2136 - Principal Investigator Eligibility

Document purpose

To establish the criteria permitting individuals to fulfill the role of Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator on a sponsored project


April 2004


December 2014


May 2024

Responsible Office

Research Services


Research Services


A Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator is an individual designated by the University and approved by the sponsor to direct a project funded by an external sponsor.  They are responsible and accountable to the University and sponsor for the proper programmatic, scientific, or technical conduct of the project and its financial management.

The Policy

All proposals submitted to sponsors for external support must carry as Principal or co-Investigator at least one person in a professorial track holding the academic rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or be appointed as a clinician educator.   The Principal Investigator must be an employee of the University or hold an adjunct or emeritus appointment.

Individuals who are trainees, whether or not they are also employees (such as postdoctoral fellows/associates, students, interns or residents), may apply for external sponsorship only with the approval of a faculty sponsor or mentor.

All applications for external sponsorship must indicate the approval of the appropriate department chair and dean, indicating the availability of resources necessary to carry out the project.

Individuals not meeting the above criteria may petition the Associate Vice Provost for Research, Office of Research Services for approval to submit an application to an external sponsor as a Principal or co-Investigator. Such approval will usually require the agreement of the Senior Vice Provost for Research.



The source of this document is Research Services.