PI Eligibility Policy

Eligibility to Apply for External Grants/Funds


To achieve its aims of providing higher education, providing patient care, advancing knowledge, and contributing to the welfare of the State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) accepts external funding in support of research only when: (1) such undertakings provide its faculty members with the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge of value to their teaching and research; (2) the projects are suitable research through which the individual faculty members may make worthy contributions to knowledge; or (3) appropriate public service is performed.


I.  To be eligible to submit a proposal to an external funding agency, the proposed principal investigator must have been granted Principal Investigator (PI) Status. PI Status is automatically granted to those faculty who:

  1. Are employees salaried at 50% or more of full time; and
  2. Have appropriate qualifications to be appointed to an academic title which includes a doctoral degree and academic or professional credentials (see Section II for listing of acceptable academic titles); and
  3. Have an appointment in an academic school or department; and
  4. Hold one of the faculty titles listed in Section II of this policy.

II.  The following title groups are eligible to initiate proposals for research or training contracts or grants:

  1. Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor.
  2. Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Assistant Professor, Research Instructor.
  3. Clinical Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Instructor.
  4. Professor Emeritus.

III.  Exemption to the Policy

Programs and awards which are specifically designed for students and/or postdoctoral fellows (e.g., fellowships and dissertation research support grants) are exempt from this policy. These programs require that the application be submitted in the student's and/or fellow's name with a faculty member identified as sponsor responsible for the supervision and oversight of the project.

IV.  In extraordinary circumstances when it is in the best interests of the University, the Vice President for Research and Development may grant special approval for other individuals without academic appointments to apply for grants and contracts. The following are examples, but the list is not inclusive:

  1. A waiver should be requested when the proposed program is appropriately directed by a member of UMB's administrative staff.
  2. A waiver should be requested when an appointment to the status of faculty is contingent upon receiving a grant award.
  3. A waiver should be requested for a Visiting Scientist when the situation warrants it, length of stay at UMB makes it feasible, and when it is in the interest of UMB, and with the approval of the Vice President for Research and Development.

V.  The procedure to obtain approval for waiver to the Policy is as follows:

  1. A letter requesting a waiver to the Policy, plus the curriculum vitae of the proposed PI or project director, is to be addressed to the Vice President for Research and Development. All documentation is to be submitted to the Office of Research and Development for coordination of review and approval.
  2. The letter of request for waiver must include a justification as to why the waiver should be granted, and must document commitment of the department and/or school to provide the appropriate space and resources to the project(s) and/or to the individual requesting the waiver. The responsibility to ensure that any extramurally funded projects covered by this waiver are satisfactorily completed will be assumed by the department and/or school.
  3. The letter of request for waiver must be signed by the appropriate department chair and countersigned by the dean. Appropriate signatories include:
    • the Dean of the School of Dentistry
    • the Dean of the School of Law
    • the Dean of the School of Medicine, plus the department chairs, and when appropriate division head
    • the Dean of the School of Nursing
    • the Dean of the School of Pharmacy
    • the Dean of the School of Social Work
    • the Dean of the Graduate School
    • the appropriate head of the department or unit to which the individual reports
  4. The request for waiver may be initiated at the time of appointment of the proposed PI or project director, and approval must be obtained prior to the preparation and submission of the proposal. Since the process of review and approval may take several weeks, the process should be initiated as early as possible. A request for waiver may address one specific proposal or more than one proposal, as appropriate.
  5. The Vice President for Research and Development reserves the right to review the proposal.
  6. The Office of Research and Development will notify the proposed PI or project director and the appropriate Chair or head of unit in writing of approval/non-approval of waiver.

VI. For assistance with this process contact the Office of Research and Development, Assistant Vice President, Sponsored Programs Administration (410-706-1101).

Prepared 7/1/94