Sponsors fund projects based in part on the professional expertise of the Principal Investigators submitting proposals. However the formal award is made to, and the obligations are assumed by, James Madison University.

Under the general oversight and authority of James Madison University, the Principal Investigator of a sponsored project is the individual who bears primary responsibility for:

  • Technical compliance
  • Completion of programmatic work
  • Fiscal stewardship of sponsor funds
  • Compliance with administrative requirements of the project

Thus the university must ensure that individuals serving in the capacity of Principal Investigator have the technical competence and administrative capabilities to oversee a sponsored project. Individuals allowed to serve as Principal Investigators on sponsored activities are required to comply with James Madison University's business practices, policies and procedures.

Per James Madison University's policy, the following may serve as principal investigator:

Any full-time faculty member or staff member who holds one of the following positions:

  • Tenured faculty member
  • Tenure track faculty member
  • Renewable Term Appointment faculty member with terminal degree
  • Administrative or Professional faculty member
  • Librarian holding faculty status
  • Fixed Term Appointment faculty member
  • Instructor
  • Staff member

Any individual who holds one of the following positions may be identified as a project correspondent for sponsored activities IF one of the individuals listed above is named as Principal Investigator on the project:

  • Renewable Term Appointment faculty member lacking terminal degree (i.e., Lecturer)
  • Part-time faculty member
  • Adjunct faculty member
  • Emeritus faculty member
  • Visiting faculty member
  • Scholar in Residence
  • Staff member

In some cases, a sponsoring agency may have restrictions on who may serve as a Principal Investigator on a particular project or program that are more stringent than James Madison University. In these cases, the sponsor's requirements will take precedence over institutional policy for that particular project.

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