Principal Investigator Eligibility

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When the University submits proposals to external sponsors and accepts awards for sponsored projects, legal responsibility and accountability for the conduct of the sponsored project and for compliance with all relevant policies reside with OSPA as the University’s agent in these matters.

The Principal Investigator (PI) of a sponsored project is the primary individual responsible for technical compliance, completion of programmatic work, fiscal stewardship of sponsor funds, and compliance with administrative requirements of the project.  Thus, the University must ensure that individuals serving in this capacity of PI have the technical competence and administrative capability to carry out a sponsored project.

Who Can Serve as a Principal Investigator?

Any individual who holds one of the following positions with a 50% or greater appointment, may be identified as a Principal Investigator for sponsored activities: 

  • Tenure Track Faculty: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor
  • Research Faculty: Assistant Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, and Research Professor
  • Project / Program Directors
  • Directors / Associate Directors
  • Senior Scientist
PI Eligibility Quick Reference
Category Principal Investigator Co-Principal Investigator
1 No prior approval No prior approval
2 Prior approval required Yes, with Category 1 as lead
3 No Yes, with Category 1 as lead
4 No No