Pilot Funds: For Students

pilot fund pathHILT’s Pilot Fund is designed to help students take early-stage ideas off the page and into the real world. Our goal is to give students resources so that they can develop prototypes and test their theories of change. We believe that thoughtful experimentation is an essential component of building an innovation mindset in education. 

Why apply for Pilot Funds?

  • Real money – get started; test your idea
  • Credibility – build your profile for future opportunities
  • Access – HILT’s Education Innovation Fellows, resources, and network
  • Community – connect with innovators in education across Harvard and beyond
  • Credentialsput “HILT Pilot Fund Awardee” on your resume

Grants timeline: Fall 2018—Summer 2019

Application Deadline

You need to submit your application online by 11:59 PM on:

Fellow meeting deadline 

You need to have met with a HILT Education Innovation Fellow by:

Funding decisions

We will let you know if you get approved for funding by:

Reimbursement materials due

Your team needs to have completed work and submitted receipts by:

Funding round#1 Friday, October 19 Thursday, November 1 Friday, November 2 Friday, December 14
Funding round#2 Friday, November 30 Friday, December 7 Friday, December 14 Friday, March 8
Funding round#3 Friday, February 22 Friday, March 1 Friday, March 8 Friday, May 3
Funding round#4 Friday, April 19 Friday, April 26 Friday, May 3 Friday, August 16

Pilot Fund Application and Guidelines

Grant proposals should address education-related issues broadly for any community or population globally.

Eligibility

HILT Student Pilot Funds are open to all Harvard University full-time and part-time students in degree-granting programs. While this does not disqualify other Harvard affiliates from applying, at least one collaborator must meet this criterion in order to be eligible for funding. Students should feel welcome to reapply to any and all of our four rounds of Pilot Funds. 

Teams must:

  • Include more than one person – use our network to find teammates!
  • Strong priority will be given to cross-functional teams – teams with a range of skills and experiences. We encourage teams to have at least two students across different Harvard schools (i.e. a student from HGSE and HBS) though cross-functionality may be possible to attain and articulate on single-school teams. As in: a team can apply in which all members reside at HGSE if they can articulate how they represent a diverse range of experiences, perspectives, and skills.
  • Be early stage; teams have not received >$7,500 of total funding from all sources

Application

To submit a proposal, please go here to fill out the online application, which will prompt you, as part of the process, to schedule a 30-minute consultation with one of HILT’s Education Innovation Fellows. The Pilot Fund application is purposefully very brief.  If your project changes or something in the application needs to be updated, please resubmit an application. We will review the application submitted most recent.

Need help getting started? 

Ready to apply? 

  1. Use our application preview document to plan out your application
  2. When you’re ready to submit, CLICK HERE TO APPLY 

** Please note: Once you start your online application, you cannot save to go back to edit! We strongly encourage you to brainstorm in a separate document and only begin your application only when you are ready to submit.

Review

Pilot Fund Rubric

Applicants must meet with one of HILT’s Education Innovation Fellows after submitting the online application. The Education Innovation Fellows will make their recommendations to HILT, who may consult with colleagues from the Harvard Education Innovation ecosystem to determine how best to support teams with their ideas. Applicants are welcome to meet with Fellows in advance of submitting an application, they must, however, also meet with a Fellow once the application has been submitted. 

Applicants must meet with one of HILT’s Education Innovation Fellows after submitting the online application. The Education Innovation Fellows will make their recommendations to HILT, who may consult with colleagues from the Harvard Education Innovation ecosystem to determine how best to support teams with their ideas. Applicants are welcome to meet with Fellows in advance of submitting an application, they must, however, also meet with a Fellow once the application has been submitted. 

Reimbursements and deliverables

Teams will create a budget and pay for items out of pocket (please contact HILT if this represents a hardship). Before getting reimbursed, teams must fill out a team report on HILT’s website along with all relevant documentation and receipts. If paying out of pocket is a hardship, let us know and we can help you make your purchases. 

In addition to submitting receipts, we ask for each team to fill out an impact survey at the end of each funding cycle and to submit a 1-minute video about your project.

Policies

While there is a wide range of uses that are acceptable for HILT funding, the following are not permitted: paying team members for their time, living expenses, alcohol, or costs not directly related to the proposed project. We strongly encourage you to use funds for things that you are not capable of doing yourself and, when possible, explore using resources within the Harvard community.