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Contracts & Grants: PI Eligibility

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PI Eligibility

Eligibility to Serve as Principal Investigator


At ANR, the individual responsible for the design, scientific conduct, administrative conduct, and reporting of a research, training, or public service project supported by extramural funding is known as the Principal Investigator(PI), and in some cases as the Project Director (PD). The PI must personally participate in the project to a significant degree. A person may not be designated as PI unless he or she is actually making a significant contribution to the sponsored project or research.

The eligibility criteria to serve as a PI are different for UC campus faculty than for ANR academics.

For ANR county and statewide program-based academics, the VP ANR has determined that individuals appointed to the following job titles are eligible to be designated PI on a project:

• Cooperative Extension Advisor series
• Director, Research and Extension Center
• Director, Statewide Program
• Cooperative Extension Specialist series

Retirees in these job titles who are granted emeriti status by the VP ANR retain the PI eligibility that they held prior to their retirement. Please see the Academic Personnel Unit’s webpage for more information on obtaining emeritus status.

With the approval of the VP ANR, individual exceptions to the PI eligibility policy may be permitted. Such exceptions must be endorsed by the individual’s director. Exceptions are approved on a case-by-case basis, and most are valid only for a specific project or for a limited period of time.

To be eligible to hold the designation of PI on a project, a campus faculty member must work at least 50 percent of full-time in any combination of the following six appointments:

• Member of the Academic Senate
• Appointee in the Agronomist series
• Appointee in the Adjunct Professor series
• Appointee in the Clinical Professor series
• Appointee in the Professional Researcher series
• Appointee in the Cooperative Extension Specialist series


The same eligibility requirements apply to individuals seeking to lead a portion of a project as a Co-Principal Investigator.

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