authorized organization representative, program director, principal investigator, PD/PI, research administrator

2.1.2 Recipient Staff

Overall responsibility for successfully implementing an NIH grant is a shared responsibility of the PD/PI(s), the AOR, and the Research Administrator. As key members of the grant team, they respectively lead the scientific and administrative aspects of the grant. While communications can be conducted with Research Administrators and other institutional staff, NIH staff members conduct official business only with the designated PD/PI(s) and AORs. The roles and responsibilities of recipient participants are as follows:

When a single PD/PI is designated, that individual is not required to be an employee of the applicant organization. However, because the grant, if awarded, is made to the organization, the applicant organization must have a formal written agreement with the PD/PI that specifies an official relationship between the parties even if the relationship does not involve a salary or other form of remuneration. If the PD/PI is not an employee of the applicant organization, NIH will assess whether the arrangement will result in the organization being able to fulfill its responsibilities under the grant, if awarded.

When multiple PD/PIs are designated, NIH requires identification of one PD/PI who will be designated as the Contact PD/PI. This person is responsible for communication between the PD/PIs and the NIH. Serving as Contact PD/PI confers no special authorities or responsibilities within the project team. The Contact PD/PI must meet all eligibility requirements for PD/PI status. They are not required to be an employee of the applicant organization. However, as with the single PD/PI model, if the Contact PD/PI is not an employee, the applicant organization must have a formal written agreement with the Contact PD/PI that specifies an official relationship between the parties. This same principle applies to all PD/PIs at the applicant organization; e.g., they need not be employees; however the applicant organization must have a formal written agreement in place.

When multiple PD/PIs are involved at different organizations, only the Contact PD/PI is required to have the official relationship with the applicant organization. PD/PIs in the leadership team at other organizations must have a documented relationship with a consortium organization, but need not be employees. Any consortium agreementA formalized agreement whereby a research project is carried out by the recipient and one or more other organizations that are separate legal entities. Under the agreement, the recipient must perform a substantive role in the conduct of the planned research and not merely serve as a conduit of funds to another party or parties. These agreements typically involve a specific level of effort from the consortium organization's PD/PI and a categorical breakdown of costs, such as personnel, supplies, and other allowable expenses, including F&A costs. The relationship between the recipient and the collaborating organizations is considered a subaward relationship. (See Consortium Agreements chapter in IIB). must address the unique aspects to these individuals holding the PD/PI role.

PD/PIs are members of the recipient team responsible for ensuring compliance with the financial and administrative aspects of the award. They work closely with designated officials within the recipient organization to create and maintain necessary documentation, including both technical and administrative reports; prepare justifications; appropriately acknowledge Federal support of research findings in publications, announcements, news programs, and other media; and ensure compliance with other Federal and organizational requirements. NIH encourages PD/PIs to maintain contact with the NIH PO with respect to the scientific aspects of the project and the GMO/GMS concerning the business and administrative aspects of the award. The NIH staff contacts list located at includes contact information for NIH grants management and program staff at each ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award..

  • Research Administrator. The Research Administrator acts as a local agent of the AOR and/or PD/PIs providing day-to-day grant-related support. Depending on the structure of the organization, this individual can be located centrally or within an organizational component such as a Department.