The primary purpose of Institute research is to advance knowledge and further the educational program. Instruction and research are interdependent and both suffer when dealt with separately. These functions have, therefore, been integrated and interwoven throughout the entire academic and administrative structure.
The Institute also has an inherent obligation to render public service, especially to any branch of local, state, or federal government, and in fulfilling this special responsibility undertakes research when it can do so without impairing its primary functions and when its available personnel and facilities and its experience qualify it to perform a needed service.
Institute research programs receive substantial support through contracts, grants, and other arrangements with government, industry, and foundations. From the Institute's experience with such support, general conclusions have evolved as to the conditions under which it can be justified and the manner in which it can most effectively be integrated with other activities of the Institute. These conclusions are set forth in the following sections.
In addition, governmental and private sponsors provide support for the construction and renovation of facilities, fellowships and traineeships, curriculum improvement, teacher training, and other programs designed to strengthen graduate and undergraduate education. The suitability of these programs in relation to Institute activities and objectives has in most cases been evaluated using the same review procedures as are employed in the review of research proposals. Where the support is provided under agreements that create Institute obligations and contractual commitments to the sponsor, the delegation of administrative responsibility is the same as for sponsored research. To this extent the material that follows is also applicable to sponsored programs other than research.
The following are general considerations for research at the Institute:
In addition to the general research considerations outlined in Section 14.1.1, the criteria to be used in evaluating the acceptability of a proposed research program include the following:
In order to comply with its charter and meet its educational objectives, MIT must hold in public trust any property in which it has acquired ownership and must relinquish such property only when it would more effectively serve the scientific or educational objectives for which it was acquired or when it is necessary to fulfill MIT obligations to donors or research sponsors.
Equipment subject to the control of or restrictions imposed by a donor or research sponsor will be disposed of in accordance with those restrictions. Equipment in which MIT has title without restriction or limitation may be relinquished by MIT only under limited circumstances. Consequently, project supervisors who wish to initiate a request for disposition or transfer of equipment purchased under a sponsored program should consult the Property Office Disposal Officer in advance of the desired transfer date.
The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for financial and business policies and procedures for sponsored research, including those designed to meet the requirements of grants and contracts. The Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs is the contracting officer of the Institute and is directly responsible for the negotiation and interpretation of sponsored research contracts and grants, including basic agreements, and for negotiating the reimbursement of indirect costs and employee benefits, but this may be delegated in part to other officers of the Institute.
While retaining Institute-wide responsibility for business and financial activities related to sponsored research, the Executive Vice President may delegate specific operational responsibility and authority to the Director of Lincoln Laboratory.