Policies, Responsibilities, and Procedures
The Chancellor has delegated to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School authority to grant approval for academic staff members to serve as principal investigators on extramural grants and contracts. Under present Graduate School rules, an academic staff member may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) on proposals and awards by requesting Limited PI Status on a project-by-project basis as described below, or, if eligible, by requesting Permanent Principal Investigator Status.
Authority to grant Limited PI Status has been further delegated to the schools and colleges. The procedures and guidelines described below should be followed for each individual project on which an academic staff member is listed as the PI.
One-Time Limited PI Request Procedures
1. Request for Limited PI Status form should be completed for each proposal. (Make sure you use the Adobe toolbar when saving the document so that the words you added to the document are saved. This toolbar has the icons in it and appears below the pulldown menus in your browser.)
2. Upload form as attachment in WISPER.
3. The Chair/Director and Dean will approve the request by approving the WISPER record.
Blanket Limited PI Request Procedures
Schools/colleges/institutes may approve limited PI status for an individual for a defined period of time at the request of a department/center. This would allow an investigator to submit proposals in a single category (i.e., research or outreach) without including full documentation every time. Typically, the request is made by routing a hard copy signed by the chair of the completed Request for Blanket Limited PI Status form to your school/college dean’s office staff prior to the submission of any proposals. Staff approved for this "blanket" option should include information in the comments tab of WISPER that the individual is approved for blanket status and state the end date of the current approval. The department/center and school/college must internally track the individuals for whom they have approved this arrangement and the approved time frames. Each limited PI's qualifications and demonstrated abilities to meet programmatic objectives and carry out administrative management of projects must be re-evaluated at least once every three years. Blanket Limited PI status does not carry eligibility for Graduate School Research Committee funding.
Generally, the faculty of the staff member’s department will have voted to grant PI status to the individual. This vote, and the justification provided on the Limited PI Status Form should address the following criteria at a minimum:
- Record of increasing responsibility serving as Co-Investigator or collaborator on grants or contracts awarded to and carried out at UW-Madison.
- Demonstrated ability to carry out responsibilities of PI, including:
a. meeting stated programmatic objectives of projects
b. administrative management of projects (financial and personnel management).
Additional Qualification Guidelines by Title
Staff having the qualifications listed in sections A through D below are generally considered to be in appropriate positions to request Limited PI status.
A. Research Academic Staff Qualifications:
Earned research doctorate (PhD) or other terminal degree in the field, such as an MFA, and
Holds a Category B academic staff appointment in the following series: Scientist, Innovator, or Researcher.
B. Clinical Health Sciences (CHS) Academic Staff Qualifications:
Earned MD degree, and
Holds a Category B CHS academic staff appointment in the Professor (CHS) series.
C. Clinical Academic Staff Qualifications:
Earned degree requirement varies by discipline:
Holds a Category B academic staff appointment in the Clinical Instructor or Professor series.
a. In the Medical School, a MD is required.
b. In Veterinary Medicine, a DVM is required.
c. In Pharmacy, a Doctor in Pharmacy or Masters in Pharmacy is required.
d. In Nursing, a PhD, DNSc, DSN, or EdD are required, and
D. Emeritus Faculty Qualifications:
Has been granted emeritus professorial status by UW-Madison.
Academic staff members who do not meet these qualifications may also be granted Limited PI Status at the discretion of the Dean or designee for circumstances in which the project is most appropriately directed by a person in the academic staff member’s role (i.e., an Outreach Program Manager directing an outreach project).
Undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, visiting professors, and visiting academic staff are not eligible to apply for limited PI status. For these individuals, it is suggested that an appropriate faculty member serve as PI, and the student, postdoctoral or visiting scholar be listed as Co-Investigator. Exceptions will be granted when the visiting title is temporary pending resolution of a visa issue. In addition, postdoctoral scholars may be listed as PI when it is expected that, should the grant be awarded, they would move from the employee-in-training category into an appropriate research academic staff or faculty position. Such proposed change in status requires their department's approval and their Dean's or designee’s approval prior to the submission of a limited PI status request, and should be documented in a brief memo uploaded as an attachment to the WISPER record.
Effort Reporting and Limited PI Status
Individuals pursuing Limited PI Status should refer to the UW-Madison Guidelines for Effort Reporting, section 1.3.1, regarding activities that can and cannot be allocated to sponsored projects. Note that salary for proposal writing activities must be supported by non-sponsored funding. For further information regarding the level and duration of non-sponsored funding required, please contact your chair/director or school/college dean's office.