The MIT Graduate School Leadership Incubator (MIT GSLI) is a first-of-its-kind, student founded and peer-led collaboration across all MIT graduate schools to further develop the leadership skills, experience, and network of outstanding MIT graduate students who have already exhibited strong leadership capacity and a commitment to social impact. Out of the hectic pace of studying at MIT, the program carves out dedicated time and space for purposeful, authentic reflection and connection across disciplines.

According to past participants, this is an intense and deeply rewarding program. A fall semester kick-off retreat on Cape Cod and six mandatory weekly meetings build strong friendships, leadership skills and reflections, and a peer network bolstered by alumni programming that continues into the spring 2020 semester and beyond.

MIT GSLI appreciates generous support from The MIT Leadership Center, the MIT Student Activities Office, the MIT Sloan Student Life Office, and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.

Program Application and Requirements

All MIT graduate students pursuing degrees are invited to apply via a brief essay and resume submission at this link

Application deadline – Friday, September 13, at 5:00pm EST

Please email with any questions or to connect with an alum of the program to learn more. Also use this address to email your resume using the title LastName_FirstName_Resume.pdf. All applicants will be notified of their status by early in the week of September 14, at which point select applications will be invited for a brief interview conversation during the period September 14 – 19 (virtual or in-person).

To build a strong and cohesive group, 100% attendance at the Cape Cod retreat and weekly sessions is required. Please wait to apply next year in fall 2020 if you cannot make this commitment. Retreat transportation, housing, and meals are all included; however, Fellows are asked to contribute $40 to help defray semester costs. All weekly sessions run from 8:00-10:00pm on the MIT campus, with dinner provided at each session early starting at 7:15pm to allow time for catching up. Dates will be:


Friday, September 27 (depart MIT ~7:00pm) – Sunday, September 29 (return to MIT ~3:00pm)

Monday Sessions

Monday, October 7, 8:00-10:00pm

Monday, October 21, 8:00-10:00pm

Monday, October 28, 8:00-10:00pm

Monday, November 4, 8:00-10:00pm

Monday, November 18, 8:00-10:00pm

Monday, December 2, 8:00-10:00pm

Spring programming

(1) Forum groups will continue to meet at least monthly throughout the spring semester (within the cohort, everyone is also be part of a small group for more individualized work and reflection that meets for one hour within the 8-10pm meetings)

(2) Fellows, in small groups by school or across schools, will be asked to give back by hosting an event in the spring to share lessons learned with other students at MIT; this will also serve as a leadership opportunity for cohort members, and planning will be discussed more during the fall semester

(3) There will be additional optional events hosted with all program alumni during the year, as well as with members of the Harvard GSLI program. MIT GSLI has an active alumni body and past Fellows continue to engage in events with speakers, networking, training, and trips.

Reflections from Past MIT GSLI Fellows

“This was a fantastic experience!!! These are the kinds of programs that MIT can encourage to help students think about what kind of impact they want to have and to help link students in different departments with different skills, talents, and points of view.”

“Wouldn’t have imagined that I would be able to meet this diverse and talented group of people even though we are studying on the same campus.”

“This program has been one of the most valuable experiences that I’ve had at MIT.”

“It was great to hear from peers about their motivations and vulnerabilities. Although we are always told that we are not alone in our dreams and struggles, it is much more powerful to realize this directly through conversation and exchange with others.”

“Diversity in every aspect, discipline, work experience, future goals etc., made our small Forum group within the larger cohort a fantastic platform to bounce off interesting ideas.”

“Now that I know 30ish more people on campus, I am excited to meet each one of them more in different settings throughout the campus.”

For those interested but unable to apply this fall, the program is offered in future fall semesters on Monday evenings.

Finally, during the semester there will be other optional events hosted with MIT GSLI alumni from past cohorts, as well as networking with members from the related Harvard GSLI program.

For more information about MIT GSLI, contact: