Faculty teaching and research

MIT’s world-class faculty—which includes seven Nobel laureates, roughly 450 members of one or more of the national academies, and countless winners of national teaching awards—has made a habit of changing the world.

MIT must uphold the tradition of brilliant work produced by our faculty—in the laboratory, in the lecture hall, and in the seminar room. From professorships—intended to recruit and retain accomplished scholars, and in some cases allow mid-career explorations—to support for innovative new ideas and projects: every kind of funding for faculty strengthens the foundations of the Institute, and paves the way for continued innovations that will transform our world.


For MIT faculty members—for professors everywhere—being the incumbent in a named professorship is a singular honor. It tells that scholar that the Institute has enormous respect for the quality of his or her research and teaching. The extra resources that accompany such positions also provide a professional flexibility that is prized by every professorship holder.

We welcome professorship support at all levels, and suggest that you search or browse to find the existing professorship fund that most closely suits your interests.

Endowing a professorship

Some donors choose to establish a new professorship, often building their funds to full endowment over a period of years by combining an outright gift with a pledge.

  • Professorships are a way to reward great teacher-researchers, as well as attract top new talent. They also strengthen the Institute’s financial foundations, adding significantly to an endowment that is modest compared to those of other leading universities.
    Cost to fully endow: $4 million
  • Career Development Professorships are special awards made to more junior faculty members whose research promises to make a fundamental contribution to a field of broad importance to society at large. A career development professorship serves as an expression of faith in a younger teacher-researcher’s promise, as testimony to the respect of his or her peers. Each brings with it a scholarly allowance that offers the incumbent greater flexibility to react quickly to new ideas, and to push for research breakthroughs. Such rapid response to new research often leads to major initiatives, which in turn helps attract significant external resources.
    Cost to fully endow: $2.5 million

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To speak with someone about a special gift to faculty professorships, please contact:

David Woodruff
Associate Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
MIT Resource Development
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