Proposal Management: Additional Help: 2.3

2.3 U-M Investigators

An Investigator is defined as: The Principal Investigator (PI) or Project Director (PD), Participating Investigators, Senior/Key personnel (as identified by the institution in a proposal or sponsor report), and any other individual identified by the PI/PD as responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of the research (i.e., not simply working on, or engaged in the project).

  • A U-M Principal Investigator must be identified for each Proposal Approval Form (PAF).
  • Completion of the U-M Investigator section and the Role assignment determines the electronic routing path for the PAF and proposal approval process.
  • There are 5 steps to adding U-M Investigators (see instructions below)
    1. Add the person.
    2. Select the Role for the person in this research.
    3. Indicate if the person is Senior/Key to this research.
    4. Select Edit rights to the PAF and/or for the person.
    5. Add the Appointment for the person.

UM Investigator Roles & PAF Routing

All Roles route the PAF for unit approval prior to proposal submission except for Participating Investigator without Specified Effort and Other Non-faculty Investigator. These Role titles are used in eRPM only.

Use the Other Non-faculty Investigator role to identify personnel who fit the definition of investigator, but are not in faculty positions.


What if someone requires unit approval but doesn't fit the definition of investigator?
Anyone entered in section 2.3 is considered an investigator. Those with effort (i.e., U-M PI, Sponsor PI and Participating Investigator with Effort) are routed for unit approval.

Does a faculty mentor of a U-M Sponsored PI need to be added to the PAF?
Yes. If the applicant is not PI eligible for the PAF, the main faculty mentor usually is listed as the U-M Principal Investigator. If the mentor will not be the U-M PI or there are multiple mentors, an applicable role is "Participating PI without Specified Effort."

How do I add a faculty member to the PAF if their U-M appointment has not started?
If the person has a U-M uniqname and password, add the appointment as a future appointment. If not, establish a sponsored account.

Conflict of Interest (COI) Review

If your proposal is for PHS funding or for an organization following PHS financial conflict of interest regulations (FCOI), the PAF routes to the Conflict of Interest staff for compliance review. People assigned to the U-M Investigator roles must disclose outside interests as related to their U-M employment for compliance purposes.

"Senior/Key" for purposes of the PAF

Senior/Key is defined as: PI/PD and other U-M employees who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive way, whether or not they receive compensation or devote specific effort levels to the activity.

Individuals identified as "senior/key" on a PAF are:

  • Mapped to the SF424 ( forms as "senior/key"
  • Included, if applicable, in responses to written requests for disclosure of FCOI management plans per PHS regulation.


Add UM Investigators

  1. Click Add .
  2. Type the person's Last Name or uniqname.‚Äč
    Tip Click Browse... to search by last name or uniqname. Do not use special characters.
  3. Select the correct person from the list.
    Tip If you cannot find the correct person, click Create New User. For U-M users, see the Create an eResearch Proposal Management Account instructions. For Non-UM users, see the Sponsored Account (preferred) or Friend Account instructions.
  4. Select the Role.
    See the Definition of a Principal Investigator for definitions of these roles.
    The SF424 Project Director/Principal Investigator maps from the U-M Sponsor PI role on the PAF. If there is not one in PAF, the U-M PI is used, OR If there is no U-M Sponsor PI and there are multiple U-M PIs, the Contact PI is used.
  5. If applicable, type the Sponsor Role.
    Note Several of the U-M Roles listed above differ from titles used in sponsored project activities. More typical examples of Sponsor Roles are Co-Investigator, Senior Scientist, Collaborating Investigator, Other Significant Contributor (NIH-defined role), etc. Use this field to capture the project role as defined in the proposal for each key person.
  6. Click Yes or No to identify if the person is Senior/Key to the research.
    Tip All U-M Investigators marked Senior/Key on the PAF will be listed in the SF424 R&R Senior/Key Person(s) section when the forms are created or updated.
  7. Select what edit rights the person should have.
    PAF Edit: Can update the PAF whenever it is available to edit. Edit: Can update forms after generation and before submission to the sponsor. Read: Can view application
    Note If no edit rights are selected for the person, he/she will only be able to view PAF and/or
  8. Click OK.

Repeat the steps to enter additional U-M Investigators to the PAF.

Important You still need to add appointment information for the person. Appointment information is used to determine PAF reviewers.

Add Appointments

Before you can add an appointment, you need to add the person. Follow the steps above to add U-M Investigators, if you have not already done so.

  1. Click Add Appointment.
  • The Appointment Details for [the person] in PAF section is blank.
  • The appointment(s) for the person as recorded in the M-Pathways Human Resources (HR) system appear under the Add Appointments from HR System section. Summer appointments do not display if they are not active in M-Pathways HR System. These appointments are often terminated during the academic year.
  • Important The U-M Investigator's appointment and role determine which departments review the PAF:
    • The appointing department for the U-M Principal Investigator is the default Administrative Home for PAF.
    • The appointing department of the U-M Principal Investigator, U-M Sponsor Principal Investigator, and/or Participating Investigator With Specified Effort will be sent the PAF to approve.
  1. For each appointment you want to add, click Add to PAF. Notice that the appointment is added to the Appointment Details for [the person] in PAF section.
  2. If the proposal involves a future appointment, in the Add Future Appointments section, enter the following, then click Add to PAF:
  • Title
  • Department ID
  • Department/Unit
  1. Click OK to complete adding appointments for the person and return to the U-M Investigators page.

Repeat for each person in U-M Investigators.

Edit/Delete a U-M Investigator

To edit U-M Investigator information:

  1. Click Update by the person's name.
  2. Make changes, as needed, to:
  • Role
  • Sponsor Role
  • Edit Rights - PAF or SF424 (i.e.,
  1. Click OK.

To delete a U-M Investigator:

  1. Click Delete in the row for the person.
  2. Click OK to the warning message box.

Note You cannot directly delete the U-M Principal Investigator. Contact the ITS Service Center for assistance.

Edit/Delete Appointment

To edit an appointment:

  1. Click Add Appointment by the person's name.
  2. Select an HR appointment or enter a Future appointment.
  3. Click Add to PAF.

To delete an appointment:

  1. Click Remove in the Appointment Details [for person] in PAF section.
  2. Click OK to return to the U-M Investigators page.

Note Removing an appointment in a PAF doesn't remove the appointment from the M-Pathways HR system. There is no system warning when you delete an appointment in a PAF.

Last Updated: 
Monday, December 11, 2023