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5.0 Research Appointments

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5.2 Sponsored Research Staff Appointments

Following are descriptions of the various sponsored research staff appointments. Also see Section 5.4 Procedures for Research Appointments for additional procedural information.

5.2.1 Principal Research Scientist, Principal Research Engineer, Principal Research Associate

Individuals holding an appointment as a Principal Research Scientist, Principal Research Engineer, or Principal Research Associate 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. Promotion to this rank requires selection from among the individual's peers on the basis of unique scholarly or other technical contributions to research projects. Appointments of individuals demonstrating a comparable level of competence elsewhere may be made directly to this rank.

With the approval of the cognizant senior officer, appointments to this rank may be made within a department or interdepartmental laboratory/center at the initiative of the department head or laboratory/center director, with concurrence of the laboratory/center steering committee or, in the case of departments and School-based laboratories, of the School council. Funding responsibility resides with the department, laboratory, or center that is the locus of the appointment. Appointments to this rank are subject to the affirmative action serious search procedures outlined in Section 7.1.3.

The number of these appointments may not exceed 15 percent of the laboratory/center professional research staff and the affiliated faculty or 15 percent of the department's total faculty. For this purpose, the number of faculty in the department should be determined as stated in Section 5.3.1 Senior Research Scientist, Senior Research Engineer, Senior Research Associate. In addition to the exception provided for in Section 5.4.3 Numerical Limitations, exceptions may be granted to laboratories/centers with fewer than 15 staff and faculty members. Laboratories/centers that are currently above the numerical limits shall view their current number of appointments as a cap and shall make every effort to fall below the limits in the coming years.

Appointments to this rank are of indefinite duration and are reviewed within every four-year period. (See Section 5.4.2 Periodic Review.) There is a one-year notice of termination, which will not be reduced because of the reorganization or closing of the department or other academic unit to which the individuals are assigned. An appointment may be terminated for cause at any time.

Incumbents are accorded principal investigator status. Appointees receive benefits as described in Section 7.4 Benefits for Faculty and Staff Members and accrue 15 days of vacation for the first year of employment and 20 days of vacation thereafter.

Consulting privileges are available to appointees at this rank but are limited to a maximum of 20 days per year. They must report their outside professional activities to their department heads annually, as described in Section 4.4 Conflict of Interest and 4.5 Outside Professional Activities.

5.2.2 Research Scientist, Research Engineer, Research Associate

Individuals holding an appointment as a Research Scientist, Research Engineer, or Research Associate contribute significantly to the design and execution of experiments in research projects. They work in collaboration with the principal investigator. They hold an advanced degree appropriate to the field of research or a combination of related education and high-level research. Such appointments may be made within a department or an interdepartmental laboratory/center, with the approval of the department head or laboratory/center director, and may require senior officer approval. There are no numerical limitations to this type of appointment. Appointments are subject to the affirmative action serious search procedures outlined in Section 7.1.3.

Appointments to this rank may be with or without term and are reviewed within every four-year period. Refer to Section 7.6.4 Layoff Notice Period or consult the MIT Personnel Policy Manual Section 6.3.4 for notice of termination requirements. An appointment may be terminated for cause at any time.

Principal investigator status is not normally accorded to incumbents of this position, 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 available to appointees at this rank. They must report their outside professional activities to their department head or laboratory/center director annually, as described in Section 4.4 Conflict of Interest and 4.5 Outside Professional Activities.

Appointees receive benefits as described in Section 7.4 Benefits for Faculty and Staff Members and accrue 15 days of vacation for the first year of employment and 20 days of vacation thereafter.

5.2.3 Research Specialist, Technical Associate, Technical Assistant

Individuals holding an appointment as a Research Specialist, Technical Associate, or Technical Assistant provide professional, technical, or other support service to a research project or program under the direction of a principal investigator. The position requires a bachelor's degree in a field directly related to the work or a combination of related education and substantial experience. The technical associate's appointment, which is a promotional opportunity for technical assistants, requires five years of experience as a technical assistant or the equivalent.

Appointments may be made within a department or an interdepartmental laboratory/center, with the approval of the department head or laboratory/center director, and may require senior officer approval. There are no numerical limitations to this type of appointment. Appointments are subject to the affirmative action serious search procedures outlined in Section 7.1.3.

Appointments to this rank may be with or without term. Refer to Section 7.6.4 Layoff Notice Period or consult the MIT Personnel Policy Manual Section 6.3.4 for notice of termination requirements. An appointment may be terminated for cause at any time.

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

Appointees receive benefits as described in Section 7.4 Benefits for Faculty and Staff Members and accrue 15 days of vacation for the first year of employment and 20 days of vacation thereafter.

5.2.4 Sponsored Research Technical Staff

Individuals holding sponsored research technical staff appointments will continue to be so designated until recommended by their department or laboratory/center for one of the four categories of campus research staff. Appointments to this rank may be with or without term and are subject to the affirmative action serious search procedures outlined in Section 7.1.3. Refer to Section 7.6.4 Layoff Notice Period or consult the MIT Personnel Policy Manual Section 6.3.4 for notice of termination requirements. An appointment may be terminated for cause at any time.

Consulting privileges are not normally available to appointees at this rank. Incumbents are not accorded principal investigator status. They must report their outside professional activities to their department head or laboratory/center director annually, as described in Section 4.4 Conflict of Interest and 4.5 Outside Professional Activities.

Appointees receive benefits as described in Section 7.4 Benefits for Faculty and Staff Members and accrue 15 days of vacation for the first year of employment and 20 days of vacation thereafter.

5.2.5 Research Administrators

Individuals engaged in research administration or performing administrative functions in support of research or in a research organization are appointed as sponsored research staff and are recognized by organizational titles (such as assistant director or administrative officer) or by functional titles (such as purchasing agent). They are identified as campus research administrative staff. Appointments to this rank may be with or without term and are subject to the affirmative action serious search procedures outlined in Section 7.1.3. Refer to Section 7.6.4 Layoff Notice Period or consult the MIT Personnel Policy Manual Section 6.3.4 for notice of termination requirements. An appointment may be terminated for cause at any time.

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

Appointees receive benefits as described in Section 7.4 Benefits for Faculty and Staff Members and accrue 15 days of vacation for the first year of employment and 20 days of vacation thereafter.

5.2.6 Lincoln Laboratory Staff

Staff appointments are made at the Lincoln Laboratory under the authority of the Director of Lincoln Laboratory and the Provost. Such appointments are made as conditions require, with the appointee attached to the Laboratory rather than to any academic department. Compensation must conform to the approved schedule. Lincoln Laboratory staff appointments do not carry academic privileges such as tenure, regular graduate student status, academic vacations, or consulting privileges.

Staff appointments at Lincoln Laboratory are made for no specified term, but where circumstances permit, appointees should be given reasonable notice of the termination of the project to which the individual is assigned, with the minimum notice of such termination as described in Section 7.6.4 Layoff Notice Period and the MIT Personnel Policy Manual Section 6.3.4.

Lincoln Laboratory staff members have privileges and benefits comparable to those of the research scientist/engineer/associate positions on campus (see Section 5.2.2).

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