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PI/Co-PI/Co-I Eligibility

The title of Principal Investigator (PI) identifies the individual responsible for the conduct of the project. This responsibility includes the intellectual conduct of the project, fiscal accountability, administrative components and the projects’ compliance to relevant policies and regulations. For that reason, Principal Investigators must have a reasonable prospect for committed employment at the University of Houston.

The policy of the University of Houston is that only full-time faculty members may routinely serve as PIs, Co-PIs, or Co-Is on sponsored programs. The following titles are eligible to be a PI/Co-PI/Co-I at UH.

  • Assistant Librarian
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Librarian
  • Associate Professor
  • Instructional Faculty
  • Librarian
  • Professor
  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Research Associate Professor
  • Research Professor
  • Research Scientist
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Clinical Professor or Clinical Assistant/Associate Professor, provided grant writing is part of the employment agreement

Certain other titles are allowed eligibility to serve as investigators within certain limitations as identified in these exceptions:

  1. Director titles - Certain staff personnel with the position/title of Director or above may qualify (eligible) for PI/Co-PI/Co-I designation provided that the scope of work or award activity is directly related to the staff members’ official position.
  2. Postdoctorate - Postdoctorate staff personnel may also quality for PI/Co-PI/Co-I designation in certain instances. The internal procedure is as follows:
    • When the grant solicitation requires that the applicant be a postdoctoral fellow (e.g., fellowships), select the primary PI as the Postdoctoral fellow within the UH electronic systems (RAMP). The post-doctoral fellow mentor should be listed as the Co-PI.
    • When the grant solicitation DOES NOT require that the applicant be a postdoctoral fellow (e.g., fellowships), obtain a formal letter from the Dean or Chair stating to which of the eligible titles the postdoctoral fellow will be formally changed to if awarded. Send the letter to OCG to obtain the VPR's approval of the postdoctoral proposal submission.
  1. Persons of Interest - An individual who is not currently employed by the University of Houston can serve as a PI/Co-PI/Co-I on a proposal if the Department Chair provides documentation that an appointment to one of the titles listed above has been offered to, and has been accepted by the individual.
  2. Adjunct faculty - Faculty members with titles not listed above MAY serve as PI/Co-PI/Co-I on a proposal if the following conditions are met: 1) the Department Chair must approve an appointment to one of the eligible titles above contingent upon grant funding, and 2) the faculty member’s effort on the project must be budgeted in the proposal and paid from the grant OR must be cost shared from a non-grant source. If the potential PI is not appointed in an academic department, the cognizant dean or center director may submit this approval.