Principal Investigator Eligibility

11/03/14
Any individual who holds one of the following positions can be identified as a PI and submit proposals to external sponsors:
  • tenure-track faculty (full, associate, and assistant professors)
  • nontenure-track research faculty (full, associate, and assistant professors)
  • nontenure-track clinical faculty (full, associate, and assistant professors)
  • instructors
  • adjunct faculty
  • emeritus faculty
  • senior research investigators
  • librarians
  • curators
On a case-by-case basis, an individual who holds one of the following positions can be identified as a PI upon approval from the Vice President for Research or his delegate:
  • visiting faculty
  • visiting scholars
  • lecturers
In general, research associates may not serve as PIs, but may seek approval from the vice president for research. Postdoctoral fellows* and research assistants (graduate students) may not serve as PIs. For information on research appointments see Research Appointments at Northwestern.
 
*Postdoctoral fellows who have no more than four (4) years of postdoctoral research experience may serve as PIs for NIH K99 applications.  See NIH FAQ on eligibility.

Process to Request Principal Investigator Status

When an individual without one of the above-listed automatically PI-eligible positions considers submitting a proposal as a principal investigator, a formal request must be prepared setting forth a rationale for the individual to serve as principal investigator.
  • Chicago campus: The request should be forwarded via email to appropriate Grants Officer, who will work with the Executive Director, OSR-Chicago Campus to facilitate the request.
  • Evanston campus: The request should be forwarded via email to the Executive Director, OSR-Evanston Campus. 
All requests must include the following elements:
  1. Individual's CV
  2. Individual's current appointment period at Northwestern
  3. Sponsor and funding mechanism or program
  4. Abstract of research
  5. Estimated budget and period of performance
  6. Indication of support of the request from the department chair (or equivalent) and dean's office
Please note that approval for principal investigator status is on a proposal-by-proposal basis. Additionally, it should be self-evident in a PI status request that a salary increase or an appointment is not contingent upon the success of any proposal.

 

Northwestern University - Office for Research

Contact :
Chicago
Arthur Rubloff Building
750 N. Lake Shore Dr., 7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 503-7955
OSR-Chicago@northwestern.edu
Evanston
1801 Maple St.
2nd Floor, Suite 2410
Evanston, IL 60201-3149
Phone: (847) 491-3003
OSR-Evanston@northwestern.edu