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Principal Investigators of Sponsored Projects

Approved by Cabinet 11/03/2009)

Research and other sponsored project activities are supportive of Keene State College’s broad educational mission and are thus conducted under the responsible control of the College’s full-time tenure-track faculty. Principal Investigators (PIs) (also sometimes referred to as Project Directors) of externally funded projects are normally required to be members of the full-time tenure-track faculty. The chair and dean of the relevant academic unit must approve each proposal for an externally sponsored program by signing the Proposal Routing Form, and, by doing so, are indicating their approval for the PI to undertake the project. In certain instances, it may be appropriate for individuals who are not members of the full-time tenure-track faculty to serve as PIs (e.g., Adjunct Faculty). If the PI of a proposed project is not a member of the full-time tenure-track faculty, the signatures of the chair and dean on the Proposal Routing Form also indicate their approval of the person serving in that capacity for that project, after having carefully considered the pertinent issues, including but not limited to:

  • Grants are awarded to the College, not to the individual. If the PI, for whatever reason, is no longer available, able, or willing to carry out the work of the grant, the College would need to identify another qualified individual to put forward to the sponsor as a possible replacement PI.
  • PIs have fiscal oversight of the grant FUND, which includes responsibility for approving expenses and signing time sheets and/or effort reports for employees paid from the grant.
  • Sponsors typically require a variety of reports throughout the award lifecycle, including financial and technical reports. Although the Business Office completes financial reports, the completion of the technical reports is the responsibility of the PI. The College must be certain that any technical reports can be completed should a PI become unavailable to do so.

In the event that a non-tenure track faculty member (e.g., Adjunct) is approved by the Dean and Chair to serve as a PI on a grant, an appropriate Co-PI must also be named who is a full-time tenure-track faculty member (or a full-time administrator, where appropriate, such as a Chair, Dean, or Assistant Dean).

Some externally funded programs are clearly of an administrative, as contrasted with an academic or scholarly, nature and should be headed by a full-time staff member. In this case, the immediate supervisor and the appropriate Vice President also indicate their approval of the individual serving as PI by signing the Proposal Routing Form.

Graduate students, postdocs, and visiting faculty generally do not serve as PIs or Co-PIs. In some cases, an externally funded program may require that one of these individuals be listed as a PI or Co-PI, or there may be other good cause to consider a waiver of this restriction. In such cases, the Office of Sponsored Projects & Research should be contacted well in advance of the proposal deadline so that the case may be discussed and considered with the appropriate College personnel.

It should be noted that any PI, Co-PI, or investigator is bound by all Keene State College policies, including the College’s Conflict of Interest Policy, and shall make all required disclosures at the time of proposal submission and throughout the life of any award that should be forthcoming.


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About this Policy

Principal Investigators of Sponsored Projects
Ownership: OSPR, Susan Ericson-West / Penny Miceli
Last Revised: June 26, 2014
Categories: Research
For questions regarding this policy, please contact the policy owner.