University of Vermont

Sponsored Project Administration - SPA

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


Project Personnel Roles

Principal Investigator / Project Director 

The PI/PD is the individual designated by the University to direct a sponsored research project and is accountable for its proper conduct.  He or she is typically the individual who authored and coordinated the submission of the proposal.  The term Principal Investigator is typically used for sponsored research projects.  The term Project Director is typically used for a project that does not involve a research investigation. 

Co-Principal Investigator

Certain sponsors allow more than one PI/PD on a sponsored project, particularly for multidisciplinary efforts and team science collaborations.  In some rare cases, the University may assign more than one PI/PD to a project under circumstances when a sponsor does not allow for more than one PI/PD.  When a project has more than one Principal Investigator, they are referred to as Co-Principal Investigators. Please note that for NIH Multiple PI proposals, NIH refers to each Principal Investigator as Principal Investigator rather than Co-Principal Investigator.


In some cases, several individuals work with the Principal Investigator to conduct the scientific portion of the project and are major contributors key to its execution.  Sometimes these individuals are referred to as Co-Investigators. 

Last modified March 10 2015 08:55 AM

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