PCORI Help Center

What's the difference between a Co-PI and Dual PI?

Co-PI: An individual recognized by the prime institution and the principal investigator (PI) as someone who shares scientific and administrative leadership responsibilities for a project with the PI. The Co-PI is an individual who the PI relies on to contribute substantively to the scientific development and direction of the project in addition to the execution of the project. The Co-PI shares responsibility with the PI for ensuring that milestones are achieved and contracted deliverables are completed on time. The Co-PI is considered “key personnel” and may be employed by or formally affiliated (through a written agreement) with the prime institution or a collaborating institution. The patient and/or stakeholder partner may be listed as a Co-PI. The designation of a Co-PI does not affect the PI’s roles and responsibilities nor does it imply a Dual PI Award.

Dual PI: An award in which the prime institution has designated two individuals as PIs who share equally the authority and responsibility for leading and directing the project, intellectually and logistically. The presence of two PIs on an application or award diminishes neither the responsibility nor the accountability of any individual PI. A formal Leadership Plan is required for a Dual PI role.

For more information on PCORI terms, please see the PCORI Glossary.

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