Change of Principal Investigator (PI)

Sponsored projects are awarded to the University of Maine (UM), not directly to the Principal Investigator (PI).  If the PI plans to, or becomes aware that he/she will: (a) devote substantially less effort to the project than anticipated in the approved proposal; (b) sever his/her connection with UM; or (c) otherwise relinquish active direction of the project, he/she shall work with their local administrative units, The Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School (OVPRDGS) and the Office of Research Administration (ORA) to recommend, review and approve a substitute PI prior to formal notification to the sponsor.

Change of PI recommendation process:

  1. Current PI and the recommended PI complete the Change of PI Recommendation Form
  2. The recommendation form along with the following documents are forwarded to the local administrative unit leaders (Chairs and/or Directors) for review and initial approval.
    1. Reason for the Change of PI request
    2. CV of the recommended PI
    3. Current and pending support of the recommended PI
    4. FCOI Certification
    5. Cost Share plan (if applicable)
  3. The recommendation form and additional documents are forwarded to applicable Dean(s) and VPRDGS for final review and approval.
  4. The fully approved recommendation form and additional documents are forwarded to the Office of Research Administration for submission to the Sponsor according to the Sponsor specific requirements and guidelines.

Short-Term Absence of PI

If the PI will be absent from the project for short periods of up to three months, he/she shall notify ORA.  ORA will notify the sponsor with a plan for how the project will be conducted during the PI’s temporary absence.

Long-Term Absence of PI

In the event the PI will be away from the project for a period greater than three months (e.g. sabbatical leave) but intends to return, arrangements for oversight of the project shall be sent to the sponsor for approval.  This information must be provided to ORA at least 45 days before departure or as soon as practicable after the prospective absence is known. ORA will endorse the request and submit to the sponsor, who will provide written approval to UM if the arrangements are satisfactory.  If the arrangements are not satisfactory to the sponsor, a substitute PI may need to be appointed as described by the sponsor. 

Withdrawal of PI

In the event the PI severs his/her connection with UM or otherwise relinquishes active direction of the project upon administrative approval, ORA must notify the sponsor and either:

  • initiate a grant transfer;
  • recommend a replacement PI; or
  • initiate grant closeout procedures

Substitute PI

In the event UM decides to continue a project with a substitute PI, a Change of PI Recommendation form should be completed, signed, and forwarded to ORA for processing.  If approved by the sponsor the award will be amended to reflect the change of PI.  If not approved by the sponsor the award may be suspended or terminated based upon the award terms and conditions.