.

In addition, through a collaboration with the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium, a portion of the Fellowships will be designated for graduate students working at the interface of design and sustainability.

Design Fellows are required to participate in a six-unit academic seminar during both fall and spring semesters while supported by the fellowship. The seminar is intended to enrich and expand the work of each fellow, while building community around design across MIT.

Benefits: Two semesters of tuition (Fall and Spring) as well as 9 months of stipend support and health insurance beginning September 1, 2022. Upon request, Design Fellows could receive additional stipend support through the summer of 2023, and in extraordinary cases, could be renewed for a second year. The nominating faculty member will receive a scholarly allowance to support the graduate Design Fellow, which is intended for materials, fieldwork, conference travel, or other allied support.

Deadline: The deadline for applications is 5 PM on Friday June 3, 2022.

Submission: Nomination packets should be submitted to designfellowships@mit.edu in two parts. Part 1 may be submitted by the student candidate OR by the nominating faculty member. Part 2 must be submitted by the nominating faculty member.


Part 1:  STUDENT CANDIDATE: Submit a three page combined PDF less than 10Mb in size including:

  1. Your one-page curriculum vitae with current degree program.
  2. A two-page statement of interest addressing the questions below. The statement must be written with a multidisciplinary audience in mind, and non-specialists should be able to clearly understand the work and its design aspects. You may include images as part of your two-page statement.
    • What is your area of study at MIT (research questions, methods, impact)? (approximately one page)
    • How does your graduate program include design and what are your long-term aspirations as a designer or design-focused researcher? (approximately one page)

Part 2:  NOMINATION FROM AN MIT FACULTY MEMBER:

Submit a signed letter of nomination detailing the student’s qualifications and capabilities and indicating why you believe that the student should be awarded a Design Fellowship (two pages or less submitted as a PDF to designfellowships@mit.edu).  Note that each MIT faculty member should nominate only one student and it is expected that the nominating faculty member would be the student’s current advisor.

If a student cannot find a faculty member to nominate them, then a letter of nomination from another senior member of the MIT community will be accepted. However, the student should then indicate in Part 1 how they intend to identify a research advisor for their stated project.


Selection Process

Morningside Design Fellows will be selected by a faculty committee representing all five MIT Schools and the College of Computing. Award decisions will be announced in late July 2022. 

Criteria for selection will include creativity and breadth of experience; clarity of research goals; overall academic quality; diversity of perspectives on design; and the potential impact of the fellowship on the student.

In the inaugural year, we expect to award approximately 10 fellowships across MIT.


Information Session

We will host an information session on Monday, May 23 at 4 PM online: https://mit.zoom.us/j/95912348151.

Questions? Contact designfellowships@mit.edu  

By Alexis Boyer
Alexis Boyer Assistant Director of Graduate Student Career Services