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Title: Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility
Subject:  Office of Sponsored Programs
Policy No: OSP: 2018:01                                                              
Applies: University-wide                   
Issuing Authority: Vice President for Research (Signature)                          
Responsible Officer:  Vice President for Research     
Last Revision:  02/03/2023
Last Reviewed: 02/03/2023


To establish Principal Investigator (PI) eligibility for submission of externally funded grants.


The Vice President for Research shall implement this policy and the Director for the Office of Sponsored Programs shall ensure compliance with this policy.


This policy applies to all faculty, employees and students of the University and grants and sponsored projects.


Eligibility for Principal Investigator (PI) Status: PI status is granted to all regular full-time faculty and staff, including librarians, and professional and support staff, and administrators of the University of all managerial ranks and clinicians with faculty appointments. Any time spent engaging in work on grant activities by professional, support, or administrative staff must be performed as overload and not within the confines of regular assigned activities, unless there is prior approval of the cognizant Vice President and ensuring there is no additional compensation provided for such activities.

Post-doctoral fellows, adjuncts, and instructors may be eligible for PI status in certain circumstances as described below. Student Investigators are not eligible for PI status, but may be permitted to conduct sponsored projects under the direction of a faculty advisor.

Process for a Petition to Grant PI Status

Individuals who do not meet University eligibility requirements may be granted PI based upon the applicant’s experience, skills, research interests, and project plans. The petition for PI status must be specifically approved on a case-by-case basis and is comprised of the following process:

Prospective PIs should first consult their chair and dean regarding the potential of being PI. Upon approval, they should follow university procedures for receiving internal approval to submit through the Cayuse SP grants management system. Chair and Dean approval of the Cayuse record indicate their acceptance and approval of the applicant’s request to be PI.

Eligibility for Co-PI Status

A Co-PI is an individual involved with the PI in the scientific development or execution of a project. A Co-PI typically devotes a specified percentage of time to the project and is considered "key/senior personnel." The designation of a Co-PI, if applicable, does not affect the PI’s roles and responsibilities as specified in this policy statement. Academic tenure-track, adjunct, emeriti faculty, employees with term appointments (e.g., instructors, post-doctoral associates, visiting scholars, etc.), and other regular employees can serve as Co-PIs on sponsored projects.

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