Update on career ladders

December 19, 2023
Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research, 2013–2024 | Ramona Allen, Vice President for Human Resources |

Dear research scientists, research engineers, and research associates,

As most of you know, the Institute has been undertaking a project to create more precise job classifications for research scientists, research engineers, and research associates. The intent of this work is to provide more granular career progressions and clearer expectations for advancement to support your career development. For additional context, please see our June 2023 letter on the project.

Project update

We are writing to update you on this work. During the past six months, faculty and other supervisors across MIT have assessed the scope of responsibility of each research scientist, research engineer, and research associate whom they supervise. Each position has been assigned to a job type and one of three levels, according to a set of guiding criteria. The resulting set of assignments is now being reviewed by your school and DLCI leadership for consistency, and senior leaders are considering updates to the job definitions in MIT Policies & Procedures to reflect the more granular structure. Pending completion of those next steps, we estimate full implementation by late February or March.

What to expect next

The outcome of this work will be a job title in our internal HR systems that better reflects the scope of your current responsibilities. When the final review of job and level assignments in your local area is complete, your internal job title will be communicated to you, and the framework that has guided this classification will be shared.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this project, we encourage you to consult the FAQs on the VPR website (Touchstone required) or reach out to research_careers@mit.edu. We look forward to sharing further information with you in the new year.

With gratitude for your myriad contributions to MIT research, we wish you a restful and restorative winter break.


Maria T. Zuber 
Vice President for Research

Ramona Allen 
Vice President for Human Resources