Additional Help

2.3 UM 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 UM Principal Investigator must be identified for each Proposal Approval Form (PAF).

  • Completion of the UM Investigator section and the Role assignment determines the electronic routing path for the PAF and proposal approval process.

  • Adding UM Investigators has 5 steps (see directions 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.
List of values for Role field

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


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

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

Q: How do I add a faculty member to the PAF if their UM appointment has not started?
A: If the person has a UM uniqname and password, add the appointment as a future appointment. If not, establish a Friends 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 (COI-OVPR or COI-MED) for compliance review. People assigned to the UM Investigator roles must disclose outside interests as related to their UM 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 to expand the page.

  2. Type the person's last name or uniqname.

    TIPS: Click Select 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 UM Users, see the Create an eResearch Proposal Management Account procedure for directions.
    For Non-UM Users, see the Obtain a Friends Account procedure for directions.

  4. Select the Role.

    See the Definition of a Principal Investigator web page (ORSP web site) for definitions of these roles.

    The SF424 Project Director/Principal Investigator maps from the UM Sponsor PI role on the PAF.
    • If there isn't one in PAF, the UM PI is used, OR
    • If there is no UM Sponsor PI and there are multiple UM PIs, the Contact PI is used.

  5. If applicable, type the Sponsor Role.

    Note: Several of the UM 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 UM 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.

    Note: If no edit rights are selected for the person, he/she will only be able to view PAF and/or

  8. Click OK.

  9. Repeat the steps to enter additional UM 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 to add UM Investigators.

  1. Click Add Appointment.

    Notes: The Appointment Details for [the person] in the 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 UM Investigator's appointment and role determine which departments review the PAF:
    • The appointing department for the UM Principal Investigator is the default Administrative Home for PAF.
    • The appointing department of the UM Principal Investigator, UM Sponsor Principal Investigator, and/or Participating Investigator With Specified Effort will be sent the PAF to approve.

  2. 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 the PAF section.

  3. 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

    Notice that the appointment is added to the Appointment Details for the person in the PAF section.

  4. Click OK to complete adding appointments for the person and return to the UM Investigators page.

  5. Repeat for each person in UM Investigators.
Edit/Delete a UM Investigator

To edit UM 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.,

  3. Click OK.

To delete a UM Investigator

  1. Click Delete in the row for the person.

  2. Click OK to the warning message.

Note: You cannot directly delete the UM 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 UM Investigators page.

Notes: 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.