Adventurous Science Fellows

MIT Media Lab

by Lorrie LeJeune

June 1, 2017

If science as we know it is a collection of disciplines such as chemistry, molecular biology, oceanography, computer science, physics, genetics or neuroscience, to name just a few, new directions in science are created in the spaces between these established disciplines. These interstitial or "white" spaces are the new territories waiting to be explored.

However, very little funding is aimed at or available for interstitial exploration without an anchor in one of the existing, established disciplines. To address this lack, the MIT Media Lab announces the Adventurous Science fellowship. This fellowship will recognize and provide awards of $150,000 per person for up to eight researchers whose thinking and work are potentially game changing but fall in the white space between established disciplines.

These fellowships will also address the lack of support for groundbreaking science that does not fit within traditionally defined disciplines. Fellowship candidates should be unusually creative individuals with an intellectual and moral imperative for excellence and should be at least 18 years of age. They may carry out the fellowship anywhere. Through this project, we aim to further advance the shift in the nature of scientific inquiry, creating space for new avenues of discovery that could bring about beneficial impacts to humanity.

Nominate an Adventurous Science fellow

Frequently asked questions

Nomination and Selection Process: Finalists will be interviewed by members of a diverse selection committee composed of scientists and engineers from both academia and industry. Once selected, we will facilitate matching fellows to an appropriate laboratory in the US or abroad if their work requires a laboratory setting and their current situation is not compatible with the terms of the fellowship.

There are two ways you can participate in this process: by directly nominating a candidate or by enlisting others in the nomination process. You will have the chance to be rewarded for both actions, since both are crucial. These cash prizes are awarded only to the first in the following categories:

  1. Nominating a selected fellow: USD $500.
  2. Using this form to recommend others to nominate selected fellows: USD $250.
  3. Using the link provided at the end of this form to enlist nominators of selected fellows: USD $100.

Please note that individuals may not apply for this fellowship; only nominations will be considered. If you are nominating fellowship candidates, we ask that you not disclose to the candidate(s) that they are being nominated. Candidates, nominators, and those who enlist them are not limited to the United States.