FAQ: Can I be Principal Investigator on an IRB project?

Only certain persons may be designated as the Principal Investigator on a human subject research study. These include MSU regular faculty, emeritus faculty, and fixed term faculty employees with rank of assistant professor or higher.

Students, staff, and individuals holding other appointment titles, such as research associate, specialist, post-doctoral fellow, visiting, adjunct, or clinical faculty, may be designated on the IRB application as an additional investigator, but not as the PI.

In the case of graduate student research for theses or dissertations, the student's major advisor or another faculty member should be designated on the IRB application as the PI and the graduate student as an additional investigator.


There are some exceptions to these general requirements.

More information can be found in the HRPP Manual, Section 4-9, “Designation of Principal Investigator.”