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Eligibility for Principal Investigator

All proposal submitted for external funding is expected to be consistent with the goals and objectives of the department, college, or institution and should also assess the impact of the project on the future resources of the organization and any changes in the level of institutional support which may result from the acceptance of an award.

The principal investigator (PI) is the individual designated by the University to be responsible for preparing the proposal and the research and scholarly work once the proposal is funded. The PI is also responsible for the administration and management of the sponsored project once awarded.

Category I: Tenure track individuals with the following titles are eligible to serve as a principal investigator:

  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Chancellor Professor
  • Commonwealth Professor
  • Research Professor – all ranks

Category II: Other full-time benefited employees with the following titles are also eligible to serve as principal investigators:

  • Provost
  • Vice Provost
  • Associate Provost
  • Vice Chancellor*
  • Associate Vice Chancellor*
  • Assistant Vice Chancellor*
  • Dean
  • Associate Dean
  • Director of Center*
  • Other non-academic ranks will require the permission of the Division Head and Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation (VCRI)

Category III: Eligible with the approval of the Department Chair, the Dean, and Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation (VCRI)
Their approval is indicated by their signature on the proposal routing form.  

  • Emeritus
  • Research Associates
  • Clinical Professor – all ranks
  • Teaching Professors – all ranks

There shall also be a Co-Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator from Category I. Co-Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator accepts full grant responsibilities, including fiscal and administrative, should faculty from Category III not be able to fulfill their grant responsibilities. If a Co-Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator is unavailable, the Department Chair and the Dean shall accept full grant fiscal and administrative liability and responsibility for the actions of the Principal Investigator included in this category.

Adjunct faculty at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth must be approved by the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation in order to serve as investigators or senior personnel on grants originating from UMass Dartmouth.

Approval requires the following:

  1. In order to be eligible to serve as a co-Investigator, an adjunct faculty member must have a sponsoring faculty member or full-time employee who is the PI. The PI shall agree to take on the responsibilities of the grant.
  2. An adjunct with a primary full-time appointment elsewhere must provide evidence that his/her home institution approves his/her activities as a co-investigator on a grant at UMass Dartmouth.
  3. The Chairperson and the Dean of the department/program where the co-investigator is appointed as an adjunct must support the request for approval.

The following positions are not normally eligible to serve as an investigator:

  • Visiting and other short-term appointees
  • Post-Doctoral Fellows, except for fellowship awards
  • Part-time Lecturers/Faculty

Post-Doctoral Fellows, with the approval of the department chair and dean, are eligible for Fellowship awards.

Approval is indicated by signature on the Internal Routing Form.
The Post-Doctoral Fellow’s tenure track mentor must be listed as a co-principal investigator. The mentor assumes overall responsibility for the technical and fiscal management of the award.

* - Must also hold an academic position or must be approved by the Provost, VCRI, or Chancellor


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