J-WAFS Water and Food Seed Grant (Annual)

Letters of interest due 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday December 11, 2023

J-WAFS seed grants support innovative MIT research that has the potential to have significant impact on water and food supply challenges for human need. 

J-WAFS welcomes proposals spanning fundamental science, engineering and technology, supply chains, big data, business models, development efforts, economics, climate interactions and impact, urban design and infrastructure, and more.  We invite proposals for projects that can effect meaningful, measurable, improvements to humankind’s need for sustainable supplies of water and food. 

Seed grant proposals should be for new, innovative projects that are sufficiently distinct from prior research. We are looking for early-stage projects that can benefit from one or two years of funding in order to: (1) establish proof of concept or gather critical data that will position the project to qualify for other future sources of funding; or (2) have a clear and significant outcome without subsequent awards. Projects that are intended to have real-world impact are favored. Multidisciplinary projects and projects that have well defined regional or international reach are welcome. New collaborations including team members in different schools of MIT are encouraged, as are proposals from junior faculty. Relevant interactions with industry are also encouraged.

For 2024, J-WAFS anticipates funding up to eight seed grants of up to $150,00, comprising up to $75,000 per year for one to two years, free of overhead charges, to be spent at MIT.  We are open to eligible proposals that further J-WAFS’ mission, from all MIT schools and departments.

The templates for grant proposal documents are available for download from within the proposal submission siteMIT researchers submitting proposals can create an account to access and begin the submission process.

Eligibility: Proposals are sought from MIT principal investigators from all departments, labs, and centers of MIT. The principal investigator submitting the proposal must be an MIT professor or a member of the research staff with principal investigator privileges (generally senior or principal research scientist, or senior or principal engineer). PIs may participate on up to two submissions per year.  Previously as well as currently funded J-WAFS PIs are also eligible. 

*** Note that our seed grant proposal process has changed.  We are now requiring an initial letter of interest.  Full proposals will be welcome by invitation based on review of the LOIs. ***

2024 Timeline:
Mid-October, 2023:  J-WAFS RFP announced
November 3, 2023:  J-WAFS WizeHive online submission portal open for letters of interest
11:59 pm, Monday December 11, 2023:  letters of interest due
By early January, 2024:  Invitations to submit full proposal 
11:59 pm, February 14, 2024:  Full proposals due
Spring, 2024:  Announcement of funded projects
September 1, 2024:  Start of funded projects

Questions? Contact Carolyn Blais at cblais@mit.edu