The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professors and Scholars Program nominations for the 2024-2025 academic year will start in fall of 2023.

The nomination deadline will be on February 16, 2024. Decisions on nominations are expected by March 2024.

Nominations must be completed online by an MIT faculty host, administrative officer, or other MIT administrators with valid MIT certificates. Nominators must identify a potential MIT faculty member to agree to host the visitor.

Nominate a fellow using an online form (available soon). You will need valid MIT certificates to access this form.

The purpose of the program is:

  1. To enhance and recognize the contributions of scholars who have demonstrated commitment to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of service and social justice through their greater presence on MIT campus.
  2. To encourage individuals whose work advances academic excellence, social justice, and equality for all to share their scholarly, professional, and teaching achievements with MIT faculty, staff, and students.

In addition to faculty members from other institutions, the Program will consider nominations of those in the public sector or in other roles of interest to our faculty. ICEO commits funding one year at a time. Initial appointments are made for at least one semester and at most one year. Funding for a second year is possible, subject to satisfactory review of a renewal nomination. Contact the program director for guidance and to discuss considerations for a second-year extension. Appointments are made as visiting faculty (Policies & Procedures Section 2.3.4), visiting engineer/scientist/scholar (Policies & Procedures Section 5.3.4), or postdoctoral fellow (Policies & Procedures Section 5.3.3) in any department, lab or center (DLC) provided there is a connection with MIT faculty.

MLK Visitor Nomination Process

An MIT host (usually a faculty member) works with the proposed visitor to collect information needed for a nomination. The administrative officer of the host DLC usually fills out the online nomination form. Nominations are not considered complete until a nomination letter has been provided by a faculty member and endorsement letters have been provided by both the DLC head and school or college dean.

Nomination should include:

  1. Candidate’s information and CV.
  2. Name of faculty host for the candidate.
  3. Plan of Engagement for the visitor The Engagement Plan, written and agreed to jointly by the scholar and host, should consider interactions with MIT in research, teaching, student mentoring (graduate and undergraduate), and community life (e.g., efforts to advance diversity and inclusion, or outreach efforts).
  4. Budget.
  5. Letter of nomination by a faculty member.
  6. Letter of endorsement by the relevant DLC head and school or college dean.

Each nomination must include a budget consistent with MIT budget preparation guidelines.  Allowed expenses include salary or stipend, employee benefits, housing and travel costs, and materials and services.  The ICEO will provide a maximum of $150K/year for pre-tenure professors. Up to $200K will be considered as needed based on academic rank. If the total costs are higher, then other sources of funding, e.g. the host Department or School, must be obtained. This nomination will be reviewed by the MLK Faculty Advisory Committee and Institute Community and Equity Officer (ICEO). Upon approval, the department head will send an offer letter to the candidate stating terms of appointment, and in turn request a letter of acceptance confirming dates of visit and other details of the appointment from the candidate. Upon receipt of a letter of acceptance (from the candidate), the ICEO will arrange for a transfer of funds to the Department.

Advisory Committee

The MLK Faculty Advisory Committee reviews nominations for MLKScholars, makes recommendations for funding, and provides advice on policies and practices.  Committee members are selected by the ICEO, following recommendations from the deans of the schools or college.

The members of the 2023-2024 Advisory Committee are:

  • Professor Joseph Checkelsky, Department of Physics
  • Professor Daniel E. Hastings, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Professor Kenda Mutongi, Department of History
  • Professor Robert Freund, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Professor P. Christopher Zegras, Department of Urban Studies and Planning