Seeding experimentation with teaching and learning

HILT offers a range of funding opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to help innovative ideas related to teaching, learning, and education innovation make progress. Our primary goal is to foster a community of innovation at Harvard.

We encourage you to join our innovation community, even if you do not have an idea you want to pursue. In fact: most of HILT’s awardees don’t see themselves as entrepreneurs; many say that they simply saw a gap or problem and wanted to find a solution.

We host a range of Innovation Gatherings and hope that you will join us to brainstorm your idea, learn about new ideas emerging, and meet others interested in education innovation across the University.


SPARK GRANTS – for faculty and staff:

Our Spark Grants are for our faculty and staff community to encourage teaching and learning innovations that benefit the Harvard community. The goal of this fund is to nurture a culture of innovation around teaching and learning across Harvard.

Spark Grants summary: 

  • Up to $15K for research or projects to improve teaching and/or learning at Harvard
  • Application opens February 20, 2019
  • Application closes March 20, 2019
  • Ideas must be generalizable
    • i.e. think about how someone at another Harvard school might benefit from learning about your work; how will your idea collectively help us improve teaching and learning at Harvard?

PILOT FUNDS – for students:

Our new Pilot Fund is for all students from all schools who have early-stage ideas to improve education broadly – at Harvard or beyond. The goal of this new fund is to help students gain traction with their ideas and to learn an innovation mindset.

Pilot Fund Summary: 

  • Up to $500 for student teams who are working on early stage education innovation ideas to improve Harvard or any other community
  • Applicants must be on teams of at least 2 people that represent a diversity of skills and backgrounds
  • There are four application rounds each year with the following deadlines:
    • October 19, 2018
    • November 30, 2018
    • February 22, 2019
    • April 19, 2019


  • $10K in prizes to student education innovation teams in a live pitch competition
  • Learn more about HILT’s collaboration with HIVE, the Harvard GSE Innovations and Ventures in Education student group

Have a question about the HILT Grants program? Contact us at: