When a PI Leaves MIT

Download a PDF of this page - Exiting Faculty Checklist

PI Transfer Checklist

This Checklist is a tool for Principal Investigators (PIs) and Departments, Labs and Centers (DLC) administrators to assist in ensuring that all pertinent activities are properly closed out and/or transferred for PIs transferring to another institution. This Checklist may not include everything, however it is an attempt to highlight the more common issues/concerns that complicate and potentially slow down the transition of a PI, or cause problems after a PI transfers to a new institution.
AreaChecklist ItemCheckResponsibilityPoint Of Contact
 - Staff
 - Students
 - Lab Space
Work with AO to develop a transition plan for assigned staff, students and lab facilities  PI/AODLC/AO
Brief Department Head on proposed transition plan  PI/AO
Department Head approves/modifies plan Dept Head
Plan should address the following:
  • Arrange for the transfer of staff/students to another Investigator at MIT, or
  • Arrange for transfer of staff/students to new Institution, or
  • Issue layoff notices and terminate appointment
  • Disposition of equipment (see below)
  • Determine how sponsored programs will be handled, e.g. terminated, transferred, etc. (see below)
  • Arrange for the transfer of lab space to another investigator or to DLC
  • Turn-in/transfer lab keys; computers; office equipment, etc.
Arrange for transfer of active protocols to another investigator at MIT, or PICOUHES
Close the protocol, or 
Arrange for review/approval of the protocol at gaining institution 
1. Disposition of Protocol
  • Arrange for transfer of active animal protocols to another investigator at MIT, or
  • Close the protocol, or 
  • Arrange for review/approval of the protocol at gaining institution
 PICommittee on Animal Care (CAC)
2. Disposition of Animals
  • Arrange for the transfer of animals to another MIT PI/protocol, or
  • Arrange for the transfer of animals to another Institution
Intellectual Property &
Material Transfer Agreements & Data Management
Ensure all IP matters covered by a patent application or issued patent are resolved PITechnology Licensing Office

Ensure any co-inventions with other institutions are appropriately managed 
Submit final Statement of Disclosure for any previously undisclosed intellectual property 
Terminate or transfer MTA responsibilities to gaining institution (if materials can be transferred) 
Export ControlsEnsure all restricted material currently under a technology control plan is transferred to a new responsible individual or disposed of properly. Notify and/or work with the Export Control Officer on this. PI

Export Control Officer


Disposition of EquipmentContact Property Office for list of assigned equipment and determine appropriate disposition instructions. PIProperty Office

Determine title to equipment in order to sell or transfer equipment. Property Office
If gaining institution is willing to purchase, a fair market value must be determined. Property Office
If transfer of equipment to a gaining institution is to occur, shipping should be arranged and paid by gaining organization. PI
If Equipment is staying on campus; arrange for the transfer (other PI) or turn-in (DLC) of equipment and associated maintenance records  PI
Check with Property Dept regarding equipment used to store chemicals, biological agents, or radioactive materials. PI
Proposal and Award Management



Change PI
Notify Contract Administrator in OSP that a PI is departing MIT PIOSP

Determine the disposition of any pending proposals (for example, withdrawing the MIT proposal, and resubmitting the proposal and budget through the gaining institution) PI
If requesting award transfer to gaining institution, contact Sponsor and coordinate request and timing of award transfer.  
If award will remain at MIT until end date, arrange for a change in PI at MIT and initiate request for change to Sponsor; or initiate award termination. DLC
Determine whether a sub-award to gaining institution is appropriate if award remains at MIT. DLC
Determine if existing subawards will be terminated and renewed at gaining institution PI
Advise PI and DLC regarding Sponsor requirements for award transfer; coordinate with Sponsor's business office as needed. OSP
Ensure salary certification requirements have been met prior to faculty departure from MIT DLC
Coordinate with Sponsored Accounting to ensure proper and accurate reconciliation of accounts, completion of financial reports, and close-out of awards. DLC
Return unexpended start-up, retention, or other funds to funding source DLC
Coordinate with Sponsored Accounting to determine correct balance to be transferred to gaining institution. DLC
Ensure technical and patent reports are complete and have been submitted prior to faculty departure from MIT DLC
Initiate formal notification to Sponsor, co-signed by OSP DLC
Terminate non-disclosure agreements or transfer to gaining institution as applicable OSP
Other Contractual CommitmentsTerminate or transfer responsibilities for other contractual arrangements (e.g. no cost collaborations, equipment loan agreements, data use agreements, non-disclosure agreements) prior to the move to the gaining institution; inform sponsor of the change and inform OSP of agreed upon plans for the disposition PIDLC
Coordinate with other party to amend or terminate agreements as necessary OSPOSP
EHSProper transportation of research materials to gaining institution PIEHS
Complete EHS Laboratory Move/Closure Checklist (EHS-0026) when vacating lab space in order to properly address remaining chemicals, radioactive materials, biological materials, human pathogens, controlled substances.   
HR Actions/
Comply with the MIT Personnel Manual - Termination Procedures (6.5.1) PI/DLCDLC HR
Complete items identified on the IS&T-HR Termination Checklist        http://ist.mit.edu/hr/termchecklist PI/DLC
Obtain approval from Dept Head for leave or other changes in appointments as required  PI/DLC
If participating in the faculty housing program, coordinate departure with the Relocations Specialist within the Provost's Office PI/DLC
Conflicts of Interest and Outside Professional ActivitiesInvestigator informed to continue to file OPA forms for as long as he/she has an active MIT appointment - see opa.mit.edu DLCDepartment Head of the PI's Home Department
Investigator is informed to continue to disclose his/her Significant Financial Interests to MIT for as long as they are named as an Investigator on an active award administered by MIT in compliance with sponsor-specific requirements. Note: Departments should keep Kerberos accounts active in order for Investigators to be able to continue to complete their disclosures until the award is closed out. DLC
Ensure appropriate/required records are retained by MIT DLCDLC Administrative Officer
Data Retention and ManagementEnsure that the PI has developed an inventory of research data and other materials developed while at MIT and that MIT retains copies of research data developed by the PI and his/her lab while at MIT; provide records to sponsors and others as needed DLCDLC Department Head
Inform PI of the MIT's data management policy and requirement to provide sponsors with copies of data as needed. MIT's policy is based on the NIH definition of "data", which is defined as recorded information, regardless of the form or media on which it may be recorded, and includes writings, films, sound recordings, pictorial reproductions, drawings, designs, or other graphic representations, procedural manuals, forms, diagrams, work flow charts, equipment descriptions, data files, data processing or computer programs (software), statistical records, and other research data. DLC