2.8 Transfer Policies

This policy was last updated December 20, 2023. See the update history page for more information.

MIT is committed to providing career development opportunities for its employees. In seeking to foster an open and supportive environment which will assist personal growth, the Institute takes the position that individuals are responsible for the planning and management of their own careers. To facilitate this individual responsibility, the Institute has established a wide range of policies and programs, including the serious search policy, job-sharing and part-time employment, and tuition assistance. 

The Institute encourages employees to take advantage of development opportunities whether they lead to careers at MIT or outside the Institute. Transfer from one position to another at the Institute is a part of this process. Available positions are listed online. Employees are welcome to discuss opportunities in confidence with their Human Resources Officer. The following procedures should be followed when an employee decides to investigate a job transfer within the Institute.

2.8.1 Recommended Length of Service in Job

It is hoped that an employee's initial placement in a job at the Institute is a successful one, and that requests for transfer will be an outcome of one's readiness for a change in responsibility. It is normally expected that an individual will remain in a position for a minimum of one year. Unusual situations which lead a person to request a transfer within a one year period should be discussed in detail with supervisors and the Human Resources Officer responsible for advising the department in which the employee is currently working.

2.8.2 Initiation of Transfer/Notification of Supervisor

Employees may find opportunities within their own departments or elsewhere at the Institute. Discussion between present supervisor and employee regarding career development is encouraged. Career opportunities also may be discussed in confidence with the Human Resources Officer for the department in which the employee currently works.

An employee who would like to interview in confidence should discuss this situation in detail with their Human Resources Officer. If confidentiality is advisable, up-to-date references may not be available until the employee is being considered as a final candidate. In the event that current references are needed, the employee must then notify the current supervisor that a reference request is forthcoming.

It is important to note that an employee is expected to continue to perform fully the duties of their current position during the period of time needed to secure a new position.

Institute policy does not require an employee to establish a fixed date by which the transfer will be accomplished. Any difficulties which arise in the working relationship as a result of an employee's decision to seek another position should be discussed with the Human Resources Officer to seek immediate resolution.

2.8.3 Transfer Procedure

Transfer dates should be arranged through the two departments involved, with the support of the Human Resources Officer as needed. At least two weeks' notice by Support and Service staff and one month's notice by Administrative and Sponsored Research staff should be given to the current department before a date of transfer. The receiving department (to which an employee is transferring) initiates and submits the transaction change.

2.8.4 Lateral Transfer Between Equal Positions

On occasion, an employee may wish to consider transferring to another position at the Institute which has a range of job duties and responsibilities equal to their current position. Such a lateral change can be beneficial in that it offers a fresh opportunity to establish new professional relationships, to take on new or more varied job assignments, and to develop new career interests. By considering such lateral changes, an individual may increase the number of opportunities they have for moving into an environment whose size and structure may offer greater potential for career development and eventual advancement.

A lateral transfer can easily provide a significant benefit to an individual in terms of environment, job interest, and longer-term career potential; however, it is by definition a change between two equal positions. It is the Institute's policy that a lateral transfer as defined above is normally accomplished without the increase in base salary that accompanies a promotion or a reclassification involving a significant increase in salary range.