Principal Investigators (PIs) and Project/Program Directors (PDs)

2.6.1 Principal Investigators (PIs) and Project/Program Directors (PDs)

The PI/PDs are responsible for the overall scientific and technical quality of individual projects conducted under their auspices as well as complying with the financial and administrative policies and regulations associated with the award. While the University is held legally and financially accountable to sponsors for the performance of the activity funded and the proper use of funds, this task cannot be accomplished without the full cooperation and oversight of the PI/PD.

PI/PDs should ensure the accuracy of the information provided in an application and are responsible for the scientific and intellectual direction of their project, and for the submission in a timely manner of all required technical, progress, and invention reports. They are also responsible for reviewing the financial reports prepared by the University before submission.

PI/PDs may have administrative staff to assist them with the management of project funds. However, the ultimate responsibility for the management of the sponsored research project work and funds rests with the PI/PD.

The fundamental responsibilities of the PI/PD during the post-award phase of a sponsored research project include:

  • Executing the project as outlined in the funded proposal.
  • Using sound management techniques.
  • Authorizing only those expenditures that are reasonable and necessary to accomplish the project goals and are consistent with the sponsor’s terms and conditions.
  • Spending no more than the amount authorized by the sponsor for the project period.
  • Subcontracting and purchasing only through duly authorized processes.
  • Carrying out the project’s financial plan as presented in the funded proposal, or making changes to the plan following a prescribed set of policies and procedures.
  • Reporting project progress to the sponsor as outlined in the terms of the award.
  • Reviewing expenditures in a timely fashion—not less often than monthly—to assure their appropriateness and correctness.
  • Detecting errors and initiating cost transfers when necessary.
  • Complying with all BU policies and procedures related to project management and personnel practices.
  • Complying with all applicable sponsor rules, regulations, and/or terms and conditions of the award.
  • Certifying effort through signing Personnel Activity Reports (PARs).