Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the MDes Program, the MDes Research & Development Award supports research and development of projects in the multiple formats and media of the MDes Program vision, offering an opportunity unique to MDes students for experimentation, immersion, and discovery. The Award supports travel to archives, fieldwork, project development, material experiments, and occasionally supports conference presentations.

Proposals are reviewed once each year, on an annual basis in the spring semester. Proposals are evaluated for the quality, clarity and originality of the proposed research, project activity, and projected outcomes. The jury is composed of MDes Area Heads, Domain Heads, and Program Directors.