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Submit an IDEAS entry
Ready to submit an IDEAS entry? Great! Here is some information about the process that will help you prepare an initial proposal.

Applying at a glance:

> Initial proposals can be submitted on October 18th and then on the 15th of each
month from November to March

> Development grants and mentor requests can be submitted with initial

> Final proposals are due April 15th, 2010

> Teams are required to present their projects at a Poster and Judging Session in
late April 2010* and at the Awards Ceremony in early May 2010*

> Winning teams attend the Winner’s Retreat at the end of May 2010*

Initial Proposal
Initial proposals, including development grant and mentor requests, can be submitted on the 15th of each month from October** through March.

The IDEAS staff will review all proposals and meet with the teams within two weeks of submission to provide constructive feedback through a proposal review session. At the proposal review session, teams will receive written and verbal feedback on their proposals, a decision regarding their development grant requests and advice on accessing resources.

Teams may resubmit updated initial proposals each month as their projects develop. Teams that submit their first initial proposals early in the year have substantially more project development time and opportunities for IDEAS support than those that wait to submit for the final March 15 initial proposal deadline.

What to submit:
The initial proposal should be a brief project summary that includes the following information:

  • Team name
  • List of team members, with the following information:
    • Designated team leader/primary contact
    • Email information for each member
    • Brief biography of each member that notes experience relevant to the project
  • Project summary (200-250 words)
  • Project description (approx. 1000 words) that addresses the following:
    • Problem or challenge being addressed
    • Community to be served
    • Explanation of the innovative aspects of your project
    • Brief implementation plan
  • Development grant request (optional) (Check out the guidelines for submitting development grant requests here.)
  • Mentor request (optional)

IDEAS entries are judged on their innovation, feasibility and community impact, and initial proposals should be clear on how the chosen project matches these criteria.

Requirements for submission:

  • 1/3 of each team must be comprised of full-time MIT students
  • MIT students must have made a significant contribution to the innovation
  • Teams must collaborate with a community partner
  • All teams must submit at least one initial proposal to be eligible to submit a final proposal

How to submit:
Proposals can be sent as a .doc or .pdf document by email to ideas-submit@mit.edu. Teams are encouraged to contact the IDEAS staff (ideas-admin@mit.edu) at any time to get advice about their project and the application process.

Final Proposal
The deadline to submit a final proposal for the 2010 IDEAS Competition is midnight April 15, 2010. Please note that all teams must submit at least one initial proposal to be eligible to submit a final proposal.

The final proposal is comprised of a detailed project description, team biographies and budget. Entries will be judged on project innovation, feasibility and community impact. Teams are required to present their projects and any supporting materials (prototypes, videos, etc.) at a Poster and Judging Session in late April 2010 and at the Awards Ceremony in early May 2010. In addition, winning teams must also attend the Winner’s Retreat in late May 2010.

For more detailed final proposal instructions, please download our Final Application guidelines [pdf]. Please email ideas-admin@mit.edu with any questions or comments about this application.

Good luck, and we look forward to seeing your ideas!

* Please check back for exact dates and locations!
** The first initial proposal deadline is October 18th, 2009