Next Generation Program: Skoltech – MIT Joint Projects

Second call for NGP proposals (2017)First call for NGP proposals (2016)

2nd Call for Proposals

Release July 13, 2017

1. General

The “Next Generation Program: Skoltech – MIT Joint Projects” (NGP) represents one of the new formats of Skoltech-MIT collaboration and covers the whole range of academic and institution development activities. NGP seeks to establish and promote a mutually beneficial long-term bilateral collaboration in research, education and innovation between Skoltech faculty members and their MIT counterparts through the research-driven projects, as well as further development of Skoltech work streams within its development programs.

In the 2nd Call for Proposals, Skoltech and MIT expect to award 3 new joint projects for up to 18 months. The annual budget of each project will be up to 12.5 million rubles for the Skoltech portion and $130K (total costs) for the MIT one.

2. Eligibility and Requirements

Successful awards will meet the following eligibility criteria and requirements:

  • The project needs to be initiated jointly by a Skoltech faculty member and an MIT faculty member or principal investigator (co-Project Leaders);
  • The Skoltech co-Project Leader should be employed at Skoltech at not less than 50% time during the full term of the project;
  • The primary review criteria will be the potential of the project to lead to career development of the two co-Project Leaders

Secondary criteria include the following:

  • The project should involve coherent activities with clearly defined and essential contributions from each participating member;
  • The project should provide substantial impact not only in research, but also in innovation and education;
  • The project should emphasize how the funded scope of work will satisfy Key Performance Indicators of Skoltech and target essential Skoltech knowledge, personnel, students, infrastructure and capacity development;
  • The project should be cost-efficient, with deliverables matching the amount of funding requested;
  • The project should leverage Skoltech expertise and resources, but should not duplicate work already supported by other funds.
  • A project that supports cost sharing and secures additional matching funds (on the Skoltech side but not on the MIT side) is preferred.
  • Each co-project leader may be involved with only one application within the 2nd NGP Call for Proposals and may not be a recipient in the 1st NGP Call for Proposals.

 3. Application and Review Process 

The 2nd NGP Call for Proposals consists of a two-stage peer review process.

a. White Paper Submission

A completed White Paper (template available at this link) should be submitted jointly by Skoltech and MIT co-PLs by August 12, 2017 by e-mail to 

White Papers will be pre-screened for completeness.  The NGP Steering Committee appointed by the Skoltech Associate Provost and Dean of Research and by the MIT Associate Provost for International Programs, will perform a preliminary evaluation of the White Papers.  The NGP Steering Committee will consist of three members each appointed by Skoltech and by MIT.

Announcement of the selected White Paper proposals and feedback will be provided by August 15, 2017.

b. Full Proposal Submission

Selected teams of co-PLs will be invited to submit a Full Proposal (a template form will be provided by August 15, 2017) by e-mail to . The Full Proposal submission deadline is September 15, 2017.

The Steering Committee will evaluate the Full Proposals with the additional involvement of a panel of internal and external experts and select the awardees.

Announcement of the selected Full Proposals will be made by October 1, 2017.

Funding will be released to the team of co-PLs upon negotiation of budgetary components and the formal signing of the Project Agreement.

c. General Evaluation Criteria

The following Evaluation Criteria will be applied for selection of the proposals:

  • Overall assessment of the project:
  • Excellence and novelty of the proposed activity (activities); o Qualification of the team involved;
  • Expected impact; o Complementarity and coherence of the planned contributions by co-Project Leaders; o Impact of expected deliverables.

Assessment of contribution of the project to Skoltech capacity development in the three main areas:

  1. Research (including visibility by research excellence, knowledge exchange, new expertise created; research personnel growth and development; research infrastructure development; partnership network created);
  2. Innovation (including new research directions/ideas with the consideration of practical use, new methods, products, processes, design with potential practical application, intellectual property perspectives);
  3. Education (including curriculum development, course development, other curriculum activity; MSc and PhD students research; other education-related activities). 

4. Budget Guidelines

The overall project budget will be distributed among co-PLs based on specified co-PL’s expenditures. Skoltech part should be budgeted in Rubles, MIT part should be budgeted in USD.

At Skoltech funds should be spent within a respective calendar year with no carry-over allowed. At MIT funds should be spent according to the respective MIT policy.

The following expenditures are permitted under the NGP program at Skoltech [at MIT]:

  • Project Personnel costs (salaries and benefits for research and technical staff, including employees and new hires); Skoltech faculty salaries and Skoltech student stipends will not be charged to the project budget. [For MIT, standard salaries, stipends, tuition, summary salary, and benefits are permitted];
  • Bench fees for Skoltech MSc and PhD students (costs associated with support of research activities of the students, including travel support);
  • Business trips [for MIT, travel is permited];
  • Materials, supplies and services [for MIT, materials, supplies and services are permitted];
  • Subcontractors (no more than 20% of the total budget);
  • Equipment (no more than 10% of the total budget) [for MIT, equipment is permitted but discouraged];
  • [for MIT, Indirect costs, F&A and allocation expenses are permitted].

5. Reporting and Project Extension

A final joint project report should be submitted at the end of the project term.

6. Additional Information        

a. Conflict of Interest

Co-PLs and other project participants should avoid potential Conflict of Interest. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the White Paper submission stage. Such a disclosure does not make the proposal ineligible and will be reviewed according to Skoltech Policy on Conflict of Interest.

b. Confidentiality

Skoltech assures confidentiality of all proposals’ material and will require all experts and reviewers to respect the confidentiality of proposals.

c. Intellectual Property Rights

Ownership rights on deliverables of implemented projects including results of intellectual activity will be handled according to the negotiated Agreement, which will not be inconsistent with the Skoltech Policy on Intellectual Property or the respective MIT policy.

7.      Timeline

Submission of White Paper (WP):             August 12, 2017
Announcement of selected WP:                August 15, 2017
Submission of the Full Proposal (FP):    September 15, 2017
Announcement of selected FP:                 October 1, 2017 (TBC)
Signing of the Project Assignment:         October 15, 2017 (TBC)
Fund release for co-PLs:                               October 31, 2017 (TBC)

8.     Submission and Contacts
White Papers and Full Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to  by a Skoltech co-PL by the respective deadlines.

For NGP inquiries please contact Ms. Karina Khapchaeva, Head of Research Initiative Office, at  and/or Ms. Deliana Ernst, Assistant Director, MIT Skoltech Program at .

Announcement, June 9, 2016

Skoltech is happy to announce the results of the first call for proposals within Next Generation Program: Skoltech – MIT Joint Projects.

The “Next Generation Program: Skoltech – MIT Joint Projects” (NGP) represents one of the new formats of Skoltech-MIT collaboration and covers the whole range of academic and institution development activities. NGP seeks to establish and promote a mutually beneficial long-term bilateral collaboration in research, education and innovation between Skoltech faculty members and their MIT counterparts through the research-driven projects, as well as further development of Skoltech work streams within its development programs.

During the 2015 Call for Proposals a total of 29 White Papers were submitted resulting in 25 Full Proposals.

A panel of external reviewers consisting of nearly 80 experts, including a diverse mix of international reviewers from USA, and Europe, and others from Israel, Australia, and Singapore carefully evaluated the pool of 23 full proposals for research-driven projects according to NGP evaluation criteria. In addition, the Steering Committee considered these peer reviews and also evaluated all of the proposals with regard to internal selection criteria and implemented an US National Science Foundation -style selection procedure – two internal reviewers presented each proposal and the Committee assessed them in a series of meetings.

The feedback from peer review was communicated to Project Leaders confidentially.

The list of 15 proposals recommended for support and endorsed by Skoltech President

We congratulate the project leaders of selected proposals. For those who were not selected we encourage them to resubmit their revised proposals for the anticipated 2017 call for proposals within NGP.

Skoltech has never had an internal competition of this scale and diversity. It clearly showed mutual interest and eagerness for collaboration in Skoltech and MIT faculty communities and sent a clear message on Skoltech research strengths, priorities and openness to our peers all over the world.

Skoltech thanks all participants and organizers of the first NGP Call for Proposals.