The Professor Amar G. Bose Research Grant Program supports audacious research projects dreamed up by MIT faculty members who take “it can’t be done” as an invitation. We enable and empower the insatiable curiosity that drives innovation.

Recently completed projects

Biology the Chemist

Making Sense From Nature

I’m an engineer by training, so this research brings together different parts of my knowledge and skill set, and inspires me to explore new directions. I believe that the answers I seek may already be out there, waiting for me to discover.”

Mary Gehrin

Seeds of Survival

Adopting orphan crops to adapt to climate change

Dr. Norman Borlaug, who won a Nobel Prize in 1970 for his work in addressing world food insecurity, inspired me to go to graduate school, and now is the time for me to apply my skills to help avert the next food crisis.”

A Heavy Metal Trojan Horse

Tricking pathogenic bacteria into eating poison

love using chemistry to address biological problems. This project gives us the chance to create new molecules that haven’t been made before and see what they can do.”

Quantum Leap

Developing faster processers using electronic fluids and quantum materials

To a theorist, this is all particularly appealing, as it provides a unique perspective on the developments in my field by connecting it to other fields and, of course, because of a possibly far-reaching outcome this collaboration can lead to.”

Controlling Infections

Using Nature’s Strategies

Mucus is an unsung hero and cornerstone of our health—if we can make even a small change to its image, we’ll have accomplished something special.”

Algorithmic Democracy

Geometry, computation, and gerrymandering

Voting is the foundation of our democracy. We want to help create a stronger system that voters can believe in.”

Light-emitting Plants

Transforming living plants into autonomous light sources

Our work is a repositioning and a new prioritization of the plant world and a real epiphany that we need new forms of coexistence and partnerships between plants and people.”

The Future of Flight

Achieving liftoff through electroaerodynamic propulsion

The fundamental design of aircraft hasn’t changed in over 100 years. This is an exciting investigation into whether the future of flight could look fundamentally different.”

The Time Is Ripe

Ubiquitous radio frequency barcode sensors for food packaging

The grand challenge is making this process so cost-effective that the cost of making a sensor and putting it on lettuce or other product would be essentially zero.”

Bringing the Heat

Transferring thermal energy across long distances

I came up with the idea on a cold night. I was thinking about how much heat is wasted through conventional systems, and began brainstorming ways to develop architectures that could transfer and release heat more efficiently.”

Biology the Chemist
Kristala L. J. Prather
Seeds of Survival
Mary Gehring
A Heavy Metal Trojan Horse
Elizabeth N. Nolan
Quantum Leap
Dirk Englund, Nuno Loureiro, Leonid Levitov
Controlling Infections
Laura Kiessling, Katharina Ribbeck
Algorithmic Democracy
Justin Solomon
Light-emitting Plants
Michael S. Strano, Sheila Kennedy
The Future of Flight
Steven Barrett
The Time Is Ripe
John Hart, Dina Katabi, Tim Swager
Bringing the Heat
Evelyn Wang

Recently awarded projects

“Drawing inspiration from the human eardrum, we designed a fiber that can convert traditional textiles into fabric microphones that can detect nanometer-scale displacements generated by audible acoustic waves.”

Sounds of Life

Acoustic fabrics for continuous fetal monitoring
MIT building

“The Earth is a giant hydrogen factory, with the potential to produce enough clean hydrogen to last for 250,000 years.”

Beneath the Surface

Tapping into abundant and green natural hydrogen
Building With Basalt for Zero-Waste Construction

“If we want to build more sustainably, we need to change our material palette and construction processes. We need to build with nature, not against it.”

Material Fitness

Building With Basalt for Zero-Waste Construction
Shark image

“Sharks are the quintessential oceanographers: 200 million years older than dinosaurs and engineered to sample the ocean in search of food since the Late Ordovician Period.”

Breathless

Using sharks to measure oxygen levels in the ocean
Sounds of Life
Yoel Fink
Beneath the Surface
Iwnetim I. Abate
Material Fitness
Skylar Tibbits
Breathless
Andrew Babbin

A
Lifelong
Passion

For Dr. Bose, tackling research that broke the mold wasn’t a hobby—it was a way of life.