MIT and University of Bergen launch Global Seed Fund for humanities and social sciences research

MIT and University of Bergen launch Global Seed Fund for humanities and social sciences research

With a maximum award of $30,000, the fund will spark fresh research avenues and bolster existing projects.

September 11, 2023 | Center for International Studies
Headshot of Kathleen Thelen
September 11, 2023
Center for International Studies

The MIT Center for International Studies (CIS) and the University of Bergen's Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences are proud to announce the launch of a new Global Seed Fund supporting international academic collaboration. This initiative aims to strengthen ties between the two prestigious institutions, fostering innovative research in the fields of humanities and social sciences.

“We are pleased to announce the establishment of this fund, specifically aimed at supporting new research endeavors or the next stages of existing projects,” said Kathleen Thelen, professor of political science and faculty director of the MIT Scandinavia program at CIS. "We anticipate that this collaboration will facilitate fruitful exchange of ideas and develop new research pathways, and I look forward to the innovative proposals and research in the humanities and social sciences that will emerge between MIT and the University of Bergen.”

The new fund will provide faculty and research scientists at both institutions the opportunity to jointly apply for seed grants, with the goal of developing new and lasting collaborations. Special priority this year will be given to proposals that align with the areas of communication studies, digital humanities, economics, environmental humanities, history, information science, language and linguistics, philosophy and systems dynamics--with the goal of encouraging innovation and exploration in these key fields.

Rector Margareth Hagen from the University of Bergen stated, "This collaboration with MIT is not just a funding opportunity but a chance for like-minded people to work together to bring about change through research. Our shared commitment to and excellent research communities within the humanities and social sciences will surely lead to groundbreaking insights that resonate not just within our institutions but also in the broader global community. There are existing strategic and important collaborations between UiB and MIT, and my hope is that this will expand to even more fields of research and grow into strong and long-lasting relationships between our institutions."

The collaboration is a continuation of MIT's commitment to leveraging international partnerships for the advancement of knowledge and research. It will promote the use of cross-disciplinary approaches to solve the world’s challenges, and build on MIT’s dedication to the humanities and social sciences.

The Faculty of the Humanities and The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Bergen are both multidisciplinary, research-intensive faculties offering world-class research and a broad scope of study programs. They publish research in world leading journals, with considerable international cooperation The Faculty of Humanities is proud host of two Norwegian Centers of Research Excellence: The Center for Digital Narrative (CDN) and The Centre of Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE) whereas The Faculty of Social Science hosts MediaFutures, a national center for research-based innovation.

The Global Seed Funds program at CIS—by providing necessary financial support—enables essential travel, meetings, and workshops with the brightest minds from MIT and their counterparts around the world to be brought to one place, providing a platform to learn from one another and collaborate without barriers.

The application cycle opens on September 12, 2023, with a deadline of December 12, 2023. Interested faculty and researchers are encouraged to visit the faculty funds website for detailed information on the Global Seed Fund application process.

The Center for International Studies (CIS) produces research that creatively addresses global issues while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens. It is home to many programs, including the Security Studies Program and MISTI, MIT’s flagship international experiential learning program. The CIS Global Seed Funds (GSF) program was created to help MIT faculty foster new connections by supporting early-stage collaborations with researchers at peer institutions around the world. Since 2008, the CIS GSF program has awarded nearly $22 million to more than 1,000 faculty research projects.

The Center for International Studies (CIS) supports interna­tional research and education at MIT. It is the home of MIT’s Security Studies Program; the MIT International Science & Technology Initiative, its pioneering global education program; the Program on Emerging Technologies; and seminars and research on migration, South Asia politics, the Middle East, cybersecurity, nuclear weapons, and East Asia. The Center has traditionally been aligned with the social sciences while also working with MIT’s premier science and engineering scholars. CIS produces research that creatively addresses global issues while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens.