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: 2015-16 CAST Programs Report (PDF), 2014-15 CAST Programs Report (PDF), 2012-14 CAST Programs Report (PDF) and Visiting Artists.


Fall 2018 Deadlines

  • Initial Inquiry due: Friday, September 28, 2018 
  • Notification and invitation for full proposals: Week of October 15, 2018
  • Full Proposals due: Friday, November 16, 2018
  • Notification of awards: January 2019

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 Faculty Creativity Seed Grant: Full-time instructional staff may apply for grants to subsidize a creative project that will come to fruition 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 descriptions in the first stage for applicants. The form includes 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.

Selection Committee: A multidisciplinary Selection Committee will evaluate the proposals. The fall 2018 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; Marie-Pier Boucher, CAST Postdoctoral Fellow; Ian Condry, Professor of Japanese Culture and Media Studies; Stefan Helmreich (on leave 2018-19), Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology; Henriette Huldisch, Director of Exhibitions and Curator, List Visual Arts Center; Hane Lee, Research Assistant, Opera of the Future, MIT Media Lab; Philippa Mothersill, Research Assistant, Object-Based Media, MIT Media Lab; Brindha Muniappan, Director of Education and Public Programs, MIT Museum; and Jay Scheib, Professor of Theater Arts.

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