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Request for an Individual Not Meeting Policy Criteria to Serve as a Principal Investigator

Procedure: 8-8

Effective: September 1, 2005

Owner: Office of Sponsored Programs

Latest Revision: January 14, 2010

Procedure Steps | Scope | Policy | Responsibility | Distribution | Ownership


This procedure covers the criteria which determine who might serve as a principal investigator on University of Virginia sponsored research projects in exceptional circumstances beyond policy established eligibility criteria.

System References

Proposal Approval Sheet



The principal investigator is designated by the University to direct the project or program being supported by the grant or contract. The principal investigator is responsible on behalf of the University for the sound technical, fiscal, and administrative management of the project or program in accordance with both University and sponsor requirements. Responsibilities of the principal investigator include:

  • Ensuring expenditures are made for the intended purpose of the grant/contract and in accordance with sponsor requirements and University policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring the budget approved by the sponsor is not exceeded.
  • Ensuring necessary approval for budget reallocations has been obtained.
  • Ensuring technical reports and other non-fiscal reports are properly submitted to the sponsor on a timely basis.
  • Ensuring grant/contract personnel have knowledge of and are in compliance with the University's effort reporting system.
  • Obtaining the necessary approvals for restricted expenditures such as equipment and travel.


Principal Investigators and all research faculty Department Chairs, School Deans and Associate Deans School and Research Administrators Fiscal Contacts Sponsored Programs Staff


The Assistant Vice President for Research Administration is responsible for ensuring that this procedure is necessary, reflects actual practice, and supports University policy.

Procedure Steps

Requests for an individual who does not meet the standard policy criteria, as described in policy VIII.A.1 Grants and Contracts: Definition, Solicitation, Clearance and Acceptance should be made in writing to the Assistant Vice President for Research Administration. All requests must be endorsed by the appropriate Chair and Dean. The request should address the need for making the exception and how allowing the person to serve as a PI will further the University mission and institutional priorities. The request should document the individual’s relationship with the University, their appointment, any space commitments, administrative support commitments and finally the requested length of time for the individual to serve as a PI. Requests that meet the following requirements will be reviewed and acted on by the Assistant Vice President for Research Administration, to whom authority is delegated to grant such permissions:

  • Must have an employee relationship with the University at the time of the award (i.e. it is expected that the faculty member in question would be receiving pay from the University at that time)
  • Must have an appointment of at least Research Associate
  • Must receive a guarantee of space and administrative support by the respective Department Chair
  • Must have the appropriate Chair and Dean approval

Exception requests not meeting the above criteria require the review and approval of both the Vice President for Research and the Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Requests in these circumstances should be made to the Assistant Vice President for Research Administration following the same guidelines as listed above. The request will be shared with the Associate Vice President for Research and both the Vice President for Research and the Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer. An appropriate amount of time should be allowed for the review by both Vice Presidents.

If the decision is reached to allow the exception, the Assistant Vice President for Research Administration will communicate approval to serve as a University PI to the requesting individual, with appropriate carbon copies to the Chair and Dean. The right to serve as a PI will not be extended to contract work without specific prior approval of the project by the Chair, Dean and OSP.

End of Activity