Principal Investigator Status for Educators

New Extension educators at level 2 or higher are expected to apply for PI status within the first year after they begin employment with OSU Extension. Similarly, educators who are promoted from level 1 to level 2 should apply for PI status during the first year following their promotion to level 2. With PI status, an individual is eligible to serve as the principal or lead investigator or co-investigator on sponsored projects which include research, implementation, and training grants. Note: educators at level 1 may apply for PI status if they have reason to do so.

Area leaders should advise and mentor educators as they initiate their requests for PI status. As part of the process of applying for PI status, educators must complete the mandatory CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) training to satisfy Institutional Review Board requirements before initiating research projects. A prospective investigator should prepare a curriculum vitae (CV) that shows scholarly work completed and in development, as well as experience working on grants including any grant management work. The CV must be accompanied by a request letter (on department letterhead) from the director of OSU Extension/department chair. These are forwarded to the CFAES associate dean for research, who reviews and writes letter of approval.

The CV, request letter, and CFAES approval letter are submitted to the senior associate vice president for research for approval.

Non-faculty Extension professionals with the following titles and responsibilities may apply for PI status and should follow the process described above for educators:

  • OSU Extension educators working in their field(s) of expertise,
  • Program directors with responsibilities equal to or greater than educators, but in a different setting, or
  • Area leaders for any project within their area.

Extension state specialists and field specialists are faculty positions by job description, and they have PI status upon appointment.

Requests for PI status for other Extension personnel who are not Extension educators, faculty members or do not otherwise qualify as a PI as stated under the "Qualifications for Service as a Principal Investigator" at should follow the approval procedures noted at this section of the OSP Web site.

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