Research Visitor Guidelines

MIT COVID-19 Response – July 27, 2020

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Visitors Involved in MIT Research - Overall Principles and Exception Processes 

The physical campus is an asset that must be allocated in a way that best supports MIT’s mission while adhering to our principles and values. Decisions about who should have access to the physical MIT campus will be based on need in the context of accomplishing our mission, and will be grounded in principles of safety, equity, and transparency, as outlined by the Guiding Principles for MIT’s Campus Planning and Operations amid the COVID-19 Pandemic of the Legal-Ethical-Equity (LEE) committee. During Covid-19 phased recovery, MIT’s first priority is to enable our faculty, staff, postdocs, and students to have increased access to MIT campus in order to pursue their educational, research, and operational support activities as safely as possible. To maintain low building density to allow this to happen, visitor access to campus will be significantly limited and discouraged through the end of the calendar year 2020. 

For this reason, visitor categories that are not explicitly provided a path to campus access are not permitted on campus. Approved visitor categories are limited to those whose campus access is required for MIT to conduct on-campus educational and research activities as well as the vital services that support these endeavors. Any other visitor categories are an exception that must be reviewed and approved as outlined below. All visitors who are provided with an exception to be on campus must follow MIT COVID policies and procedures.

Criteria for Exception Consideration

  • A visitor must be required of MIT’s on-campus education and/or research activities.
  • A visitor needs to be able to be on campus to receive visiting appointment status. No remote visiting appointments will be approved.  
  • The requesting department must be able to accommodate the visitor within the laboratory and office density allocation included in the research ramp-up plans without displacing MIT staff or students.

Visiting faculty, scholars, scientists, engineers and affiliates

Overall Guidance

  • New appointments of visiting faculty, scholars, scientists, engineers, and affiliates will not be permitted during the fall 2020 term.  No remote visiting appointments will be approved.    

Exceptions

  • Martin Luther King (MLK) Visiting Professors and Scholars already invited to MIT, whether working remotely or on-campus.
  • Visiting faculty needed to fulfill teaching responsibilities or where commitments related to sabbaticals have been made may be able to proceed, but require approval through the exception process.
  • Visiting faculty, scholars, scientists, engineers, and affiliates whose visits began prior to the ramp down may continue through their anticipated end date; extensions must be approved through the exception process noted above.

Any additional exceptions must be approved and documented by the Head of the requesting department, laboratory or center and by relevant School or College Dean or the Vice President for Research. 

Visiting students

Overall Guidance

  • Appointments for new visiting students are paused through the fall 2020 term. No remote visiting appointments will be approved.  
  • Visiting students whose visits began prior to the ramp down (March 2020) may continue through their anticipated end date; extensions beyond the 12-month limit will not be granted.

Exceptions

  • Students that were part of a laboratory at another institution under the direction of a faculty member joining MIT’s faculty. These students will be eligible to receive visiting student status at MIT, are not subject to the 12-month limit, and all fees are waived.

Any additional exceptions, including new Harvard/Radcliffe students, must be approved by the Head of the requesting department, laboratory or center and by the Vice President for Research.

Requests from faculty and principal investigators for exceptions for visiting faculty, scholars, scientists, engineers and affiliates should be directed to the department, lab, or center where the individual will be hosted. 

Requests from faculty and principal investigators for exceptions for visiting students require the approval of the relevant department head or lab director and should be directed to vsrequest@mit.edu