Research and Academic Appointments

Postdoctoral Associate, Senior Postdoctoral Associate

Postdoctoral Fellow,
Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Fellow

Research Scientist,
Research Engineer,
Research Associate

Principal Research Scientist, Principal Research Engineer,
Principal Research Associate

Senior Research Scientist, Senior Research Engineer, Senior Research Associate

Postdoctoral Associates work under the supervision of MIT faculty members.

Appointments  are of limited term and are designed for those who have recently received the doctorate.

Appointments are usually for not less than one term and are normally not renewed beyond a total of four years. This appointment category is comparable in purpose to the postdoctoral fellow, but is distinguished by the fact that the postdoctoral associate is employed by the Institute and afforded the benefits and privileges associated with staff employment. (See Section 7.4 Benefits for Faculty and Staff Members.)

Incumbents are not accorded principal investigator status and do not receive consulting privileges.

 

Postdoctoral  and Research Fellows come to MIT with fellowship aid to develop their scholarly competence and work under the supervision of MIT faculty members.

This appointment category is comparable in purpose to the postdoctoral associate, but is distinguished by the fact that the postdoctoral fellow receives a stipend in lieu of salary and is not employed by the Institute. Although fellows are not eligible for all of the benefits available to employees, the Vice President for Research strives to mitigate the impact. For further information, see Benefits Eligibility for Postdoctoral Fellows.

The postdoctoral fellow title is appropriate for those holding the doctoral degree, while research fellow should be used for those with comparable professional qualifications.

Incumbents are not accorded principal investigator status and do not receive consulting privileges.

 

Research Scientists, Engineers and Associatesconduct research in collaboration with a principal investigator and typically hold an advanced degree.

Individuals do not normally have PI status but authorization may be granted by the senior officer for a specific project upon recommendation of the department head or laboratory/center director.

Consulting privileges are not normally granted to appointees at this rank.  Individuals must report outside professional activities to their department head or laboratory/center director annually as described in MIT Policies and Procedures, Section 4.4 Conflict of Interest and 4.5 Outside Professional Activities.

Principal Research Scientists, Engineers and Associates possess all the qualifications of research scientist, research engineer, or research associate and, in addition, have demonstrated the ability to generate and develop concepts independently and to conduct independent research.

Requests to appoint or promote an individual to this rank must be initiated by the department head or lab/center director with the concurrence of the requisite School council. Approval of the appointment or promotion requires approval of the cognizant senior officer.

Individuals are accorded Principal Investigator status. They have consulting privileges, limited to a maximum of 20 days per year. They must report outside professional activities to their department head or laboratory/center director annually as described in MIT Policies and Procedures, Section 4.4 Conflict of Interest and 4.5 Outside Professional Activities.

Funding responsibility resides with the department, laboratory, or center that is the locus of the appointment.

 

Senior Research Scientists, Engineers and Associates are the senior positions in the campus research staff structure and have been designated academic staff. Individuals holding such an appointment conduct independent investigations, with the ability to direct the work of others. They possess a demonstrated research competence equal to that of a tenured faculty member.

Appointments or promotions are made on the recommendation of the department head or laboratory/center director, the cognizant senior officer, and the School council, with approval of the Academic Appointments Subgroup of the Academic Council upon the presentation of a documented case, including outside letters.

Individuals are accorded Principal Investigator status. Consulting privileges as defined for the faculty are available to appointees at this rank. Individuals must report outside professional activities to their department head or laboratory/center director annually as described in MIT Policies and Procedures, Section 4.4 Conflict of Interest and 4.5 Outside Professional Activities.