Principal Investigator Status Appointments


The university grants principal investigator (PI) status using the following guidelines:

PI status is automatically granted for individuals holding the following titles, provided the individual is a salaried, regular faculty member having at least a 50 percent appointment.

  • professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor
  • research professor, research associate professor, research assistant professor
  • professor, associate professor or assistant professor of (clinical discipline)

Persons holding the following university non-academic titles may serve as principal investigators on projects directly related to the mission and responsibility of their office:

  • offices: director, associate director, assistant director

Persons holding the titles listed below are not eligible for PI status, unless an exception is made in writing by the University Senior Associate Vice President for Research. Requests for exception must be made by the department chair with signature concurrence from the associate dean for research, vice dean (or dean) of the college and accompanied by the prospective investigator’s CV. Persons holding these titles may, in certain situations, be granted co-investigator status, which requires a regular faculty member to serve as PI and to assume responsibility for the project

  •  emeritus professor
  • lecturer
  • clinical professor, clinical associate professor, clinical assistant professor
  • professor – practice, associate professor – practice, assistant professor – practice
  • adjunct professor, adjunct associate professor, adjunct assistant professor, adjunct instructor
  • visiting professor, visiting associate professor, visiting assistant professor, visiting lecturer
  • senior research associate, research associate, research assistant
  • research scientist (unless permission was granted in initial appointment letter)
  • postdoctoral researchers or doctoral students

Appointment Procedures

Requests for PI status must include:

  • A request letter written (on department letterhead) by a dean, chair, or director
  • The approval of the associate dean for research, or vice dean  (or dean) of the college. (This approval can be in the form of a separate letter, an email, or a notation made on the request letter)
  • The individual’s CV

Request letters and all supporting documentation can be submitted electronically for approval to the Office of Research to, with a copy to, or mailed to Janet M. Weisenberger, PhD, Senior Associate Vice President for Research, 208 Bricker Hall, 190 North Oval Mall.