All sponsored research projects will have a project leader, who will be designated by the chair of the department or the director of the research center or institute which is responsible for the project. Project leaders for research projects which cut across departmental lines will be designated by agreement between the departments concerned. A member of the faculty, a professional researcher, or a professional specialist of appropriate rank will be designated as Project Leader.
The following resolution on project leaders was adopted by the University Research Board on February 5, 1979 and revised May 2, 2005:
"Subject to the same University research policies as govern the faculty, members of the professional research and professional specialist ranks may serve as principal investigators (e.g. project leaders) for grants and contracts according to the following criteria."
- Only those professional researchers with rank of senior research (by discipline), research (by discipline), or associate research (by discipline) and senior professional specialists for whom this status was requested by the appointing department, center, or institute at the time of appointment or promotion to this rank may do so without specific approval by the University Research Board.
- When circumstances dictate, others, including, but not limited to, those with appointments as visiting professional researchers, visiting fellows and professional specialists may be principal investigators with approval of the University Research Board. Such approval may be given for an individual project or for a specific period of time. Requests must be accompanied by an endorsement from the appropriate department indicating its support of, and rationale for, the exception."
Note, however, that approval as principal investigator on a grant supporting graduate students does not imply approval as adviser on the dissertations of those graduate students. Authorization for individuals not in the ranks of the faculty to advise dissertations is granted by departments and programs in accord with the rules of the Graduate School.