Principal Investigator Eligibility

Researchers and scholars are allowed to submit proposals for funding to external sponsors as Principal Investigator (PI) under certain conditions, provided they obtain the endorsement of their Chair and/or Center Director and their Dean (or their designee) for each instance. The electronic endorsement of the Chair and Dean/Director in the RAPSS Funding Proposal acknowledges the approval of the submission ensures that the applicant has the necessary skills and authority to perform the proposed work, provides acknowledgement that appropriate facilities and effort will be made available by the department and school and confirms that project and budgetary oversight will be provided.  Furthermore, the researcher or scholar must also be eligible to use and obtain the proper authorizations for use of human subjects, radioactive materials, laboratory animals and all other appropriate compliance approvals for the proposed project.

Individuals that may apply for external funding with the role of a PI:

  • Full-time or part-time tenured or tenure-track faculty
  • Full-time faculty or faculty equivalent appointments, who are not on tenure-track (such as Research Associate Professors, Research Assistant Professors)
  • Co-terminus, or adjunct faculty with a paid appointment at the University with sufficient time and effort for the work proposed.
  • Others hired by individual faculty members using grant funds (such as Research Associates, Research Assistants, Post-Doctoral Fellows and Associates)
  • Staff Members with responsibility for managing a unit with its own budget may be designated as Principal Investigator.

Emeritus or retired faculty can apply for external funding as Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) ONLY, with the endorsement of their Department Chair and/or Center Director and their Dean (or Dean’s designee).

There are some important exceptions:

  • In the event an individual is currently a Part-Time Adjunct Faculty member, Lecturer, or a Visiting Professor, a letter from the Chair/Dean is required to acknowledge that should the grant be awarded, the personnel status of the individual will change to a paid appointment at a minimum at the effort required for the work funded as well as acknowledgement that space will be made available and project and budgetary oversight provided.
  • In the event of a new hire, a copy of the signed offer letter indicating the start date along with the endorsement of their Department Chair and/or Center Director and their Dean (or Dean’s designee).
  • Members of the Staff with appropriate skills, education, experience and authority for the work proposed, but who do not manage a unit or have budgetary authority, who wish to submit proposals, must first obtain permission from the Vice President for Research Administration (in addition to all endorsement requirements at time of submission) via submission of a letter of justification from the Chair and Dean or equivalent of the School and/or unit under which they fall to Proposal Exceptions.
  • Retired faculty should consult with the appropriate office to assure serving as a Co-PI will not alter their retirement status. In order for a retired faculty member to serve as a PI, he or she must, in addition to all endorsement requirements at time of submission, first obtain permission from the Vice President for Research Administration, via submission of a letter of justification from the Chair and Dean or equivalent of the School and/or unit under which they fall to Proposal Exceptions.

In all cases, only individuals who meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the external Sponsor will be allowed to submit a proposal.

The Research and Sponsored Programs office reserves the right to obtain additional justification in any case where eligibility is in question. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Director of Research and Sponsored Programs as soon as a submission which may require additional approvals is identified.

Just-in-Time Submissions

Once Council Review is complete and a funding score established, the National Institutes of Health (NIH ) issues Just-in-Time (JIT) emails for all applications that receive an overall impact score of 30 or less. The JIT feature of eRA Commons allows a Signing Official (SO) to submit the requested JIT materials to NIH. The below items are typically requested JIT materials:

  • Other Support for the PI and key personnel (please see Disclosure of Other Support Information to the NIH)
  • IRB and/or IACUC approval confirmation
  • Certification of Human Subjects Training
  • Identification of Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) line
  • Genomic Data Sharing Institutional Certification
  • Other selected information as requested by the Awarding IC

A PI can expect an automated NIH Just-in-Time email if he/she received an impact score within the funding threshold. At that time, a JIT link in eRA Commons will be available to submit JIT information. If the application is selected for possible funding the PI will then receive an email directly from the NIH Grant Management Specialist requesting specific JIT information.

PIs should contact their Grants Specialist to submit JIT information to the NIH.

Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Individual Development Plans

In accordance with NIH guidelines, all graduate students in joint programs of the Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers Graduate School New Brunswick are required to complete Individual Development Plans (IDPs).  These resources are also available to postdoctoral fellows at Rutgers. The purpose of the Rutgers IDP is two-fold:

  1. To provide a structure to systematically identify training needs and competencies, establish tangible research goals, and take stock of annual progress. Thus, IDPs help trainees stay on track with their research, paper and grant writing, and skill development.
  2. To help educate trainees as to various career options, define career goals, and create an annual plan to attain those career goals. In both of these areas, IDPs can serve as a tool to facilitate communication between trainees and their mentors.

Rutgers Graduate School - New Brunswick
Please contact the director of your graduate program for information about IDPs.

Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Science
More information regarding IDPs may be found here.

Additional Resources

NIH Biosketches & Other Support - New Format 1/25/2022

NIH Other Support Instructions

NIH Other Support Sample

NIH Other Support Questionnaire to Faculty

NIH Rigor and Reproducibility

Sponsor Forms

Scholarly Open Access at Rutgers (SOAR)