Policy No. A.1.2.3
Initiated by: Science Council
Approved by: MBL Director
Date: May 28, 1993
Revision: #2; May 4, 2014 – Deputy Director of Research & Programs/Institutional Committee
September 6, 2011 – CASO/Institutional Committee
Distribution: MBL Scientific Community
1.0 Policy Statement
The MBL President/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 that require formal review 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, Visiting Scientist, Adjunct Scientist, and Affiliated Scientist, each of which will normally be made by the MBL President/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 scientists affiliated with a Track I or Track II MBL Scientist who are hired or promoted, ordinarily after postdoctoral or other advanced training, for indefinite terms to serve a staff role at the MBL.
3.1.1 Postdoctoral Fellows, Postdoctoral Scientists, and Research Associates are reviewed annually by the sponsoring Track I Scientist or Center/Program Director and a report filed with the Office of Research & Programs. The term of appointment for Postdoctoral Fellows and Postdoctoral Scientists is normally a total of 5 years based upon the recommendation of the sponsoring Center/Program. The term of appointment for Research Associates is normally indefinite based upon the recommendation of the sponsoring Center/Program. Appointments for Postdoctoral Fellows, Postdoctoral Scientists, and Research Associates are usually tied to a specific grant or grants and will ordinarily cease when funding ceases.
3.1.2 Postdoctoral Fellows, Postdoctoral Scientists, and Research Associates are eligible to apply for grants and awards reserved for or normally given to holders of postdoctoral positions but may not seek funding as a Principal Investigator through the MBL.
3.2 Whitman Investigators are affiliated with the Whitman Center and either rent space, share rented space, or are sponsored by another Whitman Investigator. Whitman Investigators are supported by funds from their own grants, an MBL Research Award, or other funding. 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. Individuals who rent space will automatically be considered Whitman Investigators of the Whitman Center. A Whitman Investigator must ordinarily have an active primary appointment at another institution or organization. The term of a Whitman Investigator is ordinarily up to four months although it can be extended up to a year. Whitman Investigators wishing to stay longer than four months must register with the Office of Research & Programs. Terms are conditional on sufficient space, other resources, and approval by the Deputy Director of Research & Programs. Terms longer than one year require review and approval by the Institutional Committee.
3.2.1 The title of Senior Whitman Investigator may be conferred by the MBL President/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 and may have certain privileges associated with the Whitman Center program.
3.3 Visiting Scientists are investigators who are sponsored by members of the MBL resident research program. They should register with the sponsoring Center/Program they plan to visit and be approved by the Center/Program Director. The sponsoring MBL Center, Program, or laboratory will accommodate the Visiting Scientist’s research needs and may charge an appropriate fee. To be eligible, the Visiting Scientist must ordinarily have an active primary appointment at another institution or organization.
3.3.1 If visiting for less than 4 months, a formal appointment is not required, although a confirmation letter from the sponsoring Center/Program can be given if the scientist or his/her home institution requests one. If Visiting Scientists want to extend their stay beyond the official four months, they must follow the procedures outlined in Section 3.3.2 below.
3.3.2 If visiting for 4 months or more, a Visiting Scientist must submit a CV and brief research proposal prior to approval. A formal appointment will be made by the sponsoring MBL Center/Program after consultation with the Deputy Director of Research & Programs. Foreign visitors requiring visas will be sponsored by the MBL once their formal appointment has been made. Extension of a Visiting Scientist appointment beyond one year will require review and approval by the Institutional Committee. For safety and security reasons, staff or visitors in a Visiting Scientist’s lab must be supervised by the Visiting Scientist for the majority of their stay at MBL.
3.4 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. For safety and security reasons, staff or visitors in an Adjunct Scientist’s lab must be supervised by the Adjunct Scientist for the majority of their stay at MBL.
3.4.1 Adjunct Scientist appointments will be made by the sponsoring MBL Center/Program Director after consultation with the Deputy Director of Research & Programs. Initial appointments are granted for terms of up to three years and require sponsorship by an MBL Center/Program Director or by the MBL Director. The appointment is renewable for terms of up to five years by the sponsoring MBL Center/Program again after consultation with the Deputy Director of Research & Programs. While every effort will be made to provide lab/office space if available in the Center/Program, long-term or permanently assigned lab/office space will have to be negotiated separately and will depend on outside funding.
3.4.2 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 (at the allowable cap or below) annually from such grants (e.g., “summer salary”) without prior permission from the MBL President/Director. When longer funding periods are requested, application for and appointment to an appropriate Track I or II position should be considered.
3.4.3 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.
3.5 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).
3.5.1 An individual will be appointed as an Affiliated Scientist by the MBL President/Director based on the recommendations of the sponsoring Center/Program Director without review by the Institutional Committee.
3.5.2 The appointment for an Affiliated Scientist 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 President/Director. Such appointments will carry limited rights beyond the issuance of an MBL Card and a parking permit, with no salary or space obligation.
3.5.3 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 President/Director or Deputy Director of Research & Programs.
Scientific appointments may be terminated by the scientist or by the MBL. See Policy and Procedures regarding Unfunded Scientists and Separation from the MBL.
Written procedures for implementing this policy are available from the Office of Research & Programs or the Human Resources office.
6.0 Policy Clarification and Updates
Policy clarification and updates are available from the Office of Research & Programs or the MBL President/Director’s Office.