The application of some MIT policies depends on an individual's job or position.  MIT categorizes positions – paid or unpaid – into "appointment" categories, such as faculty appointments, support staff appointments, and unpaid affiliate appointments. The term "staff" generally means all employment categories other than faculty.

The roles, responsibilities, and in some cases qualifications for categories of appointments are described in specific sections of Policies & Procedures. The general categories are as follows:


Academic Staff

In addition to Faculty, Academic Staff includes the following categories:

  • Academic Instructional Staff, also called "Other Academic" staff. Examples include Visiting Assistant Professor, Lecturer, and Technical Instructor. P&P Section 2.3
  • Academic Research Staff, which includes Senior Research Scientist, Senior Research Engineer, Senior Research Associate, and Postdoctoral Associate. P&P Section 5.3

Administrative Staff 

Administrative staff have professional or administrative responsibilities in the central and departmental administration. P&P Section 6.1

Graduate Students

Graduate students may have appointments including Instructor-G, Teaching Assistant, and Research Assistant; these positions are represented by the Graduate Student Union. P&P Section 8.0

Research Staff

Research Staff consists of the following two categories:

  • Academic Research Staff  are considered both Research Staff and Academic Staff. P&P Section 5.3
  • Sponsored Research Staff (often referred to as SRS) P&P Section 5.2

Service Staff

This category of staff are all unionized. Service staff employees belong to of one of six unions: Research, Development and Technical Employees’ Union (RDTEU); SEIU-Campus; SEIU-Lincoln; MIT Police; Lincoln Security Guards; and Non-Professional Library Employees (AFSCME Council 93).  P&P Section 6.3. Note that unionized graduate students are not considered "service staff."

Support Staff

This category of staff are paid hourly and are also referred to as "non-exempt" staff. P&P Section 6.2

References to P&P are to Policies & Procedures