Research Policy Handbook


Sponsor Notifications and Prior Approvals

Now in Policy Details

The PI must assure that ongoing fiscal management is accomplished in accordance with sponsor requirements, including necessary notifications to the sponsor about project status.

1. Principal Investigator Responsibilities

The PI is responsible for necessary notifications to the sponsor about project status. In all cases, required notifications or requests for prior approval of contract or grant status, including those described in the sections below, should be made in writing to the sponsor. Such notifications must be coordinated through the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) or the Research Management Group (RMG) in the School of Medicine.

A. Changes in PI Status

In addition, sponsors often have requirements regarding notification or prior approval of changes in availability of the PI:

  • For federal contracts and non-federal projects, the terms and conditions of the particular agreement will govern 
  • For federal grants, OMB requires prior written approval from the awarding agency for either of the following circumstances involving the PI or approved Project Director:

1. A reduction in time devoted to the project of 25% or more from the proposed and awarded level

2. Disengagement from the project for more than three months (see RPH 2.2 Acting PIship)

For any additional requirements, review the grant award and grant policy of the specific agency.

The PI, Department Chair, or department administrator should contact OSR or RMG to coordinate securing required approvals in either of the circumstances above. If, in the original award, Stanford committed to cost share any PI effort and the PI reduces his or her overall committed level on the project, OSR or RMG will also negotiate reductions in levels of the cost-shared component of effort, as appropriate.

In addition, when a PI's faculty appointment will terminate prior to or during a project's period of performance, OSR or RMG must inform the sponsor.