MIT Investigator Status

Lead PIs and Investigators on Projects

Any reference in proposal documents to any project team member as an “Investigator” assigns that team member independent responsibility for the design, conduct, or reporting of research. Each Investigator must certify in KC any proposal in which they participate. See PI Roles and Responsibilities.

If multiple investigators share responsibility for a project, the project must have one Lead PI who is responsible for overall development, proposal content and a resulting funded project.  The Lead PI is the primary scientific point of contact for the sponsor.

All Investigators should be entered at the Coeus development proposal as either the “Principal Investigator” or a “Co-Investigator”. Other persons associated with the project may be entered as Key Persons, but the title assigned to their “Key Person Role” should be easily distinguishable from Investigator roles.

MIT PI Status is required for Investigators in addition to the Lead PI, including: 

  • Principal Investigator (PI) 
  • Project Director (PD) 
  • Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) 
  • Co-Investigator (Co-I) 
  • Co-Project Director (Co-PD) 
  • Investigator 

PI Status at MIT

PIs are entrusted by the Institute with the responsibility to independently design, conduct, and supervise sponsored projects in MIT’s name. Some appointments carry PI Status automatically, including:

  • Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Institute Professor, Director of Libraries, Medical Director 
  • Principal Research Scientists, Principal Research Engineers, and Principal Research Associates 
  • Senior Research Scientists, Senior Research Engineers, and Senior Research Associates 
  • Adjunct Professor 
  • Adjunct Associate Professor 
  • Professor of the Practice
  • Associate Professor of the Practice 

Other positions may be granted PI Status on a per-project basis by the relevant dean’s office for the unit where the project would take place. 


For NSF I-Corps Teams proposals, the Entrepreneurial and Technical Leads should be listed as Co-Investigators in KC for tracking and disclosure purposes, but do not require PI status and should not appear as co-PIs on the NSF proposal cover page.

For proposals to NASA, Co-Investigators are not required to have PI Status. See NASA PI Status guidance for details.