1310 Principal Investigator Eligibility Requirements on Sponsored Projects
This document applies to all proposals submitted to external sponsors seeking monetary or non-monetary support of a sponsored project which, if awarded to Yale University will be governed by a contract, grant, cooperative agreement or other binding agreement.
This policy does not apply to consultant agreements or the procurement of goods or services from vendors.
Purpose of the Policy
The purpose of this policy is to:
- establish criteria permitting individuals to fulfill the role of principal investigator, program director or co-principal investigator on a sponsored project; and
- ensure that sponsored projects are conducted by those who have the requisite training, skill, commitment and resources as well as the appropriate relationship to the University.
As a condition of its acceptance of sponsored project awards from external sponsors, the University is obligated in its role as the recipient of the award to ensure that:
- only individuals meeting the eligibility requirements of this policy are listed as principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or program director on proposals;
- all proposals are reviewed, approved and submitted by an authorized individual acting on behalf of the University; and
- all proposals submitted meet the requirements of the sponsor. If the sponsor’s requirements are less restrictive than the University’s policy, the University’s policy shall take precedence.
All individuals serving as a PI on a sponsored award must complete the following:
- the Patent Policy Acknowledgment and Agreement
- Sponsored Projects Administration Training for Faculty
- Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure
- Form 1411 FR.01 Yale University/West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center (“VA”) Joint Appointment Memorandum of Understanding, as applicable.
Principal Investigator (or program director or co-principal investigator)
This individual is designated by the University and approved by the sponsor to direct a project funded by an external sponsor. S/he is directly responsible and accountable to the University and sponsor for the proper programmatic, scientific, or technical conduct of the project, and its financial and day-to-day management.
The principal investigator is a critical member of the sponsored project team responsible for ensuring compliance with the financial and administrative aspects of the award. The principal investigator works closely with appropriate administrators within the University to create and maintain necessary documentation, including both technical and administrative reports; prepare budget justifications; appropriately acknowledge external support of research findings in publications, announcements, news programs, and other media; and ensure compliance with other Federal and organizational requirements. It is expected that the principal investigator will maintain contact with the appropriate sponsor representative with respect to the scientific aspects of the project and the business and administrative aspects of the award.
In order for a faculty member to be a principal investigator (co-principal investigator or program director), the individual must:
- be a full-time employee of the University;
- hold the academic rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, senior research scientist/scholar, research scientist/scholar, or Senior Lector II or Senior Lecturer II; and
- have the requisite training, skill, commitment and expertise.
Exceptions to the above eligibility requirements require the approval of the provost, or where appropriate, the dean of self-support units. Exceptions may be made for but are not limited to: associate research scientist/scholar, lecturers, instructors, emeritus faculty and other non full-time appointments (Complete Form 1310 FR.04 PI Status Request Form).
Trainees, whether or not they are employees (such as postdoctoral fellows/associates, students, interns or residents), may apply for external fellowships and mentored career development awards only with the approval of a Yale faculty sponsor or mentor as indicated either on the application and/or the proposal transmittal form/Proposal Development (PD) record.
Exceptions to the above eligibility requirements require the approval of the Provost, or where appropriate, the dean of self-support units.
In order for a staff member to be a principal investigator (co-principal investigator or program director), the individual must:
- be a full-time employee of the University;
- demonstrate sufficient reason to be a principal investigator (co-principal investigator or program director); and
- seek approval from the associate vice president for research administration or where appropriate, the provost or dean of self-support units to submit an application to an external sponsor. Approval of the staff member’s unit senior division official is also required (complete Form 1310 FR.04 PI Status Request Form).
All applications for external sponsorship must indicate the approval of the appropriate department chair and either the dean for self-support units or the provost (as appropriate), indicating assurance to provide the resources (including space) necessary to carry out the project.
Roles and Responsibilities
Chair, Dean, Provost or Associate Vice President for Research Administration (as appropriate)
- Ensure that all proposal submissions contain an eligible individual as a principal investigator, co-principal investigator or program director and the eligible individual(s) have requisite training, resources and effort to devote to the proposed sponsored project.
- Approve all proposal submissions as appropriate.
- Approve exceptions to this policy.
Ensure that all proposal submissions to the Office of Sponsored Projects indicate eligible individuals as principal investigator, co-principal investigator or program director and have received the appropriate prior approvals, completed the Patent Policy Acknowledgement and Agreement (PPAA), Sponsored Projects Administration Training for Faculty, Conflict of Interest Disclosure (COI), and Form 1411 FR.01 Yale University/West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center (“VA”) Joint Appointment Memorandum of Understanding, as applicable.
Office of Sponsored Projects
Approve all proposal submissions indicating eligible principal investigators, co-principal investigators, or program directors ensuring that all eligibility approvals are in place.
 Note that emeritus faculty may request the title of Research Professor for the submission of Proposals (see Faculty Handbook Section XV.B.4). The PI Status Request form is still required for each proposal submission.