Funding for Research Delayed by COVID-19

Since MIT shut down due to Covid-19, many students have experienced immense disruption to their academic and research progress. MIT COVID Relief and the GSC sent out the following message to share relevant information with anyone who may be worried about getting funding to complete their PhD or wanting to have a voice on issues affecting grad students and our research in the pandemic.

Note: Where it relates to Institute policy and procedures, the language in this message was verified by the Provost’s Office.



For doctoral students with fixed-length funding package

If you feel that your dissertation research progress has been adversely impacted by COVID-19, and you believe you will need financial support for time beyond your program’s funding package, MIT is committed to ensuring you are funded for the COVID-related delay. If you are a late-stage PhD student who is a) at or near the end of their funding package AND b) experiencing pandemic-related completion delays, follow the steps below to access a pandemic-related funding extension.

  1. Contact your  program administrator, AND/OR the Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC) at covid-extensions@mit.edu Let them know that you are in need of a Covid-related extension. Please note that OVC will ask you if you have first made contact with your program administrator. This will not be a means-tested process.  
  2. CC mitcovidrelief@gmail.com (MIT Covid Relief group) if you want to let student advocates know about your request. Use BCC if you feel more comfortable without our presence on the email chain.
  3. Get guarantees in writing.
  4. If these strategies are not right for your situation, please reach out to mitcovidrelief@gmail.com, so we can help discuss an alternative approach.
  5. Finally, fill out this form to tell us about your experiences with COVID-related delays.

For doctoral students who have lost access to research funding due to COVID-19

Even if you are not in a fixed-term funding program, if your funding is in danger due to the conditions brought about by COVID-19 – i.e., a corporate sponsor pulled out – you should follow the steps in the section above to secure funding.

The student advocates at MIT COVID Relief are happy to support you through the process, and can be reached at mitcovidrelief@gmail.com.

For grad students with other research or research funding concerns

Both the GSC and MIT COVID Relief want to hear from you and advocate for you! Here are the best contact emails:

Additionally, please fill out this form about your experiences with COVID-related delays. It will aid the GSC and MIT COVID Relief in advocating for all grad students.

For grad students who want to get involved advocating for your colleagues

MIT Covid Relief is a student group formed to advocate for equitable pandemic responses, including extensions, responsible TA policies, summer support, and more. If you are interested in joining Covid Relief’s efforts, please contact mitcovidrelief@gmail.com or use this sign-up form.