Principal Investigators and Co-principal Investigators

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Who can be a Principal Investigator?

  • Tenured and tenure-track Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors and Librarians.
  • Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor and Research Professor, Extension Specialists, and Clinical Professors.
  • Adjunct, Visiting, Emeritus or other faculty positions at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst who have the signed approval of the appropriate governance bodies of a Department and the approval of the Dean of the relevant School or College.   PIs in one of these categories should also include a Co-Principal Investigator from appointment types included in 1 and 2 above.  In the event a Co-Principal Investigator is not named, the appropriate governance bodies of the Department and the Dean of the relevant School or College shall accept full fiscal and administrative liability and responsibility for the actions of the Principal Investigator included in this category.
  • All Post-Doctoral Fellows who have the signed approval of the appropriate governance bodies of a Department and the approval of the Dean of the relevant School or College.  The Post-Doctoral Fellow’s mentor must be listed as a co-principal investigator.
  • All Professional Staff who are not also students, provided they have the signed approval of the appropriate governance bodies of a Department and the approval of the Dean of the relevant School or College or the Vice Chancellor, if an administrative unit.
  • Neither undergraduate nor graduate students may be designated as PIs.  When a Sponsor’s program guidelines require the student to be listed as PI on the Proposal application, the student’s mentor/advisor shall be the PI of record on Internal Processing Form and be responsible for the conduct and oversight of the project.

Who can be a Co-PI?

  • Persons eligible for designation as PI are also eligible to be designated as Co-PIs.  No undergraduate or graduate students may be designated as Co-PIs.
  • The PI of any subcontract the University issues under a sponsored agreement is considered by most sponsoring agencies as a Co-PI, however they are not listed as Co-PIs at UMass.

What responsibilities investigators have?

Information on the roles and responsibilities of UMass PI's and Co-PI's may be found on the Roles and Responsibilities Policy and the Roles and Responsibilities matrix.

Support Services are available to PI's as they navigate the sponsored research: