CAST Grants

Apply for Funding from CAST

The Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) was established to create new opportunities for art, science and technology to thrive as interrelated, mutually informing modes of exploration, knowledge, and discovery at MIT.

The Center also supports projects that may be difficult to fund through traditional sources or are exploratory in nature but may lead to creative works, significant research or interesting collaborations in the future.

MIT faculty and directors of centers and labs are encouraged to submit a proposal for evaluation in the biannual review cycle.

Explore previously funded projects here: 2016-18 CAST Programs Report (PDF) 2015-16 CAST Programs Report (PDF), 2014-15 CAST Programs Report (PDF), 2012-14 CAST Programs Report (PDF) and Visiting Artists.

NEW April 3, 2020: To support MIT’s move to remote teaching as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) is launching a lightning round of micro-grants to support Visiting Artists in the Virtual Classroom. Each grant provides a $250 honorarium per visit for instructors to invite artists to participate as guest speakers in Zoom classes. You may apply for more than one honorarium/class visit, but no more than two. To apply, fill out this online form.

This initiative is separate from our spring 2020 grant cycle. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning immediately. Recipients will be asked to submit a brief report to CAST at the end of the term. If you have any questions, please email

Spring 2020 Deadlines

  • Initial Inquiry due: Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Notification and invitation for full proposals: Week of March 16, 2020
  • Full Proposals due: Friday, April 10, 2020

Funding Categories

CAST offers several categories of funding for MIT faculty and principal or senior research staff from all departments, labs, and centers.  A call for proposals is circulated each semester, for projects beginning one year later.  The following types of grants are evaluated by the CAST Selection Committee:

  • Cross Disciplinary Class Development Fund:  Full-time faculty and full-time lecturers may apply for funds to develop new classes that integrate the arts into the core curriculum and engage students from across the Institute in producing new artistic work.  Preference will be given to classes that are intended to become a regular part of the curriculum. Grants range from $30,000 to $50,000, including honoraria for visiting artists and lecturers and project materials for students.
  • Mellon Faculty Grant: Full-time faculty may apply to develop research or creative projects with significant impact on campus or beyond. Two CAST Mellon Faculty Fellows are appointed each academic year and receive grants of $30,000.
  • Fay Chandler Creativity Grant: Full-time instructional staff (faculty and full-time lecturers) may apply for grants to subsidize a creative project that will be presented to the public within a year of the award. Awards are a maximum of $7,500.
  • International Exhibition and Performance Fund: Funds are intended to defray the costs of a performance, exhibition, installation or other creative project that will appear by invitation in a major international venue within two years of application. Awards are a maximum of $25,000. 
  • Visiting Artist Grant: Faculty or program directors may apply for grants for a collaborative project with visiting artists. Visiting Artist projects must include student engagement and a public presentation and may include master classes, participation in the regular curriculum, or research and development of new artistic work. Awards range from $5,000 to a maximum of $30,000.  CAST does not accept self-nominations by artists.  
  • Exploratory Visit: CAST offers small grants (up to $1,000) for exploratory visits for potential Visiting Artists, which can be helpful for establishing the basis for collaborations and full-fledged proposals.

Distinguished Visiting Artists:  In addition, two Distinguished Visiting Artists are appointed by a curatorial advisory committee for one academic year and are renewable once.  The positions are designed for research and development of new work.  The Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist Program is for creators from across the disciplines of art, architecture and design. The Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist Program is for creators from any performing arts discipline.


  • We welcome applications from MIT faculty and directors of centers and labs.
  • Each applicant is limited to one Initial Inquiry per cycle. Grant recipients are eligible to apply for a new grant as long as they have no active CAST grants.
  • A different department, lab or center may nominate a previous CAST Visiting Artist for a new project, once the initial project that was granted funding is complete.
  • We do not accept self-nominations from Visiting Artists. Artists must be sponsored by an MIT department, lab or center.
  • MIT students are not eligible for CAST Grants but are encouraged to speak to faculty members and research directors about ideas for art projects on campus or to contact CAST producers to learn how to participate in existing classes, residencies, workshops or research projects.
  • New grant applications for continuations of previously funded projects will be considered. We recommend that applications to further the work developed during an initial residency emphasize the expansion of proposed residency’s goals based on the successes and discoveries of the previous collaboration. Continuation grants are limited to one follow-up residency after the initial visiting artist residency.


  • There is one call per semester.
  • We recommend a minimum lead time of 2 semesters or 9 months from the Initial Inquiry submission.
  • When unforeseen opportunities arise, off-cycle requests can be submitted and will be considered in relation to available funds and staff. Please email with all questions about off-cycle requests.

How to Apply

  • Initial Inquiry: The Initial Inquiry aims to ensure basic information is provided without requiring extensive proposals in the first stage. The form requests answers to 10 questions and a summary of the proposed project. The summary is limited to 1500 characters, and there is an optional field for additional information.
  • Full Proposal: Individuals or groups invited to submit full proposals will develop the application in consultation with CAST directors and producers.
  • Interview and Project Presentation: All applicants invited to submit a full proposal will be asked to arrange a 20-minute interview with CAST Directors in early April 2020. After the interview, applicants will be asked to submit a short visual presentation summarizing their project proposal, to be shown at the CAST selection committee meeting, along with review of the full proposal.

Selection Committee: A multidisciplinary Selection Committee will evaluate the proposals. The 2019-20 committee members are Allan Adams, Research Scientist, Comparative Media Studies/Writing and Principal Investigator, Future Ocean Lab; Judith Barry, Director and Professor, MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology; Natalie Bell, Curator, List Visual Arts Center; Ian Condry, Professor of Japanese Culture and Media Studies; Greg DeFrancis, Director of Engagement and Cambridge Science Festival, MIT Museum; Timothy Fessenden, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; Adam Haar Horowitz, Research Assistant, Fluid Interfaces, Media Lab; Stefan Helmreich, Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology; Leila W. Kinney, Executive Director of Arts Initiatives and CAST; Will Lockett, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Art, Science & Technology; Ana Miljački, Associate Professor of Architecture; Alexandra Rieger, Research Assistant, Opera of the Future, Media Lab; Jay Scheib, Professor of Theater Arts; and Evan Ziporyn, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music and Faculty Director of CAST.

Questions? Contact

Evan Ziporyn, Faculty Director of CAST and Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music
Leila W. Kinney, Executive Director of Arts Initiatives and CAST
Katherine Higgins, Producer
Susan Wilson, Producer
Lydia Brosnahan, Assistant Producer