Racism Research Fund

Deepen our understanding of the complexities of systemic racism, illuminate its deleterious impact on American life and society, and devise methods to mitigate or eliminate its effects.

President Reif’s letter to the MIT Community on July 1, 2020 outlined the steps that MIT will take to address systemic problems regarding racial equity at the Institute. As part of the commitment to confront our history, challenge common assumptions, and incorporate previously marginalized voices, President Reif made an initial $1 million commitment to invest in antiracist research at MIT.  The goal is to seed new research, amplify existing research, create links between related efforts across MIT, and establish connections with researchers at other institutions.

The Charge, Our Next Steps

In March 2022, the Office of the Provost established a $1.2M pool for research to more deeply understand the complexities of systemic racism, its deleterious impact on American life and society, and how to mitigate or eliminate its effects. Dean of the School of Science Nergis Mavalvala and Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Agustin Rayo are co-leading a Selection Committee tasked with generating the criteria for reviewing proposals that will then be selected for funding. 

The Office of the Provost has also provided a $150,000 grant to support the recently launched Initiative on Combatting Systemic Racism, which brings together faculty and researchers from all five MIT schools and the college, as well as partner institutions, with the aim of using big data to develop and harness computational tools that can help effect structural and normative change toward racial equity.

To learn more about applying for funding or to submit a proposal, please go here.  Proposals are due by October 28, 2022 for spring semester funding.  

Committee Members

Fontini Christia
Ford International Professor in the Social Sciences, and Director, MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC)
Malick Ghachem
Associate Professor and Research Affiliate at the Center for International Studies
Karilyn M. Crockett
Assistant Professor of Urban History, Public Policy & Planning and Chief Equity Officer, City of Boston
Nergis Mavalvala
Curtis (1963) and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics
Dean, MIT School of Science
John Dozier
Institute Community & Equity Officer, MIT
Agustín Rayo
Professor of Philosophy and Kenan Sahin; Dean of MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Kuheli Dutt
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, School of Science
Ray Reagans
Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Management, Professor, Work and Organization Studies, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Daniel Hastings
Daniel E. Hastings
Associate Dean of Engineering for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Aero/Astro Department Head