University of Vermont

Sponsored Project Administration - SPA

217 Waterman Building . 85 South Prospect Street . Burlington, Vermont 05405 . (802) 656-3360

Principal Investigator Eligibility

Policy Statement Regarding Eligible Personnel

  • Faculty members or professionally qualified staff members with an appointment greater than or equal to 50% Full Time Equivalency are eligible to be named as Principal Investigators on applications submitted by the University for outside funds.
  • Emeriti and other retired faculty are also eligible, with department and dean approval, to serve as Principal Investigators. 
  • Others may be considered if circumstances dictate.
  • Although the University is the legal recipient of sponsored project funds, it is the Principal Investigator who initiates the application and assumes the responsibility for overall project management.
  • It is the Principal Investigator's responsibility to ensure that:
    • the project is conducted as described in the application,
    • all required reports are submitted on time,
    • expenditures are limited to the total dollar amount awarded,
    • the project is conducted according to established University administrative and academic policy, the policies of the sponsoring agency, and applicable federal laws.

Eligibility of Principal Investigators

In order to serve as Principal Investigator an individual must be a faculty member or professionally qualified staff with an FTE of 50% or more. Faculty are defined in the Officers’ Handbook (non-union) or University Academics Contract.  The decision regarding whether or not someone is “professionally qualified staff” is made by the immediate supervisor because that’s the person most able to evaluate qualifications.

Emeriti and other retired faculty members are also eligible to serve as Principal Investigator with Department and Dean approval for continued commitment of the resources necessary. The faculty member should discuss serving as Principal Investigator with the department chair prior to routing to address issues of space and other resources required.

In some circumstances exceptions to the FTE requirement are granted. Decisions for such exceptions are made by the Associate Vice President for Research Administration in consultation with the Dean of the unit. A request for an exception to the policy should come from the department chair and address the following points:

  • Importance to the department and department research or other agenda
  • Resources available to support the project
  • How the Principal Investigator would held accountable for carrying out the project
  • Ability of the individual to supervise project staff

Fellows (post-doctoral/graduate) may be listed as Principal Investigator/applicant on fellowship applications but the University requires that fellows have a faculty sponsor to bear Principal Investigator responsibility.

Principal Investigators are responsible for carrying out the project as proposed in compliance with University and Sponsor policy and completing all required reports except for financial reports completed by SPA.

Principal Investigators are also responsible for carrying out research in a responsible and ethical manner.

When awards are made, SPA sends a letter to Principal Investigators reminding them of their responsibilities and a copy of the award’s terms and conditions.

Please see the Roles and Responsibility and Project Personnel Roles sites for additional information.

Last modified October 02 2015 04:27 PM

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