School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

Guide to Requesting PI Waivers

If an individual wants to act as a Principal Investigator on a sponsored project and is not a regular faculty member (i.e., not a member of the Academic Council), a PI waiver can be requested. Refer RPH 2.1 policy Principal Investigator Eligibility and Criteria for Exceptions.

PI Waivers Requiring Department Chair and School Dean Approval

These types of projects require approval of the department chair and school dean:

  • conference, workshop, travel, etc.
  • part of a larger interdisciplinary program
  • career development
  • early PIship

These requests should:

  1. Be initiated by the relevant member of the Academic Council who oversees the proposed PI (either by email or letter)
  2. Include identifying information for person being recommended for PI status
  3. Include a description of the project and rationale as to need for granting of PIship to this person, for this project
  4. Be submitted to Department Chair for approval

If/when approved, the Chair forwards the request to school Dean for approval.

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PI Waivers Requiring Department Chair, School Dean and Research Dean Approval

The following six criteria must be met (i.e., addressed in the request) for PI waivers for projects that involve unusual and non-recurring situations.  These situations meet a particular need or opportunity for the University and require approval of the Department Chair, School Dean, and Dean of Research. The six criteria that must be met for a rare exception waiver to be requested are:

1) The proposed research must meet a programmatic need of Stanford. Meeting a programmatic need means addressing an area of investigation that is not currently covered at Stanford and is endorsed by a sponsoring member of the Academic Council or MCL (Medical Center Line) faculty as directly relevant to and supportive of the research or teaching programs of the faculty.

2) The proposed research cannot be funded and/or conducted effectively at Stanford unless the proposed individual is the Principal Investigator.

3) The proposed Principal Investigator’s qualifications to direct the project provide assurance that the work will be conducted in accordance with the standards of excellence of the University.

4) No incremental Space will be required for the project.

5) For each graduate student participating on the project, an Academic Council member has been identified to serve as research advisor to assure that the student’s research program and the education derived from it are consistent with the degree for which the student is a candidate.

6) The research must be designed and conducted in such a way that the work can be discontinued when programmatic need ends or if the sponsoring faculty member ceases to be available.

These requests should:

  1. Be initiated by the relevant member of the Academic Council who oversees the proposed PI 
  2. Describe the project and rationale as to need for granting of PIship to this person, for this project
  3. Include identifying information for person being recommended for PI status
  4. Be submitted to Department Chair for approval. 

If/when approved, the Chair will forward the request to school Dean for approval. Upon Dean's approval, the request will be forwarded to Dean of Research for approval. The fully signed approval must acompany the full proposal when submitted through OSR (Office of Sponsored Research).

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