Principal Investigator Eligibility
Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)
Co-Principal Investigator / Project Director (Co-PI/PD)
Multiple Principal Investigator (MPI)
Principal Investigator (PI)
Project Director (PD)
Temporary Academic Positions
Leadership Plan for MPI Projects
To identify individuals who may be assigned responsibilities as Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD).
Faculty are primarily responsible for the quality and reputation of the University and should
routinely serve as Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD).
Because of the significant delegation of responsibility and authority, only employees
of the university may be designated PI/PD.
Part-time employees may have significant duties and responsibilities outside of the
University and temporary employees may lack commitment to the University; therefore,
individuals designated to serve as PI/PD should be employed in full-time base-budgeted
Individuals employed as Faculty or Staff may serve as the Principal Investigator (PI) or the Project Director (PD) on sponsored programs.
Students and individuals employed in Temporary Academic Positions may only serve as the PI/PD with prior approval by the Vice Provost for Research.
Students, Temporary Academic Positions, Adjunct Faculty and other individuals not employed by UofM may serve as a Multiple Principal Investigator (MPI) provided that a Faculty member agrees to serve as Contact PI and the Leadership Plan is approved by Research Support Services.
Individuals not employed by the university but who have a formal academic relationship
approved by academic personnel services or approved by the graduate school. Adjunct
Faculty employed as part-time instructors come under the guideline for Temporary Academic Positions.
This title designates key personnel without the oversight responsibilities of the
Principal Investigator or Project Director; therefore, individuals designated as Co-I
do not need to meet the qualifications to be PI.
Co-PI is the same as Multiple Principal Investigator (MPI.) Under the multiple principal
investigators concept, the National Science Foundation will refer to multiple investigators
as Co-PI (while the National Institutes of Health will refer to each multiple investigator
Co-PI/PD as currently used on the Proposal Summary Form means Co-Investigator (key personnel on a project other than the PI/PD.) Use of Co-PI/PD will be phased
out and replaced with MPI.
Projects with multiple principal investigators must designate a contact PI who is
responsible for communications among the project team, the sponsor, and UofM administration
units. The Contact PI will be entered on the Proposal Summary Form as PI/PD. Sponsors
may permit rotating which MPI is the Contact PI; however, for logistical reasons,
all UofM documentation will be filed under the original Contact PI as shown on the
Proposal Summary Form.
For use in this guideline, Faculty is defined as employees with the following characteristics:
1. Employee class code “F9” or “FA” on PEAEMPL form;
2. Status code “Full Time” on PEAEMPL form;
3. Budget profile “EDUGEN” on NBAPBUD form;
4. Budget profile “GRANTS” on NBAPBUD form where the funding source is either
a Chair of Excellence or a Center of Excellence
A document submitted at the time of proposal that delineates the roles of each Multiple
Principal Investigator (MPI.) Go to Leadership Plan for MPI Projects
This title identifies two or more individuals who share responsibility for the conduct
of the project in accordance with the Leadership Plan for MPI Projects.
This title identifies the individual responsible for the conduct of the project. Responsibilities
include the intellectual conduct of the project, fiscal accountability, administration,
This title identifies an individual responsible for the conduct of the project. Project
Director has the same responsibilities as Principal Investigator but is the traditional
title used for non-research sponsored programs.
For use in this guideline, Staff is defined as employees having managerial or supervisory
responsibilities with the following characteristics:
1. Employee class code “AD” on PEAEMPL form;
2. Status code “Full Time” on PEAEMPL form;
3. Budget profile “EDUGEN” on NBAPBUD form.
For use in this guideline, Temporary Academic Positions includes, but is not limited
to, graduate assistants, temporary instructors, visiting scholars, and soft money
positions having budget profile “GRANTS” on NBAPBUD form.
Projects with multiple principal investigators must have a leadership plan approved
by Research Support Services that delineates the roles of the investigators. Leadership
plans should describe the governance and organizational structure of the research
project including the communication plan and processes for making decisions on scientific
direction, allocating resources, determining authorship of publications, sharing intellectual
property, and resolving conflicts.
Leadership plans should designate the investigator responsible for reporting. If reporting
requirements are not met, the NIH will stop making awards to all investigators on
Leadership plans should specify the investigator responsible for human subjects, animal
studies, or other special reviews as appropriate.
Leadership plans must specifically identify investigators who will have authority
to expend funds. An investigator not employed by UofM (e.g. students or Adjunct Faculty) may not have spending authority; however, a non-UofM employee may have spending
authority through subcontract with the investigator’s employer. If more than one investigator
will have spending authority, the Leadership Plan must allocate budget to each investigator.
Prior to approving the Leadership Plan, Research Support Services must determine that
the plan for fiscal accountability can be implemented in Banner. When awarded, investigators
will have their share of the budget entered under their individual Banner organization
codes. During the project period, funds may be re-allocated among investigators as
described in the Leadership Plan. If budget re-allocation is not addressed in the
Leadership Plan, then the decision to re-allocate budget must be unanimous among the