Principal Investigator Eligibility Requirements for IRB Submissions

Individuals who are named as Principal Investigator on NWHSU IRB applications must have sufficient authority, appropriate background, and accountability to oversee all aspects of the research, including assumption of fiscal responsibility.

Note that PI eligibility for IRB submissions is different than for sponsored projects (see table below).


To be eligible to be named PI on an NWHSU IRB application, a person must be a faculty member paid by NWHSU with an academic appointment (clinical professor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, assistant scientist, associate scientist, senior scientist or instructor). PI eligibility must be met at the time the application is submitted.


The following individuals may be approved as a PI on IRB applications on a case by case basis by obtaining a letter from the NWHSU academic department head or director assuming responsibility for administrative issues, including all financial matters, and permission from the IRB Chair:

  • Other NWHSU employees including licensed medical professionals employed by NWHSU when research activities are within the scope of the individual’s licensure/practice
  • NWHSU faculty with affiliated appointments (e.g., emeritus faculty, adjunct faculty) who are not employed by NWHSU

Students may not be named as PI on IRB applications, even if they act as PI on grant applications for funds specifically directed to predoctoral students. The student’s mentor or another individual must meet the requirements for eligibility as PI and be named the PI on associated IRB application.

Summary of Principal Investigator Requirements
Position at NWHSU Eligible as PI on Grant/Contract/Award? Eligible as PI on IRB submission?
Paid NWHSU faculty member Yes Yes
Affiliated faculty Yes, with letter from Dept/Institute/Unit Yes, with letter from Dept/Institute/Unit Director and permission of IRB Chair

Postdoctoral research fellow

No R01s No
Senior research associate Yes No
Postgraduate resident Yes No
NWHSU licensed medical professionals (research activities within scope of licensure) Yes Yes, with letter from Dept/Institute/Unit Director and permission of IRB Chair
NWHSU employees (research activities within scope of employment) Yes, with letter from Dept/Institute/Unit Director Yes, with letter from Dept/Institute/Unit Director and permission of IRB Chair
Students Yes for grants/awards specifically directed to predoctoral students No