The Georgia Tech Principal Investigator (PI)/Project Director (PD) Eligibility Policy is designed to ensure proper oversight of sponsored projects, thereby reducing risk to the Institute. The policy provides a list of academic and research faculty titles that automatically qualify for the role of PI/PD. However, there are times when it is in the best interest of the Institute to make exceptions to this preapproved list. In these instances, both the Department Head or Chair and the EVPR must provide approval for the exception. There are two methods for obtaining these approvals, based on the type of exception requested.

Note: While we may provide approval for an exemption to allow a PI to submit a proposal, Georgia Tech will not be able to accept an award on a PI/PD’s behalf until after the researcher has begun their employment. 

Types of Exceptions/Approval Process 

1) Transitional Faculty — Requests to approve a newly hired tenured or tenure-track faculty member as an eligible Georgia Tech PI/PD so that they can begin submitting sponsored project proposals on behalf of the Institute before formally beginning their job responsibilities. In order to qualify the new hire must be under contract to begin working at Georgia Tech, as a tenured or tenure-track faculty member, within one year. 

Approval Process: No departmental action is required to initiate approval. Each month Faculty Affairs provides a list of all newly hired faculty who meet the above criteria and the EVPR team approves these researchers as eligible to serve as a PI/PD. The approved list is forwarded to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) which will allow them to submit proposals with the approved transitional faculty member as PI/PD or Co-PI/PD. 

2) Other PI/PD Exceptions — Requests to approve all other non-tenured or non-tenure-track faculty, staff, students, or other Georgia Tech affiliated individuals requesting approval to function as a PI/PD on behalf of Georgia Tech. 

Approval Process: 

  • The researcher’s unit submits the request through GT-TRACS. Select “Other” as the type of package, and then use the text below as the template for the information to be entered into the notes field. Please attach the referenced RFP and any supporting documentation to clarify the circumstances and rationale for this exception. The request should be routed to organization 120 (EVPR) for approval. 
  • The EVPR’s office will forward approved requests to the Office of Sponsored Programs. Only one request per PI is necessary. 

Suggested template for requests: 

Please approve (name) to serve as PI/PD for a proposal in response to (RFP number/name) due to the sponsor (date). (Name) is currently (employment status/title in regard to Georgia Tech). This PI/PD Eligibility Policy exception is being requested based on the following circumstances: (list). 

Note: If the researcher is not currently in the employ of Georgia Tech, please add the following statement: They will officially join (unit) as a (title), effective (start date). 

Review Georgia Tech’s PD/PI Eligibility Policy and Transitional PI/PD Policy


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