Principal Investigator (PI) Status

In order to submit a proposal or serve as Principal Investigator (PI) on an award, investigators must have PI status. The term Principal Investigator (PI) is used to identify a researcher with primary responsibility for a research project. In various contexts, the specific purport, policy, eligibility guidelines, procedures, and responsibilities of PI status may vary as directed by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE).

Principal Investigator Status on Extramural Grants

The term Principal Investigator (PI) is used most commonly to identify the individual who is responsible for a sponsored research project (grant). This responsibility includes both leadership of the scientific/technical aspects of the project and compliance with the financial and administrative aspects of the award. Tenure-track faculty members automatically have PI status. PI status can be granted to academic staff in three ways:

  • (One-time) Limited PI Status: Approved by Schools/Colleges/Institutes on a proposal-by-proposal basis.
  • Blanket Limited PI Status: Approved by Schools/Colleges/Institutes for a time period of 1-3 years and/or for multiple proposals in a single category (e.g. research or outreach).
  • Permanent PI Status: Granted by the VCRGE to individuals with very strong research records who meet specific eligibility criteria.

(One-time) Limited PI Status

To serve as PI on a specific proposal/project, researchers must request (One-time) Limited PI Status:

  • Complete a Request for Limited PI Status form for the proposal.
  • Submit the request form AND an up-to-date CV to the department chair/director for approval (signature required).  Depending on the department’s processes, requests may need to go through department committee for approval.
  • Upload the signed request form AND up-to-date CV as attachments to the WISPER record for the proposal.
  • Create a Division Approval request in WISPER:
    • Use approval type “Limited PI Status” and direct to ’07-College of Ag and Life Science’.
  • Once the request is approved, the individual is eligible to serve as PI on the project.

Blanket Limited PI Status

To gain PI status for a specified period of time (1-3 years) for one or multiple proposals, Academic Staff must request Blanket Limited PI Status:

  • Complete a Request for Blanket Limited PI Status form
  • Submit the request form AND an up-to-date CV to the department chair/director for approval (signature required).  Depending on the department’s processes, requests may need to go through department committee for approval.
  • Once approved by the department, Blanket Limited PI Status requests (including an up-to-date CV) should be submitted to Mark Hubbard, CALS Research Division for Dean’s approval.
  • Blanket Limited PI Status requests should not be submitted in WISPER as it is highly recommended that these requests be submitted and approved prior to proposal submission.

Permanent PI Status

Experienced academic staff members with very strong research records may be eligible to apply for Permanent PI Status, which is granted by the VCRGE twice per year (February 15 and October 15).

Academic Staff members who meet the criteria for Permanent PI Status may apply by submitting the materials described in the VCRGE Checklist. Application materials should be forwarded to Mark Hubbard for Dean’s Office approval and co-signature on the supporting letter from the department chair or director.

Please consult Mark Hubbard at least one month in advance of the VCRGE deadlines. All Permanent PI Status applications must be reviewed and approved by the CALS Dean’s Office prior to submission to the VCRGE.

Academic Staff members granted Permanent PI Status do not need to request permission to serve as PI each time a proposal is submitted. In addition, Permanent PIs are eligible to apply for VCRGE Research Committee funds through its Spring/Fall Competitions.

For complete information on applying for Permanent PI Status, see the VCRGE Permanent Principal Investigator Status policy page.

Contacts

For more information or assistance with PI Status, contact your Department Administrator or Mark Hubbard in the CALS Research Division, (608) 265-2286.