In many circumstances, thesis work may offer potentially attractive business opportunities to the graduate student. A brief thesis hold allows the student to delay public access to research findings in order to pursue patent applications or explore other business opportunities associated with the work.
If the student holds copyright to the thesis material and wishes to pursue a patent or explore other personal business opportunities, a request for a thesis hold must be made jointly by the student and advisor and directly to the Dean for Graduate Education via the request form. The Dean acts with power in approving thesis holds and requesting that the MIT Archives hold a thesis from public access for up to three months.
The Dean for Graduate Education will not approve a petition for thesis hold beyond three months. A request for a longer period must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Research and Associate Provost.
If the Institute holds copyright to the thesis material and the student wishes to pursue a patent or explore other personal business opportunities, a request for a thesis hold must be made jointly by the student and advisor directly to the MIT Technology Licensing Office as part of the technology disclosure process.