Overview

The MIT-Google Program for Computing Innovation is entering its second year, targeting collaborative research in four strategic areas. The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing is requesting proposals for this program that will fund research projects in areas: Computing for Sciences and the Planet, Responsible Computing, Computer-Aided Creativity, and Efficient Computing. See FAQs for details on commonly asked questions.

Find a copy of the call for proposals here.

Timeline

Submission, workshop, and notification dates are as follows:

  • January 25: Presentation at MIT Workshop for 2024 Call for Proposals
  • March 15: Proposal submission deadline
  • April 19: Project selections
  • May 1-31: Funding disbursement
  • June 1: Project start date

Information for new projects

PIs who are interested in applying for research funding are encouraged to present at the upcoming workshop held on January 25. Potential Google collaborators/sponsors will be in attendance.

  • 5-min presentation in one of the strategic areas with project objectives, potential impact, and brief plan.
  • Intro of intended main PI, any co-PIs, any Google Sponsor (or need for Sponsor)

The Principal Investigator (PI) cannot be employed at Google in any capacity.

All projects will be funded via unrestricted gift. Fund fees apply.

  • Each project has the potential to receive funding of up to $130,000 with the possibility of renewal (we expect most awards to fund 1 student for 12 months). 
  • Project is expected to start June 1, 2024.

  • Scientific merit of the research
  • Innovation of the research
  • Impact and societal relevance
  • Feasibility of the research
  • Relevance to Google, either through collaboration with Google researchers (strongly encouraged) or relevance to Google more broadly

RAS: Proposals do not need to be approved by RAS before submission. 
Format: Proposals should be uploaded in one file (file types: Google Doc or PDF) no more than 10MB, 3-page max including budget information and references. Include Names & Emails of PIs and any Google Sponsors, DLC of the PIs, and Research Area that aligns with the project.

  • Project description that aligns with evaluation criteria for a new project, and budget.

Information for renewals

PIs who are interested in applying for research funding are encouraged to present at the upcoming workshop held on January 25. Potential Google collaborators/sponsors will be in attendance.

  • 5-min presentation on project description and future plans and objectives (with brief key achievements as background).
  • Intro of main PI, co-PIs, Google Sponsor.

  • The Principal Investigator (PI) must have obtained funding through our prior call for proposals (Spring 2023).
  • The project should already be in progress, with expenditures incurred.

All projects will be funded via unrestricted gift. Fund fees apply.

  • Project funding will be renewed at the same amount as the initial grant.
  • Utilization of new funding is anticipated to start June 1, 2024.

The new research proposed under a renewal will be evaluated under similar criteria as new projects. Renewals will also be evaluated on key achievements of the existing award.

RAS: Proposals do not need to be approved by RAS before submission.
Format: Proposals should be uploaded in one file (file types: Google Doc or PDF) no more than 10MB, 3-page max including budget information and references. Include Names & Emails of PIs and any Google Sponsors, DLC of the PIs, and Research Area that aligns with the project.

  • Project description that aligns with evaluation criteria for a renewal.

FAQs

A renewal allows you to continue and support additional research activities under the same project and long-term objectives as the Google grant you currently hold and were awarded in the previous Call for Proposals (Spring 2023). A minor realignment of the project can take place if a clear justification is provided, but all this must be aligned with the long-term objectives of your first application.

Your grant is renewable under some conditions:

  • The project should already be in progress, with expenditures incurred. We acknowledge that substantial progress may not be anticipated in these initial stages.

Renewal applications will compete with all new projects.

A new project is:

  • A first application to this grant.
  • An application to start research under new long-term objectives that differs from an already funded project from the previous Call for Proposals (Spring 2023).
  • A resubmission of an unsuccessful application from our prior Call for Proposals (Spring 2023).

No: If you are affiliated with Google as a Visiting Researcher or employed at Google in any capacity, you are not eligible for this call for proposals. (An exception for Visiting Researchers is to demonstrate that your project proposal is different from what you do at Google). You could act as a sponsor. In that case, we recommend reaching out to a MIT PI that would be interested in applying to this funding opportunity.

Yes, but each main PI is entitled to receive only one grant for a new project. If you also submitted a renewal request, both your renewal and a new project could be funded.

Yes, there is more flexibility if you want to act as a co-PI on multiple projects. Keep in mind that the review committee will value diversity of co-PI as well to ensure an equitable distribution of the funds.

The review committee will meet for final project selection in April 2024. If an agreement is reached, the selected projects will be announced by May 2024. 

We recommend declining to review proposals where PIs or proposal collaborators are a family member, or you will benefit from funding. Do you have any relationship with the PI or collaborators, or were you involved with the proposal in any way? If so, you should decline reviewing. If a committee member acts as a Primary or Co-PI in a proposal, they will withdraw when their proposal is evaluated.

Selected projects will be funded for 1-year starting on June 1, 2024 with the possibility for renewal. Budget should not exceed $130,000 USD (we expect most awards to fund 1 student for 12 months). Fund fees apply.

Google provides funds to MIT’s PI with no return expectations to Google and no obligation that the university use it in any way. There can be no IP issues and no direct benefit back to Google. Google does typically designate a use in a gift letter (e.g., a faculty project) and this model is known as “Unrestricted-Designated”.  Whether the university uses the money as designated is not enforceable by Google. Project is aimed to advance fundamental research with an aim to publish at top-tier avenues and/or release public artifacts with no strict timelines or delivery conditions.

No, not for awarded projects in 2024. Funding for this year’s projects have already been disbursed as unrestricted gift funding.

Sponsors serve as the liaison between PIs and Google. In summary, their responsibilities can include:

  • Provide input to the PI on proposal (project) content.
  • Act as point of contact for PI for questions related to Google or the project.
  • Receive and share with Google colleagues copies of papers produced by the research.
  • Invite the PI (and student) to visit Google to give a talk on research results (motivated by Sponsor).
  • Support faculty referrals for affiliated grad students interested in internships or full-time positions.

Google researchers can act as a sponsor on your proposal. A workshop participant list will be shared that will include Google researchers who participated as well as MIT faculty.

Yes, and it’s encouraged to do so.

It is highly recommended to have a Google Sponsor for your project. If your project is awarded funding, we will connect you with a Google Sponsor.

Google Sponsors are encouraged to:

  • Connect via phone call or vc chat with the PI regularly. Introductions should be made if there is no prior relationship.
  • Share expectations of the relationship (excluding deliverables, results, or reports). Sponsors mainly support the PI by providing feedback on the project and encourage the PI to share their learnings. 
  • Check in regularly to discuss progress and to provide any guidance.
  • Toward project end or year mark, plan to have a discussion on research results that may include: Learnings from both PI and Sponsor; Publications that resulted from the work; Open source artifacts or datasets that were released.
  • Finally, if the Sponsor determines the PI is a promising Google collaborator, they can express interest in future funding opportunities including providing a statement of support for continued project funding.

Yes, Google researchers can sponsor multiple projects.

Your grant will be renewed to the same amount.

Yes, if you were granted funding in our prior Call for Proposals (Spring 2023), you can apply for a renewal and also submit one or multiple applications for a new project. Only one of the new projects submitted as the main PI could be selected.

Yes, you can improve it and resubmit it as a new project.



If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Helena Martins (martins1@mit.edu) or access the call for proposals here.