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Definition of a PI (principal investigator) in RDM


A researcher will be eligible to be a PI in RDM if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Has been awarded the title of University Research Lecturer (URL) or Associate Professor (AP) or holds a more senior appointment;
  • Holds an intermediate level fellowship awarded in open competition from a major external funder;
  • Holds significant funding in their own name, commensurate with their field of work and awarded in open competition, together with evidence of substantial independent research achievements, judged to be of equivalent standing by the RDM panel.

A panel, comprising the Head of RDM and the Heads of each of the RDM Divisions, is convened annually to assess applications being submitted to the Medical Sciences Division for URL and AP titles. This panel will also consider whether PI status should be awarded to researchers meeting one of the above criteria (applicants can apply to this panel for RDM PI status, without having to apply for a URL or AP title).

In exceptional circumstances, the panel will have discretion to make decisions out of cycle.



  • NHS Consultants can become RDM PIs if they are awarded the title of Associate Professor.

 Anyone wishing to discuss their eligibility to become an RDM PI should contact Dr Ruth McCaffrey ( or their Division Head for an informal discussion.