Principal Investigator Eligibility
A Principal Investigator, or PI, has overall responsibility for the conduct of a research project.
Criteria for Principal Investigators
MCW currently recognizes the following classes of individuals to be eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator at MCW. Residents and fellows may not serve as Principal Investigators on projects.
Pursuant to the rules of the Faculty Handbook, individuals with a faculty appointment are eligible to serve as investigators at MCW.
The individuals in this classification are employees of MCW.
The coordination of their faculty appointment and research is handled through the academic department through which they are appointed.
Pursuant to the rules of the Faculty Handbook, individuals with an unpaid adjunct or voluntary clinical appointment are eligible to serve as investigators at MCW.
However, because these individuals are not employees of MCW, there are some additional administrative steps which must be followed related to their appointment and research work at MCW.
Individuals with this designation may receive their appointment and primary research support either through an academic department or through the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI).
Individuals in this category must be Blood Center staff with a Master’s degree or higher.
Fellows may not be the PI on research projects. They may be co-Investigators collaborating with an eligible PI as identified per this policy.
Individuals in this category must receive designation from the Froedtert Nursing Research Council, a PhD nurse researcher, and the Chief Nursing Officer.
Individuals in this category must receive designation from the Froedtert Pharmacy Research and Professional Development Committee.
Individuals in this category must be a physician, hold a medical appointment at Froedtert West Bend Hospital, and receive designation from FH Corporate Compliance.
Individuals in this category must be a physician, hold a medical appointment at Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital, and receive special designation from FH Corporate Compliance.
This designation was specifically created for individuals without a terminal degree who do not meet the eligibility criteria to become faculty at MCW, but whom MCW has determined can provide value in conducting research on our campus.
Individuals in this category must receive their appointment through the CTSI office and seek administrative research support from them as well.
Who Can Serve As A Principal Investigator
MCW defines an Investigator as any individual who:
- Leads or directs a research project involving human subjects
- Performs activities that engage MCW, FH or BCW in anyone else’s research project
- Uses MCW, FH or BCW resources; including lab equipment, physical space, or services
- Brings research data onto the campus (MCW, FH or BCW space)
- Performs any research activity on MCW, FH or BCW campus
A Principal Investigator has overall responsibility for the conduct of a research project, including all technical, programmatic, financial, compliance and administrative aspects. The Principal Investigator is responsible for controlling the technical direction and academic quality of the project, and will ensure that the project is carried out in compliance with the terms, conditions, and policies of the College and the Sponsor when applicable.
PI Education & Training Requirements
All MCW/FH Investigators must complete required training prior to submission of a research project for review and approval to the MCW/FH IRB. Investigators are required to remain up-to-date with required training to continue to conduct research at MCW/FH.
The following training is required for Principal Investigators:
MCW Certification Program (CITI)
- Initial - Everyone involved in the design, conduct, or review of human research carried out by MCW faculty, CTSI faculty and Froedtert nurses investigators at any location or reviewed by MCW/FH IRBs or another authorized IRB must obtain CITI certification. CITI certification is obtained by completing the required online modules with an overall score of 80%. The initial CITI course can be completed in four to six hours. Six CME credits are available from CITI.
- Annual - Additional human subject protection education is required each year for investigators and coordinators. MCW investigators and coordinators must obtain three hours of human subject protection education annually. Non MCW members of the research team must obtain one hour of human subject protection education annually.
- Refresher – In order to maintain CITI certification, completion of the CITI Refresher course every three (3) years after initial certification is required. Completion of the refresher modules can usually be completed in less than two hours.
Research Banks at MCW and Froedtert Hospital: IRB Training for Bank Personnel
Required for Bank Custodians who have access to the bank database, solicits subject consent for banking, or has record-keeping or administration responsibility for a bank.
Shipping Infectious Materials
Required for anyone shipping infectious materials, blood, lab samples, dry ice, etc.
For research supported by or required to follow a Department of Defense addendum:
For initial and continuing research, ethics education must be completed by all personnel who conduct, review, approve, oversee or manage human subject research. In support of this Investigators should complete MCW DoD human research module.
The following training opportunities are recommended but not required:
- eBridge – Human Research Training
- Human Subject Protections 2007
- IRB Open House – Held monthly
- Human Research Professionals Monthly Meeting
- Human Research Orientation Series
- Core Curriculum: Education for Human Research Team Members
For additional eligibility requirements, review the IRB SOP: Requirements & Qualifications to Serve as a Principal Investigator