Office of Sponsored Projects

Definitions for Personnel

Principal Investigator (PI, also referred to as Program Director or Project Director) - The one individual designated by the applicant organization to direct the project or program to be supported by the grant. The PI is responsible and accountable to the applicant organization officials for the proper conduct of the project or program.

Co-Investigator (Collaborator) - An individual involved with the principal investigator in the scientific development or execution of the project. These individuals typically devote a specific percent of effort to the project and are identified as key personnel. The individual(s) may be employed by, or affiliated with, the grantee organization or an organization participating in the project under a consortium or contractual agreement.

Consultant - An individual who provides professional or highly technical advice or assistance to the University, over which the University controls the results but not the manner in which the service is performed. A consultant has measurable effort and is not normally an employee of the organization receiving the services. A consultant may also be a firm or an individual who is an established consultant and the services are provided on the basis of a written agreement for a fee. Note: UTHealth faculty should not be listed as a consultant on University grants.

Key Personnel - In addition to the principal investigator, Key Personnel are defined as individuals who contribute in a substantive, measurable way to the scientific development or execution of the project, whether or not salaries are requested. Typically, these individuals have doctoral or other professional degrees.

Other Significant Contributors - This category identifies individuals who have committed to contribute to the scientific development or execution of the project, but are not committing any specified measurable effort to the project. These individuals are typically presented at zero percent effort or as needed. A biosketch, including research support information, will be required for these individuals as this highlights their accomplishments as scientists. However, if an award is to be made, other support information will not be required or accepted for other significant contributors since considerations of overlap do not apply to these individuals. Should the level of involvement change for an individual listed in this category, they should be re-designated as Key Personnel.