September/October 2020Vol.XXXIII No. 1

Strong MIT 2020 Campus Research Performance

Maria T. Zuber

Last March, MIT’s research enterprise quickly reduced its on-campus research activity to about 10% of normal capacity as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. By April, plans were underway for a measured approach to bring our lab researchers safely back to campus as conditions and Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidance permitted. Meanwhile, our faculty, researchers, and staff quickly adapted to working from home to do all that they could to keep as much of MIT’s groundbreaking research going as possible. As a result of this tremendous effort from our research community, the MIT campus only saw a 1.5% drop in our research volume in fiscal year 2020. Almost the entire drop was attributed to declines in travel and material and services purchases.

Additionally, through the collaborative effort of our faculty, researchers, and research administrators, MIT submitted 3,359 proposals in FY2020, a 7% increase over the prior year. New awards also increased by 3% over FY2019, putting MIT in a strong funding position for the future. This achievement was accomplished while planning and implementing a campus restart process that included returning non-lab researchers who needed campus access, and developing the hybrid on-campus-remote fall semester. Our MIT community continues to demonstrate amazing resilience and teamwork through the challenges faced this year. Thank you all for what you have done this spring and summer, and for all that we will achieve this upcoming year.