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OSP | FAQ | PI Eligibility

What is a Principal Investigator?

The Principal Investigator (PI) is the person who is responsible for the substantive and financial development, management, and oversight of a sponsored program. The PI writes the proposal, develops the budget, seeks University approval for the project, carries out the substantive work if the grant is awarded, manages the grant budget and writes required technical reports.

The Principal Investigator is also referred to as the Project Director (PD).

Who can be a Principal Investigator?

The Principal Investigator must be a member of the full-time faculty, professional, or senior staff, or be an administrative officer of the University. Depending on the nature of the proposal, individuals with other University appointments may serve as Principal Investigators with the approval of the Provost and that individual's department head.

Any exceptions must have the written approval of the Vice Provost for Research/Dean of Graduate Studies. On rare occasions, it may be in the best interest of the University to have an individual who is not an employee of the University serve as the Principal Investigator on a University proposal. All such exceptions to policy should be discussed by the Vice Provost for Research/Dean of Graduate Studies well in advance of a proposal submission.

Does the Principal Investigator need to be on campus during the proposed period of work?

Generally yes, however, depending on the nature and scope of the proposed project, some sponsors will allow the PI to be off campus to perform proposed sponsored program/project work. Please consult with your assigned OSP staff member if you have questions or if you plan to be away from campus during the performance period of a sponsored program/project.

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