Research Administration Policies & Procedures

Principal Investigator Policy


This Policy applies to all proposals submitted to external sponsors seeking monetary or non- monetary support of a sponsored project, which, if awarded to Temple 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.


The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Establish criteria permitting individuals to fulfill the role of Principal Investigator (PI), 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 Temple University to fulfill all of the requirements of the award terms and conditions


By accepting the role of PI or acting in a PI capacity at Temple University, an individual agrees to be subject to all applicable Federal and state laws, regulations (including those governing Federal debarment), as well as applicable University rules and policies.

To be eligible to submit a proposal to an external funding agency or serve as PI on a protocol submitted through Temple University’s Electronic Research Administration (ERA) system, the proposed investigator must have been granted PI Status by the Office of the Vice President for Research. PI Status is automatically granted to those faculty who:

  1. Hold a “tenured” or “tenure-track” faculty appointment; or
  2. Hold one of the full-time faculty positions listed below:
    • Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Assistant Professor, Research Instructor
    • Clinical Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Instructor
  3. Are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any federal department or agency.

Exceptions to this Policy

In special circumstances, it may be in the best interest of Temple University for individuals who do not have automatic PI status to fulfill the role of PI with respect to a project. In such cases, the Vice President for Research may approve a Request for PI Status as an exception to this Policy, so that an individual requesting such status, may apply for grants and contracts. Examples of circumstances where PI status may be granted include but are not limited to the following:

  • When the proposed program will be appropriately directed by a member of Temple's administrative staff.
  • When an appointment to the status of faculty is contingent upon receiving a grant award.
  • For a Visiting Scientist/Scholar when the situation warrants it (i.e. length of stay at Temple makes it feasible; it is in the interest of Temple University; and with the approval of the Vice President for Research).
  • When a faculty member is transitioning to Temple University but has not yet been provided an official appointment letter or start date.

All requests for PI status are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and require signoff from the requester’s cognizant supervisor as well as the approval of the Vice President for Research.

The procedure to obtain approval for PI status is as follows:

Instructions for Faculty

An exception to this Policy, in the form of a Request for PI status, is to be signed by the proposed PI and their supervising Dean. All documentation (including any relevant protocols) should be included with this form and emailed to the Office of the Vice President for Research for coordination of review and approval.

The request must include a justification as to why the request should be granted and must document commitment of the department and/or school to provide the appropriate space and resources to the project(s) and/or to the individual requesting PI status. The responsibility to ensure that any extramurally funded projects covered by the request are satisfactorily completed will be assumed by the requesting department and/or school. 

Appropriate signatories include: Any academic dean of one of Temple’s Schools or Colleges.

The request for PI status may be initiated at the time of appointment of the proposed PI or project director, and approval must be obtained prior to the preparation and submission of the proposal. Since the process of review and approval may take several weeks, the process should be initiated as early as possible. A request for PI status may address one specific proposal or more than one proposal, as appropriate.

The Vice President for Research reserves the right to review all applicable proposals.

The Office of Vice President for Research will notify the proposed PI or project director and the cognizant Dean.

Instructions for Postdoctoral Fellows and Graduate Students

In general, both Postdoctoral Fellows and Graduate Students need to have the sponsorship of their faculty advisor in order to perform research activities at Temple University. With that said, some external funding agencies provide funding to Postdoctoral Fellows and/or Graduate Students, as named PIs. In such circumstances, Temple requires approval from a student’s faculty advisor or a given fellow’s faculty advisor (whichever is applicable), for internal tracking and monitoring purposes. Please note that such faculty advisor must be a member of the graduate faculty to sign off on the request for PI Status form; and such request must still be signed by the cognizant Dean.

For assistance with this process, please contact Pre Award Management at

Cost Sharing 

Please email for more information.

Retainage of Funds

Please email for more information.