Funders and Partners

MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing combines an innovative academic agenda with collaborative research at the frontier of media change. CMS/W is committed to shaping new media uses and practices for a range of purposes – from entertainment, education, and creative expression to civic engagement and community empowerment.

Donors, sponsors, and research partners from around the world make it possible for us to pursue this far-reaching mission.

The MIT Campaign for a Better World

This is your most effective way to support CMS/W, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and MIT at large.

The MIT Campaign for a Better World is all about rising to meet challenges. And this one depends on MIT’s most passionate friends and supporters. Raising $5 billion is a bold goal that will enable the people of MIT to achieve our highest aspirations for the future.”

The Campaign launched in May of 2016. It provides opportunities to give to any fund set up by MIT, with all gifts counting toward its $5 billion goal. CMS/W hosts eight funds, providing everything from core departmental and lab support to student fellowships and event sponsorships.


More ways to give

Individual Donors

Individual supporters are essential to the CMS/W mission, enabling us to continue attracting the best students worldwide and maintain a dynamic set of research activities, all shaping the future of media.

What your support can accomplish:

  • Gifts to our Media Futures Fund help enable CMS/W to continue pursuing cutting-edge research efforts and associated educational components.Supporting mission-driven driven research projects inspired by the vision of CMS/W students and scholars makes it possible for CMS/W to continue shaping the future of media.
  • Gifts of $10,000 – $100,000 helps CMS/W leverage support from private foundations and government grant programs in order to support the full costs of sponsored projects.In order to continue developing transformative tools and practices for education, civic engagement, and documentary storytelling, CMS/W depends on the generosity of individual donors to leverage and supplement support from institutional sources.
  • Gifts of $50,000 will fund a research assistantship for a CMS/W graduate student, including tuition support and living expenses for the academic year. A gift of $70,000 provides an independent fellowship for a CMS/W graduate student for one year, allowing the student to pursue his or her own research agenda while at MIT. By fully supporting our graduate students through research assistantships and fellowships, CMS/W can continue attracting the best students – a fundamental element of our impact on future media practices and possibilities.
  • At their discretion, donors who support CMS/W may receive full recognition in the form of named research assistantships and fellowships plus acknowledgement in all publications and outreach materials associated with supported projects.

For up-to-date information on funding needs and opportunities, contact us.

Foundation, Corporate, and Public Support

Major support from private foundations, industry sponsors, and the public sector has been a cornerstone of CMS/W’s success over its history.

Foundations, Non-Profits, and Schools

  • Arthur Vining Davis Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation
  • Concord Consortium
  • Fledgling Fund
  • Florence Gould Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • Foundazione Bruno Kessler
  • Gaiman Foundation
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Max Kade Foundation
  • Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation
  • Miami Foundation
  • MIT Skoltech Initiative
  • New York University
  • Open Society Foundations
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


  • A2G Publicis Modem
  • Adobe Systems
  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Avea Labs
  • BNP Paribas Cardif
  • Cisco Systems
  • Emergence BioEnergy
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Marriott Corporation
  • Mars, Inc.
  • Microsoft Studios
  • Mobivia Group
  • Motorola
  • Nickelodeon
  • Nokia
  • Philips North America
  • Puma
  • Raytheon BBN Technologies
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefonica

Public Agencies

  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche
  • Città di Venezia
  • Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Italian Consulate
  • Italian Trade Commission
  • Maryland Public Television
  • Massport
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Research Foundation of Singapore
  • National Science Foundation
  • Provincia di Brescia
  • Provincia di Firenze
  • Radiotelevisione Italiana
  • Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens
  • Trentino Sviluppo

CMS has also received generous support from MIT through the Institute’s Alumni Class Funds, d’Arbeloff Fund, Teaching & Learning Fund, MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), and the MIT Energy Initiative.

Research Partners

CMS/W regularly partners with other universities, professional organizations, and independent research and development groups. Current and past collaborators include:

  • Austrian Institute of Technology, Annatorius Group
  • Fundação Vanzolini
  • Harvard College Writing Program and Academic Technology Group
  • International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA)-DocLab
  • Learning Games Network
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Biomedical Informatics Core
  • National Film Board of Canada
  • Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Sundance Film Institute
  • Pontificia Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul
  • TERC
  • TIS Innovation Park
  • Venice Gateway for Science and Technology

In addition to these external research partners, CMS/W also collaborates with other MIT departments and labs to conduct its interdisciplinary research. Partners at MIT include:

  • Center for Art, Science, and Technology (CAST)
  • Community Innovators Lab (Co-Lab)
  • Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL)
  • Departments of Anthropology, Foreign Languages & Literatures, History, and Literature
  • MIT Media Lab
  • Office of Educational Innovation and Technology
  • Program in Arts, Technology, and Culture
  • Scheller Teacher Education Program