There are three ways companies or individuals can support ERL:

•    Become a Founding Member
•    Support a specific research project through a direct contract or grant
•    Support a graduate fellowship

Become a Founding Member

Since the lab’s inception in 1982, ERL has invited industry to participate in driving our research through our Founding Members program. Founding Members have the unique opportunity to help define and prioritize critical problems in sub-surface characterization and influence which projects should be launched.

The annual fee for Founding Membership is US$50,000. The funds generated from the program support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and allow them to carry out their research. The interactions among leaders and researchers within ERL and the Foundign Member companies ensuresthat ERL works on solving problems that have a direct application within the industry.
Founding Members receive the following benefits:

•    Invitation to the Annual Founding Member's Meeting, at which a cross-section of researchers present their latest work
•    Access to the "For Founding Members" portion of this website, which includes unpublished papers, presentations from our Annual Founding Members Meeting, and videos of talks given at ERL
•    Use of software and algorithms developed within the program
•    Interaction and consultation with ERL staff and students
•    The opportunity to send a visiting scientist to work on research at ERL

If you are interested in becoming a Founding Member please contact ERL’s Executive Director, Anna Shaughnessy, via e-mail at 

Sponsor a Project

In some cases companies that are not Founding Members sponsor specific projects in ERL that match with their interests.  For more information please contact ERL’s Executive Director, Anna Shaughnessy, via e-mail at

Support a Fellowship

A major force in MIT’s creative engine. The foundation of MIT’s productivity. Critical to recruiting and retaining top faculty, central to our mission and vital to maintaining competitiveness and leadership.

This is how faculty describe the impact of MIT’s graduate students. 

With this much at stake, offering support to our graduate students is a top priority for the Earth Resources Laboratory!

Support during the first two years is particularly important as it allows students to explore research options before committing to a path. 
It fosters “out of the box" and interdisciplinary research interests and allows faculty and research scientists to eke out precious grant funding. 

Here’s how you can support EAPS graduate students in the Earth Resources Lab: 

1) Establish your own named fellowship through a permanent endowment fund ($1M helps support one student per year forever) or an expendable fellowship fund that is spent as needed ($75,000 supports one student for an academic year).
Contact Angela Ellis for more information: or 617-253-5796

2) Support an existing EAPS endowed fellowship fund that funds graduate students in EAPS:

Theodore Richard Madden’49 Fellowship Fund (3305800) (preference for students in geophysics)
M. Nafi Toksöz Fellowship Fund (3311750) (preference for students in geophysics)
Sven Treitel ’53 Graduate Student Support Fund (3312160) 
EAPS Graduate Student Support Fund (3857220)

Please contact Angela ELlis, EAPS Senior Development Officer, at 617-253-5796 or for further information.

Graduate Student Josimar Alves da Silva

Current Whiteman Fellow Josimar Alves da Silva studies geophysical applications for shale gas exploration.

Current Madden Fellow Jamie Potter studies the effect of fractures on surface deformation and flow.

Current Toksöz Fellow Shujuan Mao studies seismology, earthquake physics, and geodynamics.