Establishment of Multiple Principal Investigator Awards for the Support of Team Science Projects

Notice Number: NOT-OD-06-036

Key Dates
Release Date: February 7, 2006

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

In 2006 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will begin to implement a Federal-wide policy to allow formally more than one Principal Investigator (PI) on individual research awards. This presents a new and important opportunity for investigators seeking support for projects or activities that clearly require a team science approaches and which do not fit the single-PI model. The multiple-PI model is intended to supplement, and not to replace, the traditional single PI model. The overarching goal is to encourage collaboration among equals when that is the most appropriate way to address a scientific problem. Although the number of applications submitted with more than one PI is expected to be relatively small compared with those that continue to use the traditional single-PI format, we know that the impact on multidisciplinary efforts may be great.

The NIH will make the multiple-PI option available for applications submitted in response to a selected group of Requests for Applications (RFAs) and Program Announcements (PAs) with May-June 2006 receipt dates. It is likely that additional initiatives will be selected to pilot this activity for receipt dates in the October time frame. Based on experience from these pilot initiatives, it is expected that the multiple-PI option will become available for most investigator-initiated research grant mechanisms submitted for January 2007 and later application receipt dates. The NIH will announce those specific RFAs and PA selected to pilot the multi-PI option as well as future plans for expansion to other mechanisms in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts at

A Multiple Principal Investigator website ( has been created to provide general information on the new policy. This includes: background and features of the multiple-PI policy; major issues to be considered in its implementation; PI roles and responsibilities; distribution of credit; allocation of funds; and awards to more than one institution. Much of this information is located in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the web site. Many of the questions listed in the FAQ section are based on communications received in response to Requests for Information (RFI) published by the NIH and by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President. Results from these RFIs are also available at the Multiple Principal Investigator web site. There has been additional outreach to the scientific community through a recently published article in NIH Extramural Nexus, ( the NIH’s bimonthly extramural update that is available free to all who request it.

Many procedures for implementation of the policy to recognize formally multiple PIs on individual research awards are still in the planning stages, and the NIH looks forward to continued input from the scientific community. All potential applicants are encouraged to access the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for official notice(s).

For additional information please visit the Multiple Principal Investigator website at and feel free to send email to