PI Status Exception Requests

What is PI Status? 

PI Status allows a Berkeley Lab career or career-track employee to submit a proposal for support of research, training, or public service programs or projects in the name of the Lab.

Project Scientist Eligibility for PI Status
Per Article 22 of the UAW Academic Researchers (RA) Contract, and pursuant to Berkeley Lab’s guidelines and procedures, appointees in the Project Scientist series may be eligible to be considered for exceptional Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator status.

By definition, researchers in the LBNL Project Scientist series serve as members of a research team for a limited period of time, do not lead the research, and are not generally eligible to be sole PI. Principal Investigator status, granted by virtue of the appointment held or through exception, is not determinative of the individual's appointment in terms of level or period. All periods of LBNL employment are governed solely by an individual's appointment as approved by a designated Lab official.

PI Exception requests are not typical and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A request should address 1) why a scientist in a career-track or career appointment (e.g., Research Scientist, Staff Scientist, Faculty Scientist, Sr. Faculty Scientist, or  Sr. Scientist) cannot act as PI; and 2) why it may be appropriate for the Project Scientist to serve as PI on the particular grant, award or contract.

Exceptions may be requested under the following conditions:

Submitting an Exception Request

PI Exception requests will be documented in a memo (template here) and submitted to the Career Pathways Office using this form.

The request must include: 

Description of the Project

Individual Qualifications and Rationale

Alignment with Division and Lab initiatives

Space, Utilities, and Resources

The memo will require approval of the proposed PI, Supervisor, Division Director, and ALD before being submitted to the Career Pathways Office, who will facilitate final review by the Deputy Lab Director for Research. The PI exception request must be approved by the Deputy Lab Director for Research before submitting the applicable proposal through SPO/DOE or before PI designation is assigned for ongoing work. In no event, should any work commence before all necessary approvals are obtained.