Office of Sponsored Projects

Multiple PI Leadership Plan

In 2005, the NIH implemented the multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator (multiple PD/PI) mechanism as an opportunity for multidisciplinary efforts and collaboration through a team of scientists under a single grant award. All PD/PIs share equally the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. Each PD/PI is responsible and accountable to the applicant organization, or as appropriate, to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the submission of all required reports.


Applications that involve more than one PI must include a Leadership Plan that describes the roles, responsibilities, and working relationship of the identified PIs. The Leadership Plan should include the following:

  • Lead PI designation.
  • Role of lead PI and other named PIs with definition of responsibilities/duties. The Contact PI is the first PI listed.
  • Description of governance and organizational structure of the leadership team and research project, including communication plans, process for making decisions on scientific direction, and procedures for resolving conflicts.
  • Delineated roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the project or program for the PIs and other collaborators.
  • Process for making decisions on scientific direction and allocating resources and resolving disputes.
  • Fiscal roles and management.
  • Data sharing issues.


The NIH provides this example of a Leadership Plan.

At UTHealth, Leadership Plans must be reviewed by the Executive Vice President for Academic & Research Affairs (EVPARA), prior to the agency deadline. In lieu of approval by the EVPARA, proposals may use the standard language provided in the Multi PI template, which will be reviewed by OSP. Departments that utilize the template must provide a copy of the leadership plan signed by all PIs as part of the A&F review packet.  The standard template uses modeled language for sections (9)-(11). Departments that opt to not utilize the template and/or modify the modeled language for sections (9)-(11) must provide the Leadership Plan signed by the EVPARA as part of the A&F review packet.

Medical School Departments that utilize the standard template will not require Deans Office approval for a Multiple PI Proposal.  Medical School departments that make revisions to the standard template modeled language in sections (9)-(11) will require the Dean’s Office approval (through the Medical School Office of Administration) and the listed approvals above (EVPARA) prior to routing it to OSP.  Please contact the Medical School Office of Administration for questions.