The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing is pleased to announce a call for proposals for seed projects that explore how artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction can be leveraged to enhance modern workspaces to achieve better management and higher productivity. Projects are intended to be interdisciplinary and bring together faculty from computing, social sciences and management. Funding has been provided by Andrew W. Houston ’05 and Dropbox, Inc.

Please find a copy for the call for proposals here.


Submission, workshop, and notification dates are as follows

  • April 10: Workshop ideas due
  • April 19: Workshop (11:00 am-3:00 pm in the Star Seminar Room, 32-D463, Stata Center)
  • May 10: Proposals Due
  • May 23: Notification to proposers
  • June 12: Final versions of accepted proposals due
  • September 1: Funding begins


  • You can submit your proposal here

To access the form above, please view the instructions below. If you have any questions, please contact Ruth Park (ruthpark@mit.edu).

  1. Log in via Touchstone authentication.
  2. After logging in, you’ll be redirected to the CALL FOR PROPOSALS homepage. Click on the link in the SUBMISSIONS section.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • New organizations and tasks in an AI-powered world that will lead to good jobs and greater productivity
  • New approaches for improved personal productivity and work satisfaction
  • Collaboration tools and methods for design and development
  • New modes of human-machine collaboration, in which users and AI work in complementary ways
  • New theories of human-machine interaction that incorporate uncertainty, trust and behavioral biases
  • Organizational optimization and process improvement
  • Safety and security in critical work environments such as hospitals and air-traffic control

The focus is knowledge work and human collaboration, and is not restricted to purely software solutions. So a project that used robotics in this domain would likely be in scope, but not a project that used robotics for physical manufacturing.

Proposals are lightweight; documents should be 2-3 pages in length, and RAS approval is not required. The project description should include:

  • Heading: include a project title, names and DLCs (Department, Laboratory, or Center) of PIs
  • Vision: your long-term vision of a research project that will enhance the future of work
  • Plan: an outline of your initial plan, what you hope to achieve by the end of the seed funding period (2023-2024), and how you hope to use the results to engage in a deeper exploration
  • Prior work: a brief overview of prior work, by yourself and others, and how this project will build on it
  • Budget: A brief indication of how you will allocate the funds (no formal budget required)

To help proposers form teams and shape their projects, we will be hosting a workshop on April 19. Participants are requested to send a brief description of an idea or framing in advance (up to half a page in length); these will be used to plan discussion topics and help make connections between participants.

The workshop will take place on Wednesday, April 19, from 11:00 am-3:00 pm in the Star Seminar Room (32-D463) at the Stata Center.

Projects will be funded for one year starting on September 1, 2023. We plan to select half a dozen proposals, with budgets not exceeding $300K. We expect awards to fund 1 or 2 students and some faculty time. All proposals are expected to include faculty from multiple disciplines. The seed funds are meant to kick-start new, exploratory research efforts.

Budgets should be prepared using these fund fee guidelines: MIT’s fund transaction fee is 10% and is generally applied to all direct costs on fund accounts with certain exceptions. The 10% fund transaction fee is applied to graduate student research assistant stipend and tuition, equipment, materials and supplies, travel, and most other operating expenses. Faculty salaries are exempt from MIT sponsored research facilities and administrative (F&A) rate. The FY23 MIT F&A rate of 59.0% is applied to non-academic salaries including postdoctoral research associates. Recipients will be asked to submit a brief report (4-5 pages) summarizing accomplishments at the end of the funding period (September 1, 2024, with the possibility of a no-cost extension) that will be shared in a stewardship report to the donor.

To ask questions or for more information, please contact Eileen Ng (eng@mit.edu) or access the call for proposals here.