January 20, 2011
Effective immediately, students will no longer be eligible to serve as principal investigators (PIs) on human subjects research applications. The Indiana University Office of Research Administration (ORA) recently consolidated the Indianapolis and Bloomington Human Subjects Offices under one accredited Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). To improve both the quality of the program and customer service, one set of research application forms and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) was created for both campuses. While most Bloomington and Indianapolis policies were similar, the policy regarding who may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) was different. This change is consistent with the IU accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). Because faculty sponsors have always had the ultimate responsibility for the proper conduct of the research, and students, by definition, are only temporarily affiliated with the University, faculty sponsors or other eligible members of the IU community are more suitable PIs for human subjects research applications.
Existing studies listing a student as the PI will require that the PI be changed to an eligible PI (typically the faculty sponsor) at the time of the next Amendment or Continuing Review. Although students may no longer serve as principal investigators on research studies, they may still conduct research activities as they would have otherwise under the direction of their faculty sponsor. Please refer to Principal Investigator and Faculty Sponsor Eligibility IU for additional information on eligibility requirements for Principal Investigators.