October 20, 2014

Scientific Appointments, Reviews, Reappointments, and Promotions

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. A.1.2.3

Director’s Office

Initiated by: Science Council
Approved by: MBL Director
Date: May 28, 1993
Revision: September 6, 2011 – CASO/Institutional Committee
Distribution: MBL Scientific Community

1.0 Policy Statement
The MBL Director makes all scientific appointments, reappointments, and promotions. This policy addresses all other scientific appointments not addressed by the Track I and Track II policies. The MBL Institutional Committee is principally responsible for providing advice, recommendations and guidance for appointments within this policy.

2.0 Review and Oversight
The Institutional Committee functions as the Committee on Academic Appointments and Promotions for scientific positions within this policy, formally reviews the candidate’s file, and recommends to the MBL Director whether or not to appoint, reappoint, promote or terminate.

3.0 Principal Scientific Titles and Appointment/Promotion Processes
In addition to Track I and Track II, the MBL recognizes several other positions for scientific appointments and promotions that complement the above tracks: Postdoctoral Fellow, Postdoctoral Scientist, Research Associate, Whitman Investigator, Adjunct Scientist, and Affiliated Scientist, each of which will normally be made by the MBL Director based on a review and recommendation by the sponsoring Center or Program and/or by the Institutional Committee as specified below. If appointed, the scientist must become familiar with and agree to comply with all MBL policies and procedures. The sponsoring Center/Program is held responsible for all actions by the appointee.

3.1 Postdoctoral Fellows, Postdoctoral Scientists and Research Associates. Postdoctoral Fellows are those with independent support who may have an affiliation with the MBL through their mentor but do not have a direct appointment at the MBL as employees since their fellowship may be through another institution or directly through a funding agency (e.g., as a NASA Fellow). These appointments require a completed Ph.D. or equivalent and will ordinarily be held by recent degree recipients. Postdoctoral Scientists are normally employees of the MBL who work with a specific Track I or Track II MBL Scientist and are supported by MBL-sponsored research funds. These appointments require a completed Ph.D. or equivalent and will ordinarily be held by recent degree recipients. Research Associates are usually postdoctoral level scientists affiliated with a Track I or Track II MBL scientist who are appointed, ordinarily after initial postdoctoral or other advanced training, for indefinite terms to serve a staff role at the MBL. All such appointments are made by the MBL Director based on the recommendation of a sponsoring Track I scientist and/or sponsoring Center/Program Director without review by the Institutional Committee.

3.1.1 All postdoctoral level scientists must be reviewed annually by the sponsoring Track I Scientist or Center/Program Director and a report filed with the CASO’s office. The term of appointment will be renewable annually. For Postdoctoral Fellows and Postdoctoral Scientists, this will normally be for a total duration of 5 years, barring unusual circumstances. For Research Associates, total appointment duration is indefinite, and renewable annually or by term upon the recommendation of the sponsoring Center or Program. All of these postdoctoral level appointments are usually tied to a specific grant or grants and will ordinarily cease when funding ceases.

3.1.2 All postdoctoral level scientists will be eligible to apply for grants and awards reserved for or normally given to holders of postdoctoral positions, and may serve as a Co-Investigator on a Track I or Track II Scientist’s grant, but they may not seek funding as a Principal Investigator through the MBL. They may also serve as a Project Leader on a sub-award with the prior permission of their sponsoring Track I scientist and Center/Program Director.

3.2 Whitman Investigators and other visiting scientists (e.g., sabbatical visitors) are investigators who wish to hold a short-term position of up to one year at the MBL. To be eligible, the individual must ordinarily have an active primary appointment at another institution, and be planning to be in residence at the MBL for more than a month. Shorter duration visitors should register through the CASO’s Office but do not require a formal appointment, although one can be given if the scientist or his/her home institution requests or requires one. The MBL Director will make appointments for qualified scientists on the recommendation of one or more Track I Scientists from a sponsoring Center, Program or Laboratory in the case of the resident research program, or on the recommendation of the Whitman Center Director and the CASO for independent Whitman Investigators. Extension of the appointment beyond one year will require review and approval by the Institutional Committee. Ordinarily, a holder of a Whitman Center or other visiting scientist appointment will retain affiliation with his/her home institution or organization.

3.2.1. Visiting scientists must be sponsored by an MBL Center, Program or laboratory which will provide space and research equipment, or be affiliated with the Whitman Center and either rent space, or share rented space and be sponsored by another Whitman Investigator. Appointment is conditional on sufficient space and other resources and the approval of the CASO’s office. Individuals who rent space will automatically be considered Whitman Investigators of the Whitman Center.

3.2.2 Whitman Investigators and other visiting scientists will be supported by funds from their own grants or from grant funds available to their MBL sponsor. Grants on which the individual is Principal Investigator must be submitted through his/her home institution, not through the MBL, with the exception of MBL Research Awards.

3.2.3 The title of Senior Whitman Investigator may be conferred by the MBL Director, based on the recommendation of the Whitman Center Director, for individuals who have demonstrated a long-standing affiliation with the MBL through the Whitman Center and who have made important contributions to the MBL community. These appointments will be for three years, are renewable following review and recommendation by the Whitman Center Director, and have certain privileges associated with the Whitman Center program including priority for space and other resources within the Whitman Center.

3.3 Adjunct Scientists are investigators who wish to participate in the scientific programs of the MBL, but who ordinarily maintain their regular employment relationship with their home institution. An adjunct appointment is ordinarily made to an individual who has a primary appointment at another institution and is ordinarily made at the level of his/her home institution, e.g., an Assistant Professor would be an Adjunct Assistant Scientist at the MBL, etc. If an adjunct scientist is promoted at his/her home institution, the level of the adjunct title will ordinarily be adjusted to reflect the increase in level. If an adjunct scientist no longer maintains a primary appointment at another institution, then the adjunct appointment will ordinarily be terminated at the end of the current MBL appointment period. An adjunct Scientist may submit grants as a Principal Investigator through the MBL as outlined below.

3.3.1 Adjunct Scientist appointments will normally be made by the MBL Director upon the recommendation of an individual laboratory and/or sponsoring MBL Center/Program Director, by the MBL Education Department, or by the Whitman Center Director, and with the review and recommendation of the Institutional Committee. Initial appointments may be granted for terms of up to three years and will require sponsorship and commitment of space by a recognized MBL sponsoring party, or by the MBL Director. The appointment is renewable upon the review and recommendation of the Institutional Committee to the MBL Director for terms of up to five years in duration per appointment based on the recommendation of the sponsoring party.

3.3.2 An Adjunct Scientist may submit grants as a Principal Investigator through the MBL, but he/she should not ordinarily draw more than three months salary annually from such grants (e.g., “summer salary”) without prior permission from the MBL Director. When longer funding periods are requested, application for and appointment to an appropriate Track I or II position should be considered.

3.3.3 An Adjunct Scientist seeking a Track I MBL Scientist appointment will ordinarily apply for such a position through a nationally advertised search process and will be reviewed as a new appointment and will follow the hiring, appointment and promotion practices for Track I. Likewise an Adjunct Scientist seeking a Track II MBL Scientist appointment should follow the policy and procedures for such appointments.

3.4 Affiliated Scientists. The MBL recognizes that there are individuals interested in working at the MBL whose professional status does not fit into any of the existing formal categories. Examples of these would include professors now retired who no longer have a clear primary affiliation, and other scientists who do not have a primary institutional affiliation. It is recognized that some individuals, falling into the descriptions above, could be valuable assets to a Program or Center and bring expertise and skills to specific goals. The title of Affiliated Scientist imparts both the nature of the position (research) and the requirement to be incorporated into an existing institutional lab, Program or Center (affiliation).

3.4.1 An individual will be appointed as an Affiliated Scientist by the MBL Director based on the recommendations of a sponsoring Track I scientist and/or the sponsoring Center/Program Director without review by the Institutional Committee.

3.4.2 The appointment will be for a three-year term, and is renewable following review and recommendation by the sponsoring Center/Program and with review and re-appointment by the MBL Director. Such appointments will carry limited rights beyond the issuance of an MBLCard and a parking permit, with no salary or space obligation.

3.4.3 An Affiliated Scientist cannot submit grants through MBL, and all costs need to be met by the hosting laboratory. Any additional privileges will require approval by the MBL Director or Chief Academic and Scientific Officer (CASO).

4.0 Termination
Scientific appointments may be terminated by the scientist or by the MBL. See Policy and Procedures regarding Termination. See also Policies and Procedures regarding Unfunded Scientists and Separation from the MBL.

5.0 Procedures
Written procedures for implementing this policy are available from the CASO office or the Human Resources office.

6.0 Policy Clarification and Updates
Policy clarification and updates are available from the Office of the Chief Academic and Scientific Officer or the MBL Director’s Office.