Regular faculty members and research or fixed-term faculty employees of the University with a rank of assistant professor and higher, may be identified as the sole or co-principal investigator* on proposals seeking support for a sponsored research, education, or service project.
Individuals holding other appointment titles, such as, research associates, specialists, postdoctoral fellows, or visiting, adjunct and clinical faculty, normally may submit proposals only as co-investigators/key personnel with a regular MSU faculty member. Upon approval by the appropriate department chairperson, college-level research associate dean, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (OVPRGS), these non-regular faculty may serve as principal investigators or co-principal investigators.
*principal investigator and co-principal investigator definition: Both of these roles have the same level of authority and responsibility to direct the project or program being proposed.
||Can serve as a Principal Investigator / Co-Principal Investigator without requiring an exception
||Can serve as an Co-Investigator / Key Personnel without requiring an exception
|Regular faculty with the rank of assistant professor or higher
|Research or Fixed-term faculty with the rank of assistant professor or higher
|Non regular faculty such as research associates*, specialists, postdoctoral fellows*, or visiting, adjunct and clinical faculty
||No – exception approval required as indicated below
Steps for requesting exception approval:
- Prepare a memo requesting approval to submit as a PI/Co-PI on a proposal, and have the memo signed by the chairperson and associate dean for research. The request should specify if it is for a specific proposal or a request for blanket approval for this and all future proposals.
- Prepare a draft Proposal Development document and indicate in the notes section, that OVPRGS approval is being requested. This allows the Proposal Development document to be routed while you are waiting for the PI exception approval by OVPRGS.
- Email the request to firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating the application number from the Proposal Development document prepared in step two and request the review and approval for this exception by the OVPRGS.
NOTE: The OVPRGS will need to receive the exception request by email at least three days prior to the intended submission date.
- If approved or disapproved, the OVPRGS will email the decision to the person who submitted the request with a copy to the OSP administrative assistant.
* On many fellowship applications, sponsors consider the predoctoral or postdoctoral fellow the Principal Investigator. For MSU purposes, the fellow does not need exception approval, but they must have a mentor that is included on the Proposal Development document and will oversee the project if awarded.