Research proposal submissions: Revised deadlines and guidance

December 1, 2020
Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research |

Dear MIT research community,

President Rafael Reif and Vice President for Human Resources Ramona Allen recently announced that beginning this year, MIT will enjoy an annual extended winter break. Each year, from late December through the beginning of the new year, MIT staff will be granted paid time off.

To ensure that Research Administration Services (RAS) and departmental administrative staff will not be asked to work during the winter break, I will be instructing RAS employees to disconnect from their MIT account at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23, and not reconnect until Monday, January 4, at 8 a.m.

Therefore, I am writing to provide the research community with a friendly reminder to plan ahead for proposal deadlines that fall during this time period. There are a number of known proposal deadlines from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, DARPA, DOD, NASA, NEH, NSF, and the McKnight Foundation.

To ensure that everyone is able to enjoy this well-deserved time off, please take note of the following:

  • Review the revised internal deadlines for sponsor proposals due between December 23 and January 5 and plan your submissions accordingly.
  • No proposal waivers to the five-day rule will be accepted for these revised internal deadlines.
  • Let off-campus collaborators know about this plan, as late input from collaborators at other institutions is one of the most frequent justifications given for waiver requests.
  • For proposals due to sponsors on January 4 or 5, PIs will be given flexibility on the morning of January 4 to submit final changes to the technical portion of the proposal only. However, updates to the technical sections are at the PI’s own risk; RAS will not re-review this text.
  • I urge PIs to submit proposals well in advance of deadlines. Federal grant submission portals have not been fully reliable recently due to the increased number of proposal submissions at all agencies this year.
  • Also, note that the quarterly DACCA salary certification must be completed by close of business on December 23.

This year has been challenging for everyone. And yet through the collaboration of our PIs and administrative staff, MIT has successfully submitted more than 2,583 proposals since the March ramp-down. Your cooperation ensures that our staff has the opportunity to rest, reflect, and recharge over the winter break and demonstrates how much we value their contributions.

Thank you,

Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research