Who Can Be a Principal Investigator at U of T?

What do I need before I can begin?

Review the University of Toronto’s (U of T) Guidelines Regarding Eligibility to be a Principal Investigator at the University of Toronto, which were developed in close consultation with the Provost’s Office.  These guidelines clarify who is eligible to be the lead on a research application or funded research project.


A Principal Investigator (PI) conducts research and research-related activities ethically and in compliance with policies, terms and conditions. The PI authorizes activity and expenses on a funded research project.

The following are eligible to act as Principal Investigators on research grants and contracts.

  • Individuals who hold paid academic appointments at the University that extend beyond the period of funding being requested
  • Clinical faculty appointed under the Policy for Clinical Faculty
  • Individuals who are employed at an affiliated institution (such as an affiliated teaching hospital) and hold a status only appointment at the University
  • Retired faculty will be considered eligible with the authorization of their unit head
  • In exceptional cases, approval of eligibility may be provided by the Provost

Irrespective of any determination made by the University regarding Principal Investigator eligibility status, all applicants are also subject to the eligibility guidelines of the research sponsor.

Only those individuals who are eligible to act as PIs will have access to My Research – Applications (MRA), the on-line research application submission system through which all U of T research applications must be submitted prior to submission to a sponsor.

Forms & Downloads


  • Review the researcher's appointment status and duration prior to providing institutional endorsement of research funding applications and/or finalizing a research funding agreement.

VPRI Contact

Find the appropriate VPRI staff member to assist you by checking our staff directory. You may search by discipline area (e.g. Social Sciences, Health & Life Sciences, Natural Sciences or Engineering, etc.) or funding agency name.