MS&PC Professional Development Fund

"I am so grateful for the MIT Spouses & Partners Connect Professional Development Fund, which gave me the opportunity to join the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Thank you for this amazing program and for supporting spouses and partners in countless ways!"

Read more about Ashley Pedersen's story

New in 2021: This year, we were honored to receive generous financial support of our fund from MIT Professor George Verghese and his wife Ann Kailath. The gift was inspired by their 45-year friendship with Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga, Professor Verghese’s first doctoral advisee, and his wife Asunción González Sotos. From 1976-1981, Asunción and Ignacio lived in the Eastgate graduate residence with their three children (a fourth child was born after their return to Spain), and Asunción's connection to Spouses & Partners dates from then. In addition to caring for the children, she worked part-time as a researcher during those years. Asunción and Ignacio have remained connected to George and Ann, and to MIT, ever since. The families have spent time with each other in Cambridge and Spain, and Asunción has accompanied Ignacio during sabbatical years he spent at MIT and more frequently since he became a part-time visiting professor at MIT in 2008. With her empathy and deep understanding of the experience of moving and settling a family abroad, Asunción has been a support to many other spouses and partners over the years. We are delighted that three of our grants in this funding cycle will be named in honor of Asunción.

The MS&PC Professional Development Fund was created to support the professional development of our members. The Fund will reimburse eligible applicants (up to $500) for activities related to their career advancement and development. Expenses eligible for reimbursement are classes, conference registration fees, and professional organization membership dues. 

Examples of activities we have funded in the past...

Classes:  we have funded classes at the Harvard Extension School and Online Platforms ( MIT edX, Coursera)

Conference and workshop registration fees: National Conference of the American Occupational Therapy Association; Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) Training 

Industry/Career Field specific professional organization membership fee: Massachusetts chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals membership fee

Applicants will be required to submit their resume, a proposed budget, and a statement of purpose, explaining how the request is relevant to their background and how it will benefit their professional growth. Your statement of purpose should clearly show how the request you are making will support your professional growth and development and will enable you to continue on your career track while supporting your spouse’s or partner’s studies and research at MIT. Requests made by spouses who have not relocated to the Boston area will also be considered.

What types of professional development activities are NOT eligible for reimbursement?

Applications will not be accepted for graduate school application fees, subscription/online service fees (like LinkedIn Premium), recruiter or resume services, English as a Second Language classes, GRE/TOEFL or any other test classes or registration fees, work permit application fees, conference travel or lodging fees.

Who can apply?

For the Fall 2020 application cycle, any spouse or partner of a current MIT student or postdoc or visiting researcher may apply.  Applicants must be affiliated with MIT (through their spouse or partner). Requests made by spouses who have not relocated to the Boston area will also be considered. Please note that priority will be given to those applying for the first time.

What is the selection procedure?

Applications will be reviewed and selected by a 4-person committee (which does not include MS&PC staff members). The committee will make their decision based on the potential positive impact of the award as described in the application.

What is expected of me if I am chosen to receive the funding?

If you receive the funding, you will pay for the professional development activity and then submit a receipt or invoice in order to be reimbursed. Along with the receipts, you will also submit proof of completion/attendance/membership, as well as a short follow-up report explaining the impact of the activity on your professional and career development. 

Monies will be deposited into your spouse’s or partner’s MIT direct deposit account. Receipts must be submitted while your spouse or partner has an active MIT direct deposit account. If this process of reimbursement is  problematic for you, please contact the staff.

Awardees can submit materials for reimbursement at any time, but they must be submitted by May 15, 2022 at the latest.

How do I apply?

Applications for the Fall 2021 cycle are due by 10 a.m. on Monday, December 13, 2021. Applicants will receive a response to their applications in mid January 2022.


Email us at We will hold information sessions during the fall semester so you can learn how to write a persuasive application. Find more information on our events calendar.


Would you like to financially support the MS&PC Professional Development Fund? Your gift will enhance the careers of our members, thereby supporting graduate student and postdoc families at MIT. Give to MIT Spouses & Partners Connect today