When a PI Leaves MIT

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.

Download a PDF of the Exiting Faculty Checklist (2013)

The list below is just an overview. Please see the checklist for specific tasks and responsibilities.

Overview of tasks and responsibilities

Point of Contact

Task Overview



  • Brief Department Head on proposed transition plan
  • Work with AO to develop a transition plan for assigned staff, students and lab facilities
  • Department Head approves/modifies plan

Assigned Staff, Students, Lab Space


  • Arrange for transfer of active protocols to another investigator at MIT, or
  • Close the protocol, or
  • Arrange for review/approval of the protocol at gaining institution

Human Subjects

Committee on Animal Care (CAC)

  • Disposition of Protocol
  • Disposition of Animals

Animal Subjects

Technology Licensing Office (TLO)

  • Ensure all IP matters covered by a patent application or issued patent are resolved
  • 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)
  • Intellectual Property
  • Material Transfer Agreements
  • Data Management

Export Control Officer

Ensure 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.

Export Control

Property Office

  • Contact Property Office for list of assigned equipment and determine appropriate disposition instructions.
  • Determine title to equipment in order to sell or transfer equipment.
  • Check with Property Dept regarding equipment used to store chemicals, biological agents, or radioactive materials.

Disposition of Equipment

Research Administration Services

  • Notify Contract Administrator in RAS that a PI is departing MIT
  • Determine the disposition of any pending proposals (for example, withdrawing the MIT proposal, and resubmitting the proposal and budget through the gaining institution)
  • Advise PI and DLC regarding Sponsor requirements for award transfer; coordinate with Sponsor's business office as needed.
  • See Full Form (link above) for complete list

Award and Proposal Management


  • Coordinate with other party to amend or terminate agreements as necessary
  • Terminate 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 RAS of agreed upon plans for the disposition

Other Contractual Commitments


  • Proper transportation of research materials to gaining institution
  • 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.



Comply with the MIT Personnel Manual - Termination Procedures (6.5.1)


Department Head of PI's Home DLC

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.



Investigator informed to continue to file OPA forms for as long as he/she has an active MIT appointment - see opa.mit.edu

Professional Activities


Ensure appropriate/required records are retained by MIT

Record Retention

DLC Dept Head

Ensure 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

Data Retention