Requirements for University Principal Investigators

Policy Date: January 2023
Revision: 10
Last Review: May 2024

Individuals meeting the following criteria may serve as a principal investigator (PI) or co-principal investigator (Co-PI) for grants, contracts, and/or research protocols involving animals, recombinant DNA and biological agents at the University of Nevada, Reno (University) when such individuals are deemed to possess the requisite training, skill, commitment and expertise:

  1. Faculty at the University with renewable appointments as defined in the University Administrative Manual (UAM) Section 2,511.
  2. Postdoctoral Fellows at the University as defined in UAM Section 2,636 with a supervising faculty, as defined in number 1, included on the Transmittal form in InfoEd.
  3. Full-time classified staff at the University, with approval. To request such approval, complete a Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator (SP-33) form, obtain the requisite signatures and submit the signed form to the research compliance program manager.
  4. Adjunct Faculty/Clinical Adjunct Faculty as defined in UAM Section 2,630  may apply for sponsored project funding through the University of Nevada, Reno. However, they must have an employment relationship with the University prior to award setup. Therefore, project budgets must include funding for the PI/Co-PI. Once funded, their status must change from unpaid Adjunct Faculty or Clinical Adjunct Faculty to Temporary Faculty or Letter of Appointment. Approval is required. To request approval, complete a Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator for (SP-33) form, obtain the requisite signatures and submit the signed form to the research compliance program manager.
  5. Emeritus Faculty as defined in UAM Section 2,580. If approved, Emeritus Faculty may serve as unpaid volunteers or as paid employees. Emeritus Faculty providing unpaid service must have a Contingent Worker appointment in Workday and a volunteer agreement on file with the department. Emeritus Faculty serving as paid employees must have a Temporary Faculty assignment in Workday. Emeritus Faculty who return to paid status will have their Emeriti status in suspense until they are no longer paid. To request approval, complete a Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator (SP-33) form, obtain the requisite signatures and submit the signed form to the research compliance program manager.
  6. Graduate students, with approval. Graduate students may serve as PI or Co-PI with the condition that a faculty member with a renewable appointment serves as mentor or advisor. The faculty member must be named in the proposal. To request approval, complete a Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator (SP-33) form, obtain the requisite signatures and submit the form to the research compliance program manager.

"Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator (SP-33)" forms are project specific. Each project requires a separate form.  Requests for exceptions must be made in writing and attached to the SP-33 form.

The vice president for research & innovation retains the right to reject, suspend or remove any proposed PI or Co-PI.