Proposal Format and Submission Requirements

All submitted proposals must follow the format and submission requirements set forth below.  Applications that fail to meet award criteria will not be considered for this Fellowship.  

You are strongly encouraged to avail yourself of Institute writing resources, such as the Writing and Communication Center. We also encourage you to consult UROP staff about your project ideas and potential proposals prior to formal submission. Contact us at or stop by 7-104, if you would like to discuss your project or have questions about applying.

2019 Proposals are due no later than 5 PM on Friday, April 5, 2019. 

Proposal Format and Contents

  • The cover page should give the applicant's name, MIT address, class year, major, and a project title. All pages should be numbered in the upper right hand corner of every page that follows the cover.  
  • Each submission should include a brief abstract (limited to 150 words) that presents a clear and persuasive project overview, concise project description, and an explanation of project goals/impact.
  • Proposals (ideally no more than 2000 words in length) must be clearly, concisely, and persuasively written.  This means that your submission should be carefully constructed, free of typos and spelling, grammatical, or other editing errors.  
  • Proposals must include strong thesis statements and present unambiguous, compelling supporting evidence that the research plan is original, feasible, and has a chance of success.
  • Project aims or goals should be clearly stated and background provided (about the author and/or about the idea) so that the plan can be understood in the appropriate context.
  • A realistic estimate of project expenses, including materials, lab fees, services, travel costs, etc. should be appended in the form of a budget. 
  • Additional appendices are acceptable, provided relevant and helpful in further understanding your project (e.g. charts, graphs, survey questions, writing, art or music samples, etc.). 
  • Supporting evidence such as recommendations, letters of permission, qualifications, budgets, or other materials that help explain or support your proposal, if placed in appendices, do not apply to the proposal word limit.

Submission Requirements

  • Your compelling, original research proposal, as described above.
  • At least one letter of recommendation from an MIT faculty member, who has reviewed your proposal, discussed it with you, and is familiar enough with your project to comment specifically on your proposed work is required.  Additional recommendations are also welcome. A thoughtful recommendation that speaks knowledgeably about the specific proposal and student researcher can be a determining factor in whether a proposal is funded or not.
  • Recommendations are due by the proposal deadline and you must provide any faculty member issuing a recommendation on your behalf with the recommendation checklist provided in the Application Checklists section of this site. 
  • An MIT faculty member need not supervise fellowship work. However, in some situations, faculty supervision or consultation may be advisable or even necessary to a project's successful outcome. If such faculty supervision or consultation is critical to your project, evidence that you have secured such support should be included in your submission (e.g. an email from the faculty member in question sent to and referencing your project)
  • If your project is to take place at a distant site (possibly outside the U.S.), your proposal, appendices, or letters of recommendation, should make clear that the necessary facilities, people, and/or materials will be available to you and that any requisite permissions have been obtained. If a language other than English is required, please give some evidence of your competence.