Who can be a Principal Investigator?

Effective January 9, 2015

On the Reynolda campus only faculty and staff with whom the University has or intends to have an on-going contractual relationship may serve as principal investigators (PI) or program directors (PD) for projects, research or otherwise, supported by external funding sources. (This restriction also applies to those designated as co-PIs* or co-PDs on sponsored projects).

As such, on the Reynolda campus, only the following may serve as a PI or PD on an externally sponsored project:

  • Full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty
  • Full-time, regular staff

Other Faculty members of the University community may request permission from their dean or the Provost to serve as PI/PD.  Such positions include:

  • Teacher-Scholar Post Doc Fellows (TSPDF’s) whose salary is paid by the College of Arts and Sciences and whose duties are split between mentored teaching and research
  • Full-time non-tenure track faculty with the title of Research Assistant/Associate/Professor; Assistant, Associate, or (full) Teaching Professor; Lecturer or Instructor; Visiting Assistant/Associate/Professors are eligible if their appointments will continue through the first requested external award year
  • Professors of the Practice if their appointments will continue through the first requested external award year
  • Graduate Faculty whose primary appointment at another institution may not serve as PI/PD

The request for special PI/PD status must include:

  • the endorsement of the department chair or center director, as appropriate; for internal awards or awards that require cost-share a department/center contribution may be required
  • a statement whether PI status is being granted for one specific proposal or for all future proposals by the applicant;
  • an assurance that the department or center will assume responsibility for the conduct of the grant or contract; and
  • attachments supporting the request (e.g., CV, resume, project description).

*A Postdoctoral Research Associate can be a co-PI as long as another Wake Forest University faculty member on the Reynolda campus (typically their mentor) is the PI. If a Postdoctoral Research Associate serving as a co-PI leaves the university, then any awarded grant funds would remain at Wake Forest University. Exceptions to this will be made if terms have been otherwise negotiated between the PI, co-PI and funding agency. A Postdoctoral Research Associate can be a PI if required by the sponsor and per program guidelines, (i.e., NIH, HRSA, etc.) .

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