Learn. Explore. Act. Prepare.
LEAP Grants provide modest financial support to MIT students and student-led organizations that are engaging in public service and social change projects in the US. LEAP Grants help MIT students and student groups:
- Explore community challenges and opportunities
- Learn about social change
- Build skills in order to address a community issue or advance social change
- Implement or test a public service project
Currently enrolled, full-time MIT students, undergraduate and graduate, from all departments and programs. This includes exchange students who are registered as MIT students for at least a semester (for instance, visiting CME students) and who will be at MIT for at least a month after the funded activity takes place
Recognized MIT student organizations
Individual students may apply for up to $500 in LEAP funding; student organizations may apply for up to $1,500.
We are unable to fund post-docs, staff, faculty, and alumni requests.
What Types of Expenses Are Eligible?
LEAP grants provide modest supplemental financial support for projects with other funding sources. If you need funding for a substantial service project or long-term service commitment, check our Fellowships program, Community Service Work Study, and IDEAS Global Challenge programs. If you need assistance in planning or implementing your project, let us know-- we’re here to help!
Eligible expenses include:
- E.g., supplies for a science education outreach project, printing materials for a community workshop, construction materials for a local design-build project with a community partner.
- Note – we no longer fund prototyping materials.
Training, Workshop, + Conference Expenses
- E.g., registration fees to attend public service- and social change-focused conferences, workshops, and trainings
- E.g., hosting a panel of speakers addressing social justice themes, running workshops on media bias for local teens
- Note - we do not typically make grants to support fundraising events. However, if you are planning a fundraising event, please contact us - we are happy to happy to help you plan and budget for your event.
- E.g., ground transportation expenses for a weekly service commitment; out-of-state travel to enable you to get to summer, IAP, or spring break service placements.
- Note- we cover travel expenses for MIT students only and LEAP Grants may not be used for accommodation expenses.
When Should Grantseekers Apply?
You must submit your application in advance of when you need to use the funds: two weeks in advance for most applications and four weeks in advance for out-of-state travel requests. LEAP Grant requests are due on the following dates at noon:
- Monday, September 25
- Monday, November 27
- Tuesday, January 16
- Monday, February 26
- Monday, April 23
We will not review applications between these deadlines.
Successful applicants will be required to submit a brief (1-2 page) report (photos and other mixed media welcome and encouraged!) on the outcome of their activities within 30 days of completion. We also ask that awardees write a brief and general thank you letter to the individual and foundation donors that make LEAP grants possible.
Read the guidelines below so you know what to prepare, then click the Access Application Site link below to begin your application.
Briefly summarize your request in one paragraph.
- What social issue or problem are you focusing on? What community or organization will you work with?
- What cultural or social issues do you anticipate affecting this project?
- How might you prepare yourself for working in this particular context?
- What are the intended outcomes of the project? How will the community benefit? How will MIT students benefit? How will you measure your success?
- Describe your plan for the activity: preparation, timeline, partners, resources.
- Outline the possible risks and safety considerations for the project. If you are planning a project with relatively high risks, you will need a strong safety plan.
- Are there any safety issues associated with your project or the location where you will be working? What steps will you take to mitigate these hazards?
- Does your project have any safety implications for the community you are serving? How will you address these?
About You and/or Your Group
- Explain what you bring to the project in terms of knowledge, skills, experience, etc.
- Explain what you expect to learn, and how it relates to your academic studies and coursework, research interests, and/or career aspirations.
- If you are a representative of a student organization, explain how you will share what you learn with the group.
- Preference will be given to applications that make a clear link between the learning opportunities and a planned or ongoing service activity.
Individual students may apply for up to $500 in LEAP funding; student organizations may apply for up to $1,500. In most cases, a LEAP Grant only provides partial project funding. For larger requests, preference will be given to applicants who are pursuing multiple funding sources. There are many funding sources on campus (some of them are listed here).
If you receive funding from other sources after applying for or receiving a LEAP grant, we require that you notify us; we reserve the right to make adjustments to our award after consulting with you.
Provide a comprehensive project budget that includes:
- Anticipated expenses and how you calculated them (e.g., item expense times number of items).
- Note which specific expenses you intend to cover with LEAP funding, keeping in mind that eligible expenses include materials; conference, workshop, and training fees; events; and travel (but not accomodations).
- Don’t forget shipping costs and applicable taxes. MIT is tax exempt in many circumstances.
- All other committed and anticipated funding sources.