Open Calls for Research Proposals


MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab: Request for Proposals 2020-2021

The MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab is a community of scientists from academia and industry collaborating to produce fundamental breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, and unlock the potential of AI in four key areas: AI Algorithms, Applications of AI, Next Generation AI Hardware and AI for Good.

This Request for Proposal welcomes three types of proposals:

  • Exploratory Projects (1 year; up to $150,000 total cost)
  • Core Projects (up to 3 years; $150,000-$250,000 per year, total cost)
  • Grand Challenge (up to 3 years; $250,000-$500,000 per year, total cost)

In this fourth round of funding, we are including several new focus areas related to applications of AI, and a new type of award, Grand Challenge, for large scale projects with far reaching impact in the science, engineering and/or applications of AI.


  • Proposals are due Monday, June 22, 2020, 5 pm EDT.
  • Decisions will be announced by Mid-August, 2020
  • Funding start dates: September 1, 2020 or January 1, 2021.

Send questions to

Request for Proposals 2020-2021 (PDF)