Multiple Principal Investigators Policy


It is the desire of both OHSU and federal research agencies to promote policies and procedures that recognize the intellectual contribution of all investigators when engaged in sponsored project research.


Federal research agencies have adopted or are in the process of implementing policies to formally allow more than one Principal Investigator (PI) on individual research awards. This presents a new and important opportunity for investigators seeking support for projects that clearly require a “team science” approach
and which do not fit the single-PI model. The multiple-PI model is intended to supplement, and not replace, the traditional single-PI project.

The National Science Foundation allows Co-PIs and linked proposals as an option for collaborative projects. The National Institutes of Health recognizes multiple PIs on a selected group of RFA and Program Announcements in its initial pilot offering and is expected to expand the option to most investigator-initiated research grant mechanisms.

OHSU endorses the recognition of multiple PIs and supports the activities of the federal research agencies using the following internal management guidelines.

Multiple Principal Investigators

When an OHSU proposal or award for a Sponsored Project has more than one PI, each Principal Investigator must meet the criteria set forth in OHSU’s PI Eligibility Policy or receive exception to the policy.

Designated Contact PI

To ensure compliance with the law, sponsoring agency requirements and university policies, all projects involving multiple PIs must include a designated PI who shall be responsible for all communications with the agency and assuring the scientific integrity and management of the project and adherence to all OHSU policies, federal laws and any externally imposed sponsor terms including reporting and record keeping requirements.

Management Plan

A Leadership plan must be submitted with all multiple-PI proposals describing the roles and responsibilities of the named PIs, the process for making decisions on scientific direction, allocation of resources, and resolving disputes that may arise. Note: Some federal agencies have indicated peer reviewers may consider the Leadership Plan as part of the assessment of scientific and technical merit.