Last modified: Dec 18, 2018

1) Are you eligible to be a Principal Investigator?

The privilege to act as a Principal Investigator (PI) or a Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) on an externally-funded project is automatically conferred upon all Northeastern faculty members. Those without the aforementioned titles must work with their college administration to determine if the college’s policies and procedures allow the college to confer temporary PI status. By approving the ePAWS record, the college will convey to NU-RES that they approve of the named PI. See the best practices document for additional guidance.

As defined at Northeastern, the Principal Investigator or Project Director:

  • Directs the scientific aspects of the project
  • Authorizes all expenditures of project funds to assure that costs charged are appropriate and benefit the project
  • Oversees the budgetary management of the award
  • Completes required technical reports
  • Is responsible for compliance with applicable University policies and federal regulations and laws


Faculty with the following titles are automatically eligible:

  • Professor
  • Research Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Research Professor 
  • Assistant Professor
  • Assistant Research Professor

Those without the aforementioned titles must use the Temporary PI Status Request Form above

2) Get familiar with the proposal requirements:

  • Read the directions, most proposals are rejected simply because the directions were not followed correctly!
  • Is it being submitted electronically? Make sure you download any application forms (note that the Download Legacy PDF Application Package option to apply retires December 31, 2017).
  • Apply using Grants.gov Workspace.
  • Need help? Check out our fact sheet NU Quick Facts on our webpage Policies & Guidelines.

3) Proposal Submission Tools