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Criteria to be Eligible to Serve as Principal Investigator

Policy

Dartmouth College policy states that only full-time faculty members or individuals holding full-time research positions (defined for each academic area in the Appendix) may routinely serve as Principal Investigators on sponsored projects. The intent of this policy is to ensure that the responsibility for setting the direction of Dartmouth's research rests squarely with the Faculty, who are primarily responsible for the quality of the research and the reputation of the University. Research and scholarship are an integral part of Dartmouth's educational mission. Dartmouth's research directions are charted by the Faculty with a view toward advancing knowledge in their fields and their impact on the education of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents. In order to maintain a careful balance between scholarly activities and teaching, the responsibility of the Principal Investigator must be primarily reserved to the Faculty.

However, individuals holding certain other University appointments are allowed to serve as Principal Investigators for projects that relate to their official duties, within certain limitations as described in the individual policies of each academic area (see Appendix).

In addition, certain sponsored programs have as their purpose the support of graduate education through student-initiated projects, (e.g., support for doctoral dissertations, predoctoral research fellowships, etc.). For these sponsored projects the following conditions apply:

  1. A full-time faculty member or equivalent, as identified in this document, must serve as Faculty Advisor.
  2. The Faculty Advisor shall retain the responsibilities of a Principal Investigator.
  3. The graduate student shall be responsible for the intellectual conduct of the project within the oversight of the Faculty Advisor.
  4. The proposal to the sponsor may name the graduate student as Key Personnel, as long as the Faculty Advisor is named as the responsible individual (i.e., Principal Investigator, Project Director or Faculty Advisor). The proposal should acknowledge the student's authorship of the proposal, as appropriate.

Appendices

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Individuals holding the following appointments may serve as Principal Investigator without need for prior approval:

  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Research Professor
  • Research Associate Professor
  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Research Instructor
  • Senior Research Associate

Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy may only be made with the prior approval of the appropriate Dean upon recommendation of the Department Chair. All exceptions will be made under the following considerations:

  1. An individual petition to serve as a Principal Investigator must be specifically approved on the basis of the particular facts involved and not as a routine procedure. The approval will be for a specific project duration, and will allow the PI to submit a given project to multiple funding agencies.
  2. The individual must have the necessary experience and independence to compete for his/her own sponsored program and to administer the project should it be funded, as judged by the faculty sponsor or the Department.
  3. The individual must obtain written commitments from the Department Chair required to guarantee necessary laboratory space or other resources or support for the length of the specific project. These commitments must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Projects at the time the application is reviewed by OSP prior to submission.
  4. Normally when principal investigators leave the institution the sponsored award transfers to the principal investigator ?s new institution. However, on the occasion when the sponsored award remains at the institution, the Department Chair and a specifically identified faculty member (faculty sponsor) must agree to assume responsibility for the awarded sponsored program. A plan should be developed for administering the sponsored program and should, at a minimum, include the identification of a specific individual who will assume the responsibilities of Principal Investigator to bring the program to a close.

Geisel School of Medicine

The following points summarize the medical school definition for Principal Investigator:

  1. All members of the faculty of Geisel School of Medicine (GSM) on the regular track or research track holding the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor, are eligible to be a Principal Investigator (PI) on an extramurally funded award.
  2. Individuals holding the rank of Instructor on the GSM faculty are eligible with the specific permission of the Chair of their Department. The Chair's permission must be obtained for each application prior to submission, and must consider space, equipment and resource needs as well as financial, programmatic and reporting elements that would be required should the award be funded.
  3. Adjunct faculty of GSM wishing to serve as PI on an application seeking extramural funding must seek the permission of both their Department Chair and the Dean of GSM prior to submission of the application. The Department Chair in consultation with the Dean's Office must determine that PI status is appropriate and must determine that space, equipment and resource needs as well as financial, programmatic and reporting elements that would be required should the award be funded.
  4. All others associated in various ways with GSM must be approved as exceptions on a case-by-case basis by an appropriate GSM Department Chair and approved by the Dean of GSM, as detailed below.

Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy may only be made with the prior approval of the appropriate Dean upon recommendation of the Department Chair. With regards to non-academic units of the University, the Provost will approve exceptions to this policy upon recommendations from the Center/Institute Director. All exceptions will be made under the following considerations:

  1. An individual petition to serve as a Principal Investigator must be specifically approved on the basis of the particular facts involved and not as a routine procedure. The approval will be for a specific project duration, and will allow the PI to submit a given project to multiple funding agencies.)
  2. The individual must have the necessary experience and independence to compete for his/her own sponsored program and to administer the project should it be funded, as judged by the faculty sponsor, the Department Chair or center/institute/laboratory Director as appropriate.
  3. The individual must obtain written commitments from the Department Chair or center/institute/laboratory Director as appropriate, required to guarantee necessary laboratory space or other resources or support for the length of the specific project. These commitments must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Projects at the time the application is reviewed by OSP prior to submission.
  4. Normally when principal investigators leave the institution the sponsored awards transfer to the principal investigators new institution. However, on the occasion when the sponsored award remains at the institution, the Department Chair or center/institute/laboratory Director as appropriate and a specifically identified faculty member (faculty sponsor) must agree to assume responsibility for the awarded sponsored program. A plan should be developed for administering the sponsored program and should, at a minimum, include the identification of a specific individual who will assume the responsibilities of Principal Investigator to bring the program to a close.

Thayer School of Engineering

Individuals holding the following appointments may serve as Principal Investigator without need for prior approval:

  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Research Professor
  • Research Associate Professor
  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Research Scientist

Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy may only be made with the prior approval of the appropriate Dean upon recommendation of the Department Chair. All exceptions will be made under the following considerations:

  1. An individual petition to serve as a Principal Investigator must be specifically approved on the basis of the particular facts involved and not as a routine procedure. The approval will be for a specific project duration, and will allow the PI to submit a given project to multiple funding agencies.
  2. The individual must have the necessary experience and independence to compete for his/her own sponsored program and to administer the project should it be funded, as judged by the faculty sponsor or the Department.
  3. The individual must obtain written commitments from the Department Chair required to guarantee necessary laboratory space or other resources or support for the length of the specific project. These commitments must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Projects at the time the application is reviewed by OSP prior to submission.
  4. Normally when principal investigators leave the institution the sponsored award transfers to the principal investigator's new institution. However, on the occasion when the sponsored award remains at the institution, the Department Chair and a specifically identified faculty member (faculty sponsor) must agree to assume responsibility for the awarded sponsored program. A plan should be developed for administering the sponsored program and should, at a minimum, include the identification of a specific individual who will assume the responsibilities of Principal Investigator to bring the program to a close.

Tuck School of Business Administration

Individuals with the following appointments are considered faculty regularly authorized to serve as Principal Investigators:

  1. Full-time faculty members at all levels
  2. Adjunct faculty members with a full-time faculty member serving as co-investigator

Criteria for Approval of Other Appointees as Principal Investigators

Other appointees may serve as Principal Investigators with the prior approval of the Dean. All approvals will be made under the following considerations:

  1. An individual petition to serve as a Principal Investigator must be specifically approved on the basis of the particular facts involved and not as a routine procedure. The approval will be for a specific project duration, and will allow the PI to submit a given project to multiple funding agencies.
  2. The individual must have the necessary experience and independence to compete for his/her own sponsored program and to administer the project should it be funded, as judged by the faculty sponsor and Dean.
  3. The individual must obtain written commitments from the Dean required to guarantee necessary laboratory space or other resources or support for the length of the specific project. These commitments must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Projects at the time the application is reviewed by OSP prior to submission.

Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy may only be made with the prior approval of the Dean. All exceptions will be made under the following considerations:

  1. An individual petition to serve as a Principal Investigator must be specifically approved on the basis of the particular facts involved and not as a routine procedure. The approval will be for a specific project duration, and will allow the PI to submit a given project to multiple funding agencies.)
  2. The individual must have the necessary experience and independence to compete for his/her own sponsored program and to administer the project should it be funded, as judged by the faculty sponsor and Dean.
  3. The individual must obtain written commitments from the Dean required to guarantee necessary laboratory space or other resources or support for the length of the specific project. These commitments must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Projects at the time the application is reviewed by OSP prior to submission.
  4. Normally when principal investigators leave the institution the sponsored awards transfer to the principal investigators new institution. However, on the occasion when the sponsored award remains at the institution, the Dean and a specifically identified faculty member (faculty sponsor) must agree to assume responsibility for the awarded sponsored program. A plan should be developed for administering the sponsored program and should, at a minimum, include the identification of a specific individual who will assume the responsibilities of Principal Investigator to bring the program to a close.

Provost

Individuals authorized to serve as Principal Investigators on sponsored projects originating from the Provost's Division include the Provost, and individuals with the title of Vice Provost and Associate Provost. Furthermore, Directors of Academic Centers may serve as Principal Investigators, with limitations. Some examples would be:

  • Librarian or Associate Librarian
    Limited to projects related to an individual's official duties * and which will enhance the mission of the libraries.
  • Director of the Institute of Security & Technology Studies
    Limited to projects related to an individual's official duties* and which will enhance the mission of the Institute
  • Director of the Hopkins Center
    Limited to projects related to an individual's official duties* and which will enhance the mission of the Hopkins Center.
  • Director of the Hood Museum
    Limited to projects related to an individual's official duties* and which will enhance the mission of the Hood Museum.

*Official duties means those duties specified at appointment or subsequently modified in writing.

Exceptions

With regard to non-academic units of the University, the Provost will approve exceptions to this policy upon recommendations from the Center/Institute Director. All exceptions will be made under the following considerations:

  1. An individual petition to serve as a Principal Investigator must be specifically approved on the basis of the particular facts involved and not as a routine procedure. The approval will be for a specific project duration, and will allow the PI to submit a given project to multiple funding agencies.)
  2. The individual must have the necessary experience and independence to compete for his/her own sponsored program and to administer the project should it be funded, as judged by center/institute/laboratory Director as appropriate.
  3. The individual must obtain written commitments from center/institute/laboratory Director required to guarantee necessary laboratory space or other resources or support for the length of the specific project. These commitments must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Projects at the time the application is reviewed by OSP prior to submission.
  4. Normally when principal investigators leave the institution the sponsored awards transfer to the principal investigators new institution. However, on the occasion when the sponsored award remains at the institution, the center/institute/laboratory Director as appropriate and a specifically identified faculty member (faculty sponsor) must agree to assume responsibility for the awarded sponsored program. A plan should be developed for administering the sponsored program and should, at a minimum, include the identification of a specific individual who will assume the responsibilities of Principal Investigator to bring the program to a close.

Last Updated: 1/14/14