Type of Policy
Policy No
Effective Date
Last Revised
Review Date
Policy Owner
Sponsored Programs, Office of
Contact Name
Cynthia Hope
Contact Title
Associate Vice President for Research Administration
Contact Email
Policy Statement

When Georgia Tech accepts a grant or contract from an external sponsor, the Institute assumes responsibility for the proper performance of the stated project, for the fiscal management of the funds received, and for accountability to the sponsor. The Project Director (PD)/Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for determining the intellectual direction of the research and scholarship, and for the training of graduate students. In addition, the PD/PI is responsible for the design, conduct, and reporting – both scientific or technical and fiscal – of the research.

Therefore, it is the policy of the Institute that the Project Director or Principal Investigator must be a current member of the academic faculty or research faculty of the Institute as found in the approved List of Faculty Titles. Members of these faculty groups who are retired but working on an hourly-as-needed basis may serve as PD/PI provided there is at least one School/Laboratory/Department willing to provide the necessary administrative commitment to permit the program to be carried out. 

For awards whereby the sponsoring agency eligibility criteria require, encourage, or specifically allow for an undergraduate, graduate or postdoctoral individual to serve in the role of a PI or Co-PI, the Institute will request approval from the applicable Chair or Department Head and identification of a faculty mentor prior to submission of the proposal application. Examples include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutional Training Grants or Fellowships and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (DDRIGs).

There are other requirements for the title of Principal Investigator on studies reviewed by the Institutional Review Board, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and the Institutional Biosafety Committee. Click here to access the Office of Research Integrity Assurance website: http://researchintegrity.gatech.edu/


This policy applies to all Georgia Tech faculty and staff members.


Policy Terms
PD/PI Project Director/Principal Investigator, individual responsible for the overall design, conduct and reporting of the research or other externally funded sponsored activity.

The PD/PI is responsible for the design, conduct, and report – both scientific or technical and fiscal – of the research. In addition they are responsible for any additional regulatory and review requirements.

Policy History
Revision Date Author Description
09-20-2021 OSP Editorial updates
12-30-2013 OSP Rev 1.0