Division of Research & Graduate Studies
Office of Sponsored Programs

Transfer of Principal Investigator on Grants & Contracts


Occasionally, a Principal Investigator (PI) is unable to fulfill their responsibilities as PI or has chosen to leave ECU.  In such cases, the PI is advised to contact their OSP Grant Officer immediately for consultation.  As the grantee institution, ECU is obligated to comply with sponsor regulations.  All notifications to sponsors must be in writing and co-signed by an authorized official in OSP.  A verbal conversation is not considered official, nor is correspondence between the PI and sponsor personnel.
All notifications to sponsors must be in writing and co-signed by an OSP official. Verbal conversations are not considered official notification. Not informing the sponsor of a PI change has led to serious problems in the past and can have costly consequences to the Department and University.

Procedure: Internal Changes in Principal Investigator and/or Administrative Unit 


Periodically situations arise when a PI is no longer available to carry on the project. For example, a PI may have changed direction in research activity; a temporary or permanent leave of absence may be necessary for health or other reasons. The sponsor will want to evaluate the circumstances and determine if another ECU PI can meet the project goals and approve the transfer of leadership on the project.

In the event that an ECU grant/contract must be transferred internally from one PI to another and/or Administrative unit please follow the procedure outlined below.

The Principal Investigators involved in a grant/contract transfer must notify their of the intended transfer through submission of a completed Internal Departmental PI/Admin Unit Change Request. This document must be signed by the Relinquishing and Accepting PI's, as well as their respective Deans and Department Chairs.

PI's leaving ECU and Transferring Grants to another Institution

Grants are awarded to institutions, not individuals. For this reason, ECU must "relinquish" the grant and equipment (if any) to the new institution. Also, the awarding agency must approve all grant transfers from one organization to another. Principal Investigators must complete the form below and submit it to their Grant Officer.

PI and Grant Exit/Transfer Notification Form


Consult with the OSP Grants Officer to learn the sponsor’s process for transferring grants. 


For NIH grants, the Grant Officer will contact the NIH Grant Management Officer (GMO) named on the award document. Visit the NIH Policy Guide for instructions regarding NIH Change in Grantee Organization <http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/osp/upload/NIH-Change-of-Grantee-Organization.doc>.
For NSF grants, The Grant Officer will contact the Program Officer named on the award document. The NSF grant transfer process is initiated in Fastlane by the Principal Investigator and followed up on in the OSP by the new institution.

For all other sponsors:
· Complete the necessary sponsor forms for award and/or equipment transfer.
· While completing forms, work in conjunction with the ECU department managing the award and the Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) to determine and agree upon account balances. OGC is responsible for submitting final financial reports to the sponsor. Grants cannot be transferred from one institution to another until the financial reports are submitted.
· Route any documents requiring "institutional signatures" to OSP for review and sign off—deans, department chairs, etc. are not authorized to relinquish grants or equipment on behalf of East Carolina University.
· Complete any additional requirements outlined by the agency or the institution to which the grant is transferred.

If you have questions, please contact the OSP Grant Officer <http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/osp/staff.cfm> assigned to the grant/contract.