Requirements for University Principal Investigators

Policy Date: May 2022
Revision: 7
Last Review: May 2022

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, human subjects, 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 signature approval from the appropriate dean and the vice president for research and innovation. To request such approval, complete a Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator for Sponsored Project (SP-33) form, obtain the requisite signatures and submit the signed original to the research compliance program manager.
  4. Adjunct Faculty/Clinical Adjunct Faculty as defined in UAM Section 2,630 with a Contingent Worker appointment in Workday, a volunteer agreement on file with the department, and completed onboarding. These volunteers must receive signature approval from the appropriate dean and the vice president for research & innovation. To request such approval, complete a Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator for Sponsored Project (SP-33) form, obtain the requisite signatures and submit the signed original to the research compliance program manager.
  5. Emeritus Faculty as defined in UAM Section 2,580. Emeritus Faculty may serve as principal investigators as volunteers. Emeritus Faculty who return to paid status will have the Emeriti status in suspense until they are no longer paid. Emeritus Faculty providing unpaid service must meet the same requirements as Adjunct Faculty/Clinical Adjunct Faculty listed above. Emeritus Faculty serving as paid employees must have a Temporary Faculty assignment in Workday and must receive signature approval from the appropriate dean and the vice president for research & innovation. To request such approval, complete a Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator for Sponsored Project (SP-33) form, obtain the requisite signatures and submit the signed original to the research compliance program manager.
  6. Students submitting applications for which the funding agency requires a student to be the sole PI and the application to be submitted through the institution, with approval from the appropriate dean and the vice president for research & innovation. To request such approval, complete a Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator for Sponsored Project (SP-33) form, obtain the requisite signature and submit the original to the research compliance program manager. A full-time faculty member must serve as mentor or faculty advisor.

"Request for Approval to Serve as Principal Investigator for Sponsored Project (SP-33)" forms are project specific. Each project requires a separate form.

Individuals who are not eligible to serve as PI or Co-PI include the following:

  1. Adjunct faculty who do not have the signature approval from the appropriate dean and the vice president for research & innovation.
  2. Temporary Faculty who were not previously Emeritus Faculty and who do not have the signature approval from the appropriate dean and the vice president for research and innovation.

The vice president for research & innovation retains the right to reject, suspend or remove any proposed PI, co-PI, or co-investigator(s) in applications for externally sponsored funding.