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Multiple PI Leadership Plan

In 2005, the NIH implemented the multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator (multiple PD/PI) mechanism as an opportunity for multidisciplinary efforts and collaboration through a team of scientists under a single grant award. All PD/PIs share equally the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. Each PD/PI is responsible and accountable to the applicant organization, or as appropriate, to a collaborating organization, for the proper conduct of the project or program, including the submission of all required reports.


Applications that involve more than one PI must include a Leadership Plan that describes the roles, responsibilities, and working relationship of the identified PIs. The Leadership Plan should include the following:

  • Lead PI designation.
  • Role of lead PI and other named PIs with definition of responsibilities/duties. The Contact PI is the first PI listed.
  • Description of governance and organizational structure of the leadership team and research project, including communication plans, process for making decisions on scientific direction, and procedures for resolving conflicts.
  • Delineated roles and administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the project or program for the PIs and other collaborators.
  • Process for making decisions on scientific direction and allocating resources and resolving disputes.
  • Fiscal roles and management.
  • Data sharing issues.

The NIH provides this example of a Leadership Plan.


At UTHealth, Leadership Plans must be reviewed prior to the agency deadline by the Executive Vice President for Academic & Research Affairs (EVPARA). The EVPARA has created a Multi PI Leadership Plan Template with model language to expedite the review of a Leadership Plan. If the department is using the template with no modifications to sections (9)-(11), include the Leadership Plan an the Signature Page as part of the A&F review packet. Obtain all applicable signatures on the Signature Page prior to routing it to your grants specialist.

If the department or PI wishes to make any modifications to sections (9)-(11) of the template or choose not to use the template, the Leadership Plan will need to be approved by the EVPARA (and, for Medical School departments, the Dean’s Office). The modified Leadership Plan and the Signature Page should be routed for review and approval through these offices. The approved Leadership Plan and the Signature Page should be included in the A&F review packet and sent to Pre-award.