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Responsibilities of the Principal Investigator (PI)

Administrative Responsibilities


The principal investigator (PI) is responsible for the technical and fiscal and administrative management of a sponsored project. While responsibility for day-to-day management of project finances may be delegated to administrative or other staff, the PI is responsible for compliance with Georgia Southern policy, RSSP-103 Principal Investigator Responsibilities and sponsor terms and conditions.

In order to carry out this responsibility, the PI should be aware of all relevant sponsor and university regulations regarding the budget limitations, conflicts of interest, use of human and animal subjects, biohazards and biosafety, purchasing and equipment management policies, patents and copyrights, inventions, confidential information, safety and security, and required reports.

For questions related to management of a sponsored program, or to learn more about the terms and conditions of an active project, contact your Grant Coordinator and/or your Research Accountant.

Please check and review your emails frequently as the Grant Coordinators, Research Accountants and occasionally the funding agency will provide important and time-sensitive correspondence via email.


Technical and Programmatic Reporting Requirements


The PI is responsible for complying with all reporting requirements and deadlines, as specified by the sponsor. Therefore, PIs should read the sponsor’s guidelines carefully to ascertain what reports are required, their frequency, and preparation instructions.


Financial Management and Reporting Requirements


The PI is responsible for managing and controlling project funds in accordance with restrictions imposed by the sponsor’s terms and conditions and university policy and procedure, RSSP-103 Principal Investigator Responsibilities.

PIs are responsible for ongoing fiscal management of their awarded projects. Business Objects reports are a valuable tool for project oversight and should be viewed each month to ensure expenditures and adjustments are timely, and expenditure rates can be monitored to assure availability of funds. Questionable charges must be brought to the attention of your Research Accountant promptly and corrected by an appropriate reallocation (transfer).

Formal financial reports will be prepared by the Georgia Southern University Research and Service Foundation in coordination with Research Accounting. At the PI’s request, financial reports may be prepared and sent to the principal investigator for review prior to being sent to the sponsor.


Prior Approval for Programmatic and Financial Changes


Each sponsor may have specific requirements regarding changes to the scope of the project or modifications to the approved budget. Any changes should be discussed first with your Grant Coordinator. This is especially important regarding changes in project duration or the budget as the ORSSP may have expanded authority to approve changes to certain grants without referring back to the sponsor.

For grants/contracts requiring sponsor’s prior approval, correspondence with the sponsor requesting such changes must be discussed with the grant coordinator and/or research accountant in order to be approved and executed on behalf of the University and PI. Once approval is received from the sponsor, the investigator and other academic and administrative units will receive notification.

Last updated: 10/15/2019