Principal Investigator (PI) or Project Director (PD) Responsibilities

A Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for overseeing the sponsored program/project. Examples of programmatic activities that would fall under the purview of the PI are: adhering to CUNY, RFCUNY and campus specific policies, monitoring the budget and submitting budget modifications if needed, recruiting and hiring staff, certifying academic year or summer salary effort, purchasing and procuring goods and services, submitting periodic reports to sponsors, communicating with Grants Office staff as needed as well as the ethical and financial stewardship of their sponsored award.  Note that depending on the type of award, additional activities may be required on the part of the PI to effectively carry out the scope of work as described in the proposal. 

The Office of Grants and Research Administration encourages all PI's and staff that are recipients of sponsored funds and/or engaged in research to review the The CUNY Office of Research webpage as it offers a wealth of information for PI's that will guide the management of their awards.

A summary of rPrincipal Investigator responsibilites on a sponsored research award include:

  • In collaboration or consultation with the Office of Grants & Research Administration (OGRA), identify possible funding opportunities.
  • Developing a budget, and if it includes PI and/or Personnel Effort, ensuring that the current institutional base salary is used, and that the effort is a reasonable estimate of effort to be expended in relation to the aim of the project as well as other College obligations.
  • Having thorough knowledge of the grant application guidelines and abiding by the terms and conditions of the award.
  • Ensuring proper oversight of professional and technical decisions of the research project.
  • Ensuring adherence to scope of work.
  • Ensuring that institutional approvals are submitted to Grants Office prior to proposal submission.
  • Ensuring that all CITI certificates and conflic of interest disclosure forms are on file with the Grants Office prior to proposal submission.
  • Having oversight of professional and technical decisions as to personnel hired to work on the sponsored project.
  • Knowledge and familiarity of Research Foundation procedures, guidelines and your Project Adm. (PA)
  • Monitoring budget, budget revisions, carryovers and no-cost extension requests.
  • Procuring goods and services that are directly related to the scope of work. Any deviations from the scope of work will likely require sponsor approval.
  • Ensuring that the selection of personnel and purchase of equipment and supplies is in accordance with the award budget (prior to 90 days of grant end date).
  • Confirming with OGRA that all CITI compliance and financial disclosure forms are on file. Otherwise, project expenditures may be placed on hold.
  • Complying with sponsor requirements regarding reduction in academic year and summary salary and change in PI status, and seeking prior approval for any re-budgeting of committed effort.
  • Meeting with the post-award team to review grant budget and actions required from PI to spend down project funds.
  • Certifying summer and academic year effort in a timely manner.
Research & Sponsored Programs Compliance
  • The CUNY of Research expects that PI’s adhere to University, RF and sponsor requirements when applying for funding or administering their awards. 
Human Research Protections Program (HRPP)
Campus HRPP Coordinator:
Professor Antonios Varelas, Behavioral and Social Sciences

College Conflict Officer (CCO), Council of Administrators for Research Success (CARS) member and Point Person for Research Agreements:
Andrea Fabrizio, PhD
Associate Dean, Office of Academic Affairs (OAA)

Research Integrity Officer (RIO) and Export Control Administrator (ECA):
Professor Yoel Rodriguez, Natural Sciences
Please review CUNY’s policy regarding Export Control here

Principal Investigator/ Project Director Responsibilities