Visitor Industry Researcher Program

The Visiting Industry Researcher Program provides an opportunity for members of CSAIL Alliances to have one of their industry researchers work side-by-side with CSAIL researchers.

This is an MIT appointment. Candidates must meet MIT requirements and interview with the desired research group. Successful candidates are embedded within a research group and work side-by-side with CSAIL researchers and students. Visiting Industry Researchers can work on an ongoing project at CSAIL or on a project sponsored by his/her organization. 

Program participants have access to a broad range of opportunities across the MIT campus. This is an additional engagement with a separate agreement and fee structure. There are a limited number of appointments available. There can be no more than one visitor at a time per PI lab. However, there can be one visiting researcher or one visiting student.

Process and Requirements

The Visiting Industry Researcher Program participants typically join CSAIL research teams in February or September for a six- or twelve-month period. MIT's International Scholars Office requires all visiting appointments go live on either the 1st or 15th of the month. To be considered for an appointment all candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • The proposed visiting researcher must be an employee of a CSAIL Alliances member company. Visit our Current Members page for a complete list of our members or you are welcome to request information on how to become a member by visiting Contact.
  • The member company must send the resumes of proposed visiting industry researchers to the selection committee at least 6 months prior to the desired appointment start date, along with an assignment request.
  • The selection committee will review the resumes and contact the requested researcher(s).
  • The visiting industry researcher must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree and 5 years experience and/or a Masters Degree in a Computer Science discipline or a PhD.
  • The visiting industry researcher must have a technical proficiency in the area of research he/she seeks to join.
  • The candidate must possess sufficiency in the English language to successfully participate in their program of study. This will be proven through one of the following methods:
    • A recognized English language test, e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.
    • Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school
    • A documented interview conducted by the faculty lead of the requested research group, either in person, by videoconferencing or telephone (if videoconferencing is not a viable option).
  • The candidate must identify the researcher(s) s/he wishes to work with, while enrolled in the program.
  • If there is a fit in terms of skill set, space and schedules, the researcher will request a virtual interview with the proposed industry researcher.
  • If the virtual interview is successful, the researcher will request the appointment from the Lab Director on behalf of the visiting industry researcher.
  • If the Lab Director approves the appointment, an offer to join CSAIL as a visiting industry researcher will be sent.  If the proposed visiting industry researcher accepts, an appointment for the visiting industry researcher will be initiated with CSAIL HR, along with visa information (if applicable).
  • The member company of the proposed visiting industry researcher will be sent an Agreement to Sponsor a Visiting Industry Researcher in CSAIL. This agreement must be signed by the company and returned to CSAIL Alliances along with the fee.
  • CSAIL Alliances will send Visitor Program information and CSAIL on-boarding materials to the company sponsor and proposed visiting industry researcher.
  • In addition to the Agreement the company must sign, the Visiting Industry Research must review and sign the MIT IPIA agreement form and MIT Non-Disclosure Agreement. All visiting researchers involved in research at MIT are required to sign a Visiting Scientist Invention and Proprietary Information Agreement.
  • All documents must be signed and fees paid before the Visiting Industry Research comes to campus to begin his/her appointment.
  • HR requires a letter from the sponsoring company saying they are keeping the visiting researcher an employee.
Visitor Program Process Overview

8-12 weeks

Submit Candidates
CSAIL Alliances member identifies pool of potential visitors

Application Review
CSAIL Alliances interviews candidates for research alignment and language proficiency

Matching Process
CSAIL Alliances works to find best CSAIL research match

Final Agreement
Visitor Candidate and PI hold interview. If there is a match, the candidate will proceed to the Preparation Process. If not, they will revert back to the Matching Process.

3-4 months

Preparation Process
Paper work, housing, Visa application