Research Administration

Principal Investigator Eligibility

Who may apply for a sponsored project?

A full-time employee with an academic title and appointment in an academic school or department.


Postdoctoral Fellows and Residents

To be eligible, a postdoctoral fellow or resident must be employed full time at the university applying for a program that supports the work as a fellow or resident. A member of the UTMB faculty must agree to supervise the sponsored activity.

Students (Undergraduate and Graduate)

Students may apply if they are enrolled in one of UTMB's schools, the program supports their training and a member of the UTMB faculty agrees to supervise the sponsored activity.


Before developing your proposal, understand who may and may not apply for sponsored project funding through the Office of Sponsored Programs.

To achieve its aims of providing higher education, providing patient care, advancing knowledge, and contributing to the welfare of the State, UTMB accepts external funding in support of research and sponsored activities when the project:

  • provides the faculty member with the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge of value to his/her teaching and/or research activities
  • is a suitable sponsored activity through which the faculty member may make worthy contributions to knowledge
  • provides appropriate public service to the community
  • or provides an opportunity to enhance a student educational objective(s).

To be eligible to submit a proposal to an external funding agency, the proposed principal investigator must:

  • be a full-time employee.
  • have an academic title and
  • have an appointment in an academic school or department.

The following title groups are eligible to initiate proposals for research or training contracts or grants:

  • Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor
  • Professor of (dept. name), Associate professor (dept. name), Assistant Professor of (dept. name), Instructor of/in (dept. name)
  • Faculty Associate, Lecturer, Teaching Associate or
  • Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, Visiting Assistant Professor,
  • Visiting Instructor, or Assistant Instructor (when their term of appointment will allow them to complete the sponsored activity proposed in the application).

Waiver to Submit

In extraordinary circumstances when it is in the best interests of UTMB, the Chief Research Officer may grant special approval for other individuals without academic appointments to apply for grants and contracts. The procedure for requesting a waiver is:

The proposed principal investigator or project director prepares a letter addressed to Dr. Randall Urban, Chief Research Officer, requesting a waiver to the UTMB policy on Eligibility to Apply for External Support.

The letter of request should be approved by the appropriate institutional departmental head listed below and submitted to the principal investigator's OSP preaward analyst:

Your sponsored programs analyst will route the waiver to the Chief Research Officer for review. When appropriate, an ad hoc review committee will be appointed to review the proposal for scientific merit.

The Chief Research Office will approve or reject the waiver, and your sponsored program analyst will communicate the outcome.