HST PhD students considering employment outside of MIT (including but not limited to internships and consulting) are required to disclose their outside activities in an email to the HST Academic Office. The primary purpose is to inform the HST office (for tracking of registration and funding) and to document that the student’s research supervisor(s) are aware of the plan. If there is a potential faculty conflict-of-interest, then HST staff will consult with the Office of Graduate Education and MIT’s Conflict of Interest Officer to ensure compliance with applicable policies - on the part of the faculty member(s) as well as the student.

The email should be sent to hst-oe [at] mit.edu with cc to the student's research supervisor(s). The body of the email should include the following information: 

  • Student name
  • Year in HST PhD program
  • Brief description of proposed outside activities
  • Name of company
  • Dates of proposed outside activities
  • Estimated number of hours/week (only needed if part-time activity during a term in which the student is registered)
  • Name of PI
  • Statement that the PI is aware and approves
  • Statement that the outside activities do not overlap with the student’s thesis research
  • Name(s) of any Harvard or MIT faculty members engaged in the outside entity and description(s) of their role - or potential future role - in supervising, advising, or mentoring the student during the student’s degree program at MIT

For full-time activities: Students are strongly encouraged to arrange any full-time activities away from MIT to take place during the summer term (June, July, August) or the Independent Activities Period (January), since MIT does not permit partial-term registration to accommodate internships. Students doing full-time internships for the entire summer should not register for the summer term at MIT and should not submit funding forms for summer.

For part-time activities: Students should familiarize themselves with MIT policies regarding Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment.

International students are subject to additional restrictions and should consult the International Students Office.