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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Principal Investigator Status for Extension Professionals

Externally funded projects include research, implementation, and training grants. These are typically administered via the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and require at least one member of the project team to possess principal investigator (PI) status. Extension faculty automatically have PI status upon hire. However, non-faculty Extension professionals must apply for PI status before taking on efforts coordinated through OSP.

The Office of Research has created a brief (45-minute) online course that provides guidance for Principal Investigators and their staff.  The course content covers research administration/compliance processes & tools, explores the lifecycle of sponsored project, and provides access to additional resources. This session is open to all members of the research team. You can access the course via the following steps:

  • Log in to
  • Search for “Being a Principal Investigator...” to register
  • Click [Request] then select course from transcript to launch this course


Step One: Initiate request

  • Complete the mandatory CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) training to satisfy Institutional Review Board requirements before initiating research projects ( - complete HSP and RCR)
  • Prepare a curriculum vita (CV) that illustrates scholarly work completed and in development, as well as experience working on grants including any grant management work
  • Submit CV with a brief email requesting PI status to Terri Fisher in Extension Administration (

Step Two: Department-level approval

  • The department chair will review the request and CV as submitted by the applicant and write a request letter (on department letterhead)
  • Chair will forward the CV and request letter to the CFAES associate dean for research

Step Three: College-level approval

  • The CFAES associate dean for research will review the application and write a letter of approval
  • The CV, department-level request letter, and CFAES approval letter are submitted to the Ohio State senior associate vice president for research for approval

Step Four: PI next steps

  • The Ohio State Office of Research will forward the final approval letter to the department chair, who will then inform the applicant
  • Before submitting an application for external funding, the new PI should complete:

Contact Terri Fisher in Extension Administration (, Room 3 Ag. Admin. Building

See also:
Principal Investigator Considerations

Extension Promotion Blog Entry

Updated – July 2020 by Greg Davis, associate director, programs and department chair, OSU Extension
Reviewed – September 2018
Updated – January 2016 by Ken Martin, associate director, programming and department chair, OSU Extension
Revised by Cindy Buxton, Angie LeMaster – April 2015
Updated – July 2012 by OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet


Office of Research Lifecycle of a Sponsored Project