Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

J-WAFS Annual Seed Grant Call for Proposals

J-WAFS awards seed grants of $75,000 per year for one or two years for innovative research that has the potential to have significant impact on issues of water and food supply.  Proposals should be for new, innovative projects that are sufficiently distinct from prior research. All funded projects must be led by a Principal Investigator who has PI privileges at MIT (e.g., professor, senior or principal research scientist, senior or principal research engineer).

The 2019 request for proposals period is now closed. Funding decisions will be announced toward the end of the spring semester of 2019. Please contact Andi Sutton, communications and program manager, at arsutton[at] for more information.


J-WAFS Solutions

J-WAFS Solutions program logo

The J-WAFS Solutions program aims to help MIT faculty and students commercialize breakthrough technologies and inventions by transforming promising ideas at MIT into innovative products and cutting-edge spinout companies. J-WAFS Solutions has the mission of moving water and food technologies from labs at MIT into the commercial world, where they will improve the productivity, accessibility, and sustainability of the world's water and food systems. The J-WAFS Solutions program is funded through a research partnership with Community Jameel, a social enterprise organization with ties to Abdul Latif Jameel, and administered in partnership with the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation.

The J-WAFS Solutions program is sponsored by Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, which is represented on the governing committee of the program.

The 2019 call for pre-proposals is now open.  Pre-proposals are due on February 21, 2019, at 5 PM.  Visit the J-WAFS Solutions application website for more information about deadlines and proposal requirements. Funding decisions for 2019 will be announced in the summer.  Please contact Andi Sutton, communications and program manager, at arsutton[at] for more information.


J-WAFS Fellowships for Water Solutions

In 2017, J-WAFS inaugurated two J-WAFS graduate student fellowships: the Rasikbhai L. Meswani Fellowship for Water Solutions and the J-WAFS Graduate Student Fellowship Program. For each fellowship, selected doctoral students will receive one semester of funding.

The Rasikbhai L. Meswani Fellowship for Water Solutions is a doctoral fellowship for students pursuing research related to water and water supply at MIT. Up to two outstanding students will be selected annually to receive fellowship support; the Fellowship currently covers one academic semester. This fellowship was made possible by Elina and Nikhil Meswani and family. Through it we seek to support outstanding MIT students who are pursuing solutions to the pressing global water supply challenges of our time.

The J-WAFS Research Affiliate Program offers companies the opportunity to partner with MIT around food and water research. The program is central to J-WAFS' efforts to engage across sector and disciplinary boundaries in solving real-world problems. A portion of each Research Affiliate’s fees support the J-WAFS Graduate Student Fellowship Program.  One MIT doctoral student pursuing work in water and water supply will be supported for one semester.

Application to the Meswani Fellowship and the J-WAFS Graduate Student Fellowship is by faculty nomination; nominating faculty and students interested in the fellowship should read the J-WAFS Fellowships for Water Solutions call for nominations for instructions and nominating requirements.

Nominations for the 2019-2020 fellowships currently open and will be accepted through April 15th, 2019, at 5 PM.  Individuals interested in applying for future J-WAFS fellowships should contact Andi Sutton, communications and program manager at J-WAFS, at arsutton [at]



J-WAFS Grant for Water and Food Projects in India

The J-WAFS Grant for Water and Food Projects in India is a funding opportunity for current members of the MIT community interested in addressing a water or food challenge in India. Up to $30,000 will be awarded in 2019. The grants are intended to further work being pursued by individuals as part of their MIT research, innovation & entrepreneurship initiatives, coursework, or related activities, or support a relevant new activity.

The grant is for development projects or projects benefiting low-income populations. Examples of relevant challenges may include but are not limited to:

  • Economically appropriate water purification technologies, esp. for rural areas
  • Water distribution and management strategies, esp. for rural areas
  • Other water quality issues, e.g. sanitation, monitoring, etc.
  • Food safety issues
  • Food preservation and waste reduction
  • Water for agriculture, especially smallholder farms
  • Agricultural innovations and improvements

Faculty members, full-time research staff, currently matriculated MIT graduate and undergraduate students, or small teams with at least 50% MIT participation and an eligible individual in the leadership role will be considered for funding. Interested applicants should read the J-WAFS Water and Food Projects in India call for proposals for instructions and application requirements.

The 2019 Call for Proposals is now open.  Applicants may submit proposals until the deadline of March 18th, 2019.  Read more about the 2017 grant winners here. 

To find out about future grant opportunities, contact Andi Sutton, J-WAFS communications and program manager (arsutton [at] 

View the 2019 CFP guidelines


J-WAFS Travel Grants for Water Conferences

J-WAFS offers travel grants for MIT graduate students to attend select international water conferences. This year, the grant is available to applicants interested in attending Stockholm World Water Week (August 25-30, 2019) in particular. Nearly 400 organizations from 130 countries meet at this event, organized to discuss global water issues. The 2019 theme is “Water for society – Including all.” The selected students will benefit from opportunities to interact with leaders from Xylem, Inc., a World Water Week sponsor and J-WAFS Research Affiliate. In addition to attending Water Week, selected students will be able to participate in Xylem-sponsored side events.

The 2019 Call for Applications is now open.  Applicants may submit proposals until the deadline of May 15th, 2019.  Read more about the experiences of the 2019 grant winners here. 

View the 2019 application guidelines