Research and Scholarship FAQs

PI/USF Eligibility to Apply for an External Grant

The USF guidelines on eligibility to apply for external grants/funds explain who is eligible to be a principal investigator (PI) or project director (PD) for a sponsored project. The PI must meet these eligibility requirements to submit a proposal for a grant.

USF Positions Authorized to be a PI
Faculty in tenure-earning tracks Faculty in non-tenure accruing tracks
Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor Assistant Scientist,Associate Scientist, Scientist, Assistant Scholar, Associate Scholar, Scholar
Assistant Curator, Associate Curator, Curator Assistant Engineer, Associate Engineer, Engineer
Assistant Librarian, Associate Librarian, Instructor Librarian Assistant Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, Research Professor
  Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Professor
  Assistant, Associate Scholar/Scientist/Engineer Instructor
  Research Scientist Assistant, Associate, or Professor
  Clinician Educator Assistant, Associate, or Professor
  Scientific Educator Assistant, Associate, or Professor
  Collaborative Research Scientist Assistant, Associate, or Professor

Moreover, each type of grant program has its own distinct eligibility requirements. For example, applicants can find eligibility information in section III of each NIH funding opportunity announcement (FOA). While the PI conceives and writes the application, NIH recognizes the applicant institution as the recipient for most grant types. In general, domestic or foreigh, public or private, non-profit or for-profit organizations are eligible to receive NIH grants though NIH may limit eligibility for certain types of programs. NSF eligibility information notes that Principal Investigators (PI & co-PIs) must have a tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure track faculty position and specifies that their institution has qualified them to serve as PI or co-PI. Post doctoral researchers are not allowed to serve as PI or co-PI but they may serve as other personnel.