Principal Investigator Eligibility

The University is the legal recipient of all grants and contracts made in support of sponsored projects. However, it is the Principal Investigator who initiates, oversees and develops sponsored project applications and when funded is responsible for project execution, award management, and compliance with all applicable rules and regulations that govern sponsored projects. To serve as Principal Investigator an individual must be a faculty member or other professionally qualified staff, as noted below.

PI Eligible

Active full- or part-time salaried employees holding the following titles:

  • Tenured and tenure track faculty
  • Research professors, assistants, associates
  • Extension professors, assistants, associates
  • Researchers
  • Instructor or lecturer
  • Professional staff
  • University administration
  • Post-Doctoral or Graduate Student fellows on training and fellowship applications, where a PI eligible faculty member is named as a mentor.

New Hires

New faculty hires who have accepted positions at the University are PI eligible and may submit proposals before they start work.

Ineligible Positions *

Individuals in the following categories are not eligible to be a Principal Investigator unless they have written approval from the Unit Leader and the Vice President for Research & Dean of the Graduate School through use of the PI Eligibility Form.

  • Emeritus Faculty
  • External Associates
  • Visiting Faculty
  • Adjunct Faculty
  • Students

* Individuals in these positions may be included as a co-PI under proposals submitted by an eligible PI.

* Individuals must have an active job in PeopleSoft HR and must receive compensation for their effort.


Are soft-funded research faculty who have a lapse in funding eligible to submit proposals as a PI?

Current soft-funded research faculty can go on leave when they have a lapse in funding. They are still considered employees.