5.4 Procedures for Campus Research Appointments

This policy was last updated January 5, 2024. See the update history page for more information.

The following policies and procedures apply to all research appointments, unless otherwise noted.

5.4.1 Affirmative Action Serious Search

Appointments to campus sponsored research staff categories and to the academic research staff rank of senior research scientist/engineer/associate are subject to the requirements of the Affirmative Action Serious Search Policy (see Section 7.1.2).

5.4.2 Periodic Review

Appointees to the ranks of senior research scientist/engineer/associate, principal research scientist/engineer/associate, and research scientist/engineer/associate will receive periodic reviews. The head of the department or laboratory/center director will be responsible for determining the most appropriate way to conduct periodic reviews and for assuring that they are carried out. Their purpose will be to determine whether the individual's appointment should be continued, either from the standpoint of the quality of their work or the further need for the individual's services. The outcome of each review should be documented in writing, with a copy filed in the individual's personnel record.

The requirement for a review at the end of a defined period does not preclude an earlier evaluation and decision on continuance, and, of course, frequent feedback on performance is encouraged. (Also see Sections 5.2.1 Principal Research Scientist, Principal Research Engineer, Principal Research Associate, 5.2.2 Research Scientist, Research Engineer, Research Associate, and 5.3.1 Senior Research Scientist, Senior Research Engineer, Senior Research Associate.)

5.4.3 Numerical Limitations

The limits on the principal and senior categories are guides and not precise limits. These limits will apply unless there are circumstances unique to the department or laboratory/center that warrant a higher limit. Exceptions should be recommended by the department head or laboratory/center director and the senior officer for the area and approved by the Provost, who will be responsible for monitoring the limits.

5.4.4 Reporting Outside Activities and Interests

Appointees to campus sponsored research staff positions and to the academic research position of Senior Research Scientist/Engineer/Associate will be asked annually by their department heads and laboratory/center directors to report their outside professional activities and business interests and relationships, identifying any that have the potential for conflict with the Institute's interests. Certain faculty and staff are subject to investigator disclosure requirements by federal agencies. In those cases, the specific policy should be obtained from the Director of Research Administration Services or the Vice President for Research.

5.4.5 Student Status

No full-time or part-time employee can be registered simultaneously as a degree candidate at MIT. A staff member who subsequently is admitted as a regular graduate student may not use as a basis for a thesis any research work that was performed by the individual while employed on an MIT research contract. With permission from the project supervisor, any employee, full- or part-time, may apply for enrollment as a special student at MIT in one subject per term (but not for thesis), either as a listener or for academic credit. Employees appointed for the summer months only are not eligible to register for summer courses. Regular graduate students appointed research staff members for the summer only may not register for summer courses and must file a thesis release form with the department. Employees may be eligible for tuition assistance through the Human Resources Office.