A principal investigator is an academic researcher who receives outside funding to conduct research on a specific item or topic. Although the investigator is responsible for all aspects of the research, he or she may enlist the help of research assistants, associates, or other academics. The principal investigator’s main responsibilities are to apply for funding, complete the research, and publish the findings.
To be a principal investigator, you must have earned a doctoral degree. A wide range of research institutions, post-secondary education organizations, and private corporations provide funding for research projects. Candidates for positions in publicly funded institutions are usually required to perform other tasks in addition to research. A university principal investigator, for example, has a specific teaching load that he or she must complete.
A principal investigator’s main responsibility is to apply for funding. Within his or her area of expertise, he or she is responsible for identifying potential projects or funding sources. Almost every funding or granting organization has a well-defined application process. The academic must submit a research digest outlining their research objectives, methodology, and timeline. If there are any anticipated outcomes or results, they must be stated in the application.
It’s worth noting that many research projects are multi-year endeavors. The money is given out on an annual basis, with strict reporting requirements on how it was spent. Each grant, on average, allocates a specific budget for personnel, equipment, and materials. The digest contains any specific restrictions on how the funds can be spent, which must be followed.
The actual research project usually necessitates additional personnel, resources, and support. In the humanities, many investigators do the majority of the work themselves, whereas in the sciences, each project usually involves a group of people. The investigator’s time is consumed hiring staff, establishing project timelines, and tracking progress.
The majority of research results in a published research paper. Private companies, on the other hand, may want exclusive rights to the research and its results. The results are not published in this case, but are instead given to the company that funded the research. It’s important to remember that every academic staff member is required to publish a certain number of articles each year in reputable journals or magazines. The majority of people combine their research and publishing needs into one project.