Principal Investigator (PI) Status

The School of Medicine grants the status of PI as a matter of privilege to regular rank faculty members, as specified  by their job codes. Duke University policy on PI Status may be found in the Duke Faculty Handbook Appendix P: Policies Related to Research, Principal Investigator Status Section.

How to assess if an individual has PI status for the School of Medicine

Individuals who are eligible to serve as Principal Investigator on applications for externally funded research projects are marked with a PI flag in the Sponsored Projects System (SPS). Contact your ORA Represtative for further information.

Acquiring PI Status

Individuals who are non-regular rank faculty members may be granted eligibility to serve as a PI with the prior approval of unit, school and management center leadership. Further information may be found in myRESEARCHpath.

Change of PI Process

A change of PI on an award will require prior approval from the sponsor. It is important to review the terms and conditions to ensure that the following criteria is met:

  1. Verify if terms and conditions allow a change of PI
  2. Follow sponsor requirements for form completion and/or letter creation to initiate request
  3. Ensure new PI can commit to any sponsor required effort level and comply with eligibility requirements (e.g., citizenship status)

Please send the sponsor appropriate completed change of PI request documentation via Administrative Action Request form to the appropriate / assigned ORA Grants Specialist for review and approval. Upon approval, ORA will submit the request to the sponsor for acceptance.

When the sponsor has approved the PI change, the SPS record may be returned to the department to amend the data with the new PI information. In addition, the Sponsored Effort System (SES) will be updated to reflect the approved end date of the original PI's effort and the start date of the new PI's effort.

Multiple PI Applications

When the Multiple PI model is utilized on an application, the authority and accountability for leading and directing the scientific aims proposed is equally held between all PIs listed on the grant. The PI listed in the Main tab of the Main Notebook in the Sponsored Projects System (SPS) will be considered the Contact PI responsible for submitting the application and serving as the point of contact for communication with the sponsor and the leadership team. 

When there are external PIs selected from other  institutions, their contribution to the scope of work will be included as a consortium (subrecipient) relationship in the application.

NIH Multiple PI Applications - Leadership Plan: For School of Medicine applications with PIs selected from different departments / owning orgs, the leadership plan will require an internal version signed by both Department Chairs. The Chair signatures will provide acceptance of the fiscal and management coordination section of the plan which indicates how the fiscal support of the award will be managed between the departments. ORA will need this internal version of the plan agreed upon prior to submission and award selection. This internal signed leadership plan document may be attached to the appropriate SPS record Internal Documentation.

RCC Training

RCC Training  is required annually of all PIs involved with sponsored research to safeguard financial compliance on how sponsored funds are allocated and managed at Duke University.

IMPORTANT: An award received on a PI's pending sponsored project may NOT be activated until the PI has completed the RCC Training. Upon RCC Training completion, RCC will update SPS which will allow ORA to activate the award.