The Professor Amar G. Bose 
Research Grant Program
Overview

Supporting original research by daring researchers

What accounts for the impact you’ve had on diverse fields? This was the question that Dr. Bose asked his mentor, MIT mathematician Norbert Wiener. Dr. Wiener’s answer: Insatiable curiosity. That simple response became something of a credo to Dr. Bose; as an MIT professor and founder of Bose Corporation, he promoted the relentless pursuit of the impossible in his own research and in that of his students and colleagues for the rest of his life.

Named in his honor, Professor Amar G. Bose Research Grants provide funding over a three-year period to MIT faculty who explore areas that other researchers ignore. Original, risky, controversial, cross-disciplinary: The very reasons why conventional funding sources won’t fund certain research projects are precisely the reasons we will.

Support research
at MIT

 
Criteria

Ideas wanted—the more audacious, the better

In an era of waning and increasingly risk-averse federal funding, we seek research proposals that reflect innovative thinking, an intellectually adventurous spirit, and, of course, immense curiosity. Among our key criteria are:

  • The research must be original, ambitious, and perhaps even “heretical” to the discipline—or disciplines—it encompasses
  • The research could not be funded through traditional means and sources
  • The research should have significant impact on the researcher in terms of pursuing a passion, satisfying a long-simmering suspicion, or providing a critical opportunity to advance the researcher’s academic career

Recipients of Bose Research Grants are recognized for their originality and vision. It is understood that visionary proposals can take the researchers in surprising and unanticipated directions. We want to promote the kind of research that drove Dr. Bose to become one of the world’s foremost innovators; thus we believe in the power of letting great minds loose to confront great challenges.

I asked him (Dr. Bose), what would you like MIT to do with these resources? And he said, ‘whatever you think is best.’”
—Dr. Susan Hockfield, MIT President (2004–12)
 

Amar Bose video
gallery: Project Plato

 
How to Apply

Application Process

  • Bose Research Grants are open to all members of the tenure track and tenured MIT faculty in any discipline across all five schools of the Institute. Proposals from teams of faculty and cross-departmental and cross-school collaborations are encouraged.
  • Interested applicants should submit a short (3-5 pages or less) proposal outlining their vision, ideas, and plan. We are not looking for a traditional research plan with milestones and deliverables. Each application should clearly communicate why the researcher is passionate about the plan, how it differs from their current and previous research efforts, and why it is not likely to be funded from traditional sources.
  • Grants provide up to three years of funding, so as to remove the pressure for short-term results that are traditionally necessary to obtain continuing funding increments. Keep in mind that the proposals will be read by a panel covering a wide range of disciplines, so a clear articulation of the goals of the proposal is more critical than deep technical background material. A brief budget should be submitted, outlining expected expenses. A budget of up to $500K (including overhead) may be submitted—this budget can cover work for a period of up to 3 years.
  • Applications should be submitted to bose-grants@mit.edu by the date specified in the announcement from the Chancellor for Academic Advancement who organizes and chairs the committee that selects grant recipients. Decisions will be announced in early November before the fall gathering of the Bose Research Fellows.
 
 
Responsibility

What do we ask of Bose Research Grant Recipients?

Grant recipients are expected to actively participate in up to 3-4 meetings per year with other grant recipients, both to share ideas and to help improve the process for the future, and to attend a reception as guests of honor.