Postdoctoral and Research Staff (Research Scientist, Principal Research Scientist, and Senior Research Scientist) appointments are salaried, with two payroll periods per month. Administrative and Sponsored Research Staff appointments can be salaried or hourly, depending on the nature of the work.

Research Staff, SRTS, and Administrative appointments are usually permanent appointments. However, when future grant funding is uncertain, these are sometimes done as “term appointments” which are extended year-to-year. Postdoctoral appointments are extended year-to-year, contingent on grant funding, and a yearly performance review signed by the postdoc and mentor is required.

All postdoctoral and staff new hires receive an offer letter prepared by the HR Administrator and signed by the Administrative Officer, spelling out the terms of employment.

Temporary/Short-term Employment

MITemps is used for individuals who are selected by MIT managers and referred to, screened, and hired by nextSource (our designated outside agency) for short-term assignments; i.e. those that typically have an end date, including summer employment. nextSource maintains all necessary personnel and payroll records. nextSource is responsible for responding to MITemps’ complaints and grievances and, at the request of MIT, shall terminate any MITemp assignment at MIT. MIT employees may not be employed by both MIT and nextSource at the same time. 

Information necessary to process a MITemp appointment:

  • Name of candidate
  • Candidate’s email address
  • Address and phone number
  • Date of Birth
  • Job title
  • Start and end date
  • Hourly rate
  • Hours per week
  • Account to charge salary
  • Job description
  • Person who will be approving time sheets


Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MKI is currently not processing visitor appointments or giving visitors access to campus.

The director’s office should be informed of any visitors who will be at MKI for more than 3 days.  Please send an email to Rob Simcoe (copy Debbie Meinbresse) indicating your visitor’s name, dates of visit, home institution, and reason for visit.   Note: If you are hosting a visitor for more than 5 days, or an international visitor for any period of time, Amanda Holley should also be copied so an MIT appointment can be processed. Visitors can be directed to the MKI visitors page for information on places to stay.

Information necessary to process a Visitor appointment:

  • Name of candidate
  • Candidate’s email address
  • Address and phone number
  • Date of Birth
  • Job title
  • Reason the appointment is necessary
  • Start and end date of visit
  • Visitors CV
  • Country of citizenship, if visa is needed
  • Institution or business the visitor is coming from
  • Indicate if you are affiliated with that organization
  • If office space is necessary

Visiting Engineer, Visiting Scientist, and Visiting Scholar titles designate visitors working at MIT for a specified period from one week to one year. The specific title, always preceded by “visiting,” should reflect the actual duties of the visitor. A visiting engineer, scientist, or other similarly titled appointee is primarily occupied with research in the field indicated. Incumbents are not accorded principal investigator status and do not normally receive consulting privileges.

Visitors have the following classifications:

  • Visitors to MIT are expected to be short-term appointments lasting no more than 12 months with the following titles:
  • Visiting Scholar: MS degree or higher with 0-4 years of research experience who plans to visit MIT to learn about a specific research area, project, or technique.
  • Visiting Scientist: MS degree or higher with 3+ years of experience who can conduct research on his/her own, and will participate in a collaboration with the faculty sponsor.
  • Research Affiliate: recognizes the status of an individual with whom the Institute wishes to acknowledge some degree of association. Research affiliates characteristically have no specific duties and are typically not in residence. Appointments to this rank are not normally intended to be of long-term or indefinite duration.
  • Visiting Student: student who is pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution of higher education (other than MIT) may be invited by an MIT faculty member to enhance the student’s own course of study and/or fulfill a degree requirement.  An appointment may be made for a minimum of 3 weeks and a maximum of 12 months.  Visiting students may not take classes.  The request for a visiting student appointment must be submitted 90 days in advance of the anticipated start date.

The request must include:

  • Name of visiting student
  • Date of birth
  • Student’s email address
  • Mailing address
  • Biographical page of passport
  • Dates of visit
  • Student’s home institution
  • Student’s country of citizenship
  • Reason for visit – explain in one paragraph the research program for the visiting student, the activities and duties, as well as the benefit to the lab provided by the visiting student’s presence.
  • Account number for $1,000 Processing Fee, to be paid by faculty host (Sponsored research funds may not be used).
  • Account number for Registration Fees: $1,500/fall term; $1,200/spring term; $900/summer
  • Full term must be paid during registration process. (Sponsored research funds may not be used)