Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sample Project Leadership Plans for Multiple PIs

Are you sharing the PI responsibility with another scientist?  Having 2 Principal Investigators can be a benefit to certain types of projects.  Given other responsibilities such as teaching and other research projects, it can also be helpful to have another person to share the workload.  NIH provides some examples of Multiple PI Project Leadership Plans here.  Why is this a necessary component of the application?  I believe it is in part because department heads and NIH personnel became frustrated with the messy divorces that can happen between PIs sharing equal responsibility for a project.  I have seen disagreements in approach, methods, and even interpretation of findings turn into all-out battles for control of projects.  Keep this in mind as you draft your leadership plan.  Be sure that one PI will have final say over certain types of matters and, if possible, designate an impartial third party or faculty committee to help make decisions when no agreement can be reached.  You will not regret it!

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