Principal Investigator’s Responsibilities


Principal Investigators are responsible for:

  • Identifying “Investigators” on a proposal award and modification to scope of work
  • Conflict of Interest disclosure form must be submitted at the time of grant proposal submission. All investigators must have a current (within last 12 months) COI disclosure in COI Risk Manager
  • If grant proposal is recommended for funding, ensure “Investigators” take COI training
  • If the Principal Investigator identifies any “Investigators” during the life cycle of the grant, they must complete COI training before engaging in research.

Who is an Investigator?

An investigator is anyone responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research, regardless of their title or role on the project or the receipt of funding (this definition includes adjunct faculty, students, volunteers, subcontractors, consultants, collaborators, research coordinators, research assistants, and other research staff).

Consider both title and role in determining whether a person is an “Investigator” on a project.


The person’s role is significant enough that they are considered an “Investigator” if:

  • The person has independent responsibility for their contributions to the design, conduct or reporting of research
  • The person has a level of responsibility likely to have a meaningful impact on the results of the research
  • The person directly contributes to the scientific development or execution of the project in a substantive way


The PI, Co-PI, PD, Co-PD and Senior/Key Personnel named in the proposal for funding, the award, or in a subaward, subcontract or progress report, may be determined to be an “Investigator”:

  • A postdoc or graduate student paid on a fellowship should be considered an “Investigator”
  • Postdocs on a research grant, consultants, and collaborators may sometimes be considered an “Investigator”
  • Graduate students on a research grant or other personnel (lab tech, etc.) are rarely considered an “Investigator”