About Us

Progetto Roberto Rocca

The “Progetto Roberto Rocca” is a collaboration between MIT and the Milan Politecnico (POLIMI) Italy’s top engineering school, funded to honor Dr. Roberto Rocca (1922-2003) an alumnus of both institutions. Since 2005, the Progetto has been providing more than $250,000 a year to support the two-ways circulation of people, ideas and scientific practices between MIT and Politecnico in the fields of materials science, mechanical engineering, bioengineering and life sciences, energy, electrical engineering and computer science. Projects that focus on buildings, infrastructure and planning are considered only if they privilege mathematical and physical modeling and the novel use of materials. 

Priority is given to collaborations involving younger scholars – junior faculty members and graduate students and post-doctoral researchers and new projects. Proposals and applications are evaluated and selected by members of the MIT-Italy Program Scientific Committee.

The Progetto Rocca has jump-started more than 30 MIT-POLIMI faculty collaborations and funded nearly 100 doctoral and postdoctoral Rocca Fellows at MIT and POLIMI. Many of these collaborations have led to joint publications and received other forms of academic recognition. In September 2015, the Progetto has been extended until 2020.


Typical awards range between $2,500 for exploratory travel grants and $42,500 for a one year post-doctoral Rocca Fellowship at MIT In particular, the Progetto supports:

One Year

“Roberto Rocca post-doctoral Fellowships” at MIT for recent Politecnico Ph.D.s                                                         

6-12 Months

“Roberto Rocca doctoral Fellowships” that bring  Politecnico doctoral students to MIT as visiting students

3-6 Months

Study and research grants at Politecnico for MIT doctoral students and advanced undergraduates

Seed Funds

Up to $15,000 for collaborative MIT/Politecnico faculty projects


Lectures by MIT professors at Politecnico, and vice versa.

MIT – Politecnico Workshops

Topics that are the subject of joint investigations