Some of MIT’s faculty and Principal Investigators have hosted or received requests to host Fellows from Europe on Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Outgoing Fellowships (“Curie Fellowships”). These are funded by the European Commission (“EC”) and comprise a first “outgoing” phase at MIT and a second “returning” phase at the Fellow’s sending institution. Curie Fellowships are problematic for MIT for a variety of reasons. First, according to EC rules governing this Program, the sending institution must own any intellectual property developed by the Fellow during the outgoing phase. This requirement conflicts with MIT policy governing visiting researchers, which requires a visiting researcher to assign all intellectual property he/she creates while at MIT to MIT (and signs an Invention and Proprietary Information Agreement (“IPIA”) to that effect).
To enable MIT to host Skłodowska-Curie Fellows ("Curie Fellows"), MIT’s leadership has allowed a special exception to the MIT visiting researcher policy. Under this exception, MIT can host Curie Fellows if the following requirements are met:
- The Fellow will work on his/her own defined project, the subject of which does not overlap with that of any current or foreseeable non-federally sponsored research project conducted in the host faculty member’s lab;
- The sending institution agrees to provide a “bench fee” to MIT (for Curie Fellowships, this is usually in the form of Participation Expenses and Overhead);
- The sending institution agrees that any intellectual property created by the Fellow during the outgoing phase at MIT will be JOINTLY owned by the sending institution and MIT, and the Fellow will sign MIT's form of IPIA. These conditions must be agreed to in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Visitor Agreement ("MCVA") between the sending institution and MIT, in satisfaction of the agreement required by the EC in order for the Fellow to commence the Fellowship.
OSP has successfully negotiated MCVAs for a number of Curie Fellows based on these conditions, but the process has been involved and time-consuming. First, the Fellow must develop a Proposal for a distinct project, have it approved by the EC and sign a Grant Agreement with the EC. Then the MCVA must be negotiated between MIT and the sending institution. This often takes many months, since MIT must educate each individual sending institution about MIT’s policies and US requirements, each sending institution interprets Program rules differently and some may not accept MIT’s terms without approval from the EC. MIT has requested approval of our approach from the EC but the EC has so far declined to issue such a “blanket approval” and insisted each individual Fellowship be reviewed separately.
To speed up this process, MIT has developed the guidance in the Attachment "External Marie Skłodowska-Curie Guidance from MIT.” The attachment lists the essential conditions to which a European sending institution must agree if MIT will host a Curie Fellow.
If you receive a request from a potential Curie Fellow or sending institution to host a Fellow in your department, lab, or center, please transmit the Attachment "External Marie Skłodowska-Curie Guidance from MIT” to the prospective Skłodowska-Curie Fellow and/or sending institution as part of your response. In addition, as early as possible, please contact your representative in the Office of Sponsored Programs (“OSP”) to notify them that you have been asked to host a Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, and route a proposal via Kuali Coeus.
To process the request, OSP will need the Fellow’s Proposal for the project to be submitted via Kuali Coeus along with the Marie Curie Actions - Supplemental Proposal Routing Form (at the top of this page,) completed by you, that confirms that the project is distinct and does not overlap any non-federal-sponsored research projects in the host lab.
We hope that this guidance will clarify any confusion about the requirements for hosting Curie Fellows. Proactively following the process outlined above will simplify and materially expedite OSP's negotiation of your Marie Curie Fellow's MCVA. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss further, please contact your OSP representative or Rainer Frost, in OSP, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617)258-8012.