Research and Sponsored Projects Manual (RSP)

[horizontal rule]

Effective: 9/8/2004

Revised:  7/1/2010 

[horizontal rule]
[ASU logo]

RSP 107: Lead Unit Identification and Responsibilities

[horizontal rule]


[horizontal rule]

To define how the lead unit assigned to a sponsored project is identified and outline the responsibilities of that lead unit

[horizontal rule]


[horizontal rule]

Office of the Provost of the University
Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (OKED)
Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration (ORSPA)

[horizontal rule]


[horizontal rule]


The “lead” unit is the academic unit to which the tenured or tenure-eligible principal investigator (PI) is assigned. This unit is designated on the faculty or academic professional’s Notice of Appointment or Joint Appointment. The lead unit for a nonacademic university employee serving as PI is the home department designated on his or her Hiring Process Report (HPR).

When it is determined that a sponsored project is better served by an alternate unit, including an Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR)-approved center or institute, the designation of the alternative lead unit must be approved by the authorizing officials of the alternative lead unit, all units participate on the sponsored project, and all units are designated on the PI’s official appointment or hiring records.

Centers and institutes may be designated by the PI as an alternate lead unit when a sponsored project spans more than one disciplinary area and/or the researchers have an affiliation with the center. The designation as lead unit allows the centers and institutes to contribute toward multidisciplinary activity by providing infrastructure, administrative support, and specialized facilities unavailable in the academic units.

In all cases, approval of the lead unit for a sponsored project is confirmed by the signatures of all parities on the ASU Proposal Routing and Approval Form.


The lead unit, designated on the Proposal Routing and Approval Form, has oversight responsibility for the administrative and financial actions of the PI, including:

  1. approval of an academic employee as a PI by the department chair (or unit director) and the dean (or division head) or approval of a nonacademic employee as a PI by the unit director, division head, and vice president
  2. assistance with general administrative and financial project management issues through the lead unit’s business staff or responsible university administrative office, such as Human Resources or Purchasing and Business Services


  3. the timely provision of funding sources for any deficit on a sponsored account, if the PI and/or org manager fail to provide an alternative funding source for the deficit.

For more information on how RSP policies are implemented during each phase of a project, see the ORSPA Web site.

[horizontal rule]


[horizontal rule]

For additional information, see the following:

  1. RSP 101, “General Research Policy”
  2. RSP 102, “Principal Investigator Eligibility”
  3. RSP 103, “Principal Investigator Responsibilities”


  4. RSP 106, “Allocation of Recognition, Research Incentive Distribution and Investigator Incentive Awards.”

skip navigation bar

RSP manual | ASU policies and procedures manuals | Index of Policies by Title | RSP manual contact | ORSPA Web site

Back to Top

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional