Home | Resources | Departing Faculty on Sponsored Projects


To assist faculty/investigators who are leaving ASU with the appropriate steps to take related to the sponsored projects, including:

  • Transferring the grant to the new institution
  • Appointing an alternative ASU PI to assume leadership for the project
  • Terminating the project
  • Changes to investigators
  • Other considerations prior to departing ASU

ASU – Arizona State University

PI – Principal Investigator

IRB – Institutional Review Board

IACUC – Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

IBC – Institutional Biosafety Committee

RCR – Responsible Conduct in Research

COI – Conflict of Interest

ORIA – Office of Research Integrity and Assurance

ERA – Enterprise Research Administration

RA – Research Advancement Administrator

ORSPA – Office of Research and Sponsored Project Administration

RSP – Research and Sponsored Projects

VSRIP – Voluntary Separation and Retirement Incentive Plan

For definitions, see acronyms and glossary.


  • Run a Current and Pending Status Report using the Current and Pending Tool in the Enterprise Research Administration system. This report will include all active proposals and awards for which the investigator has been included as PI or other key personnel
  • Meet with the investigator to review the projects to determine an option for each proposal and award
  • Complete steps under the alternative selected for each sponsored project
  • Review and take appropriate action on items noted in the “Checklist: Other Considerations for Departing Investigators” section of this page

For projects where the faculty/investigator is the PI

Transfer project to new institution

  • Project transfers to new institution without subaward to ASU
  • Project transfers to new institution with subaward to ASU

Appoint alternate ASU PI

  • Project remains at ASU without subcontract to new institution
  • Project remains at ASU with subaward to new institution

Terminate project at ASU

  • Project will terminate to the end of the PI’s official appointment at ASU 

Transfer project to new institution

Transfer to new institution without subaward to ASU

  • PI will obtain written approval from the ASU Chair to relinquish the award
  • Unit will contact sponsor’s program officer or administrative official to request instructions
  • PI will choose a STOP spending date for project
  • Unit will prepare an Award Change Request in ERA and include
    • The information the sponsor requires
    • Written confirmation from the unit chair to proceed with transfer
  • PI/Unit will wait for sponsor approval to transfer the project as described
  • PI will contact the new institutions unit or sponsored projects office to:
    • notify of intentions
    • obtain contact information
    • provide it to ASU unit
  • ASU unit will contact new institutions unit or sponsored projects office contact to share what the sponsor requires to make the transfer
  • PI/unit will complete the transfer steps required by the sponsor and follow the steps to close out the account at ASU.
  • PI will work with the new institution to submit any paperwork required of the new institution by the sponsor.
  • If the sponsor declines the transfer, PI/Unit will proceed to close out the account.

Transfer to new institution with subaward to ASU

  •  PI and unit will follow steps in Transfer to New Institution without Subaward to ASU
  • PI will obtain instructions from new institutions on information needed to issue a subaward to ASU
  • PI and unit will follow the instructions for Create and Route a Funding Proposal

 Institutional right to relinquish

Awards are made to the institution not to the PI. Before a PI can begin the transfer process to another institution, ASU must first agree to relinquish the award. Then sponsor approval and the new institution’s willingness to accept the project must be confirmed. In the event ASU does not agree to relinquish the award, an alternate PI may be an appropriate option.   

Appoint alternate ASU PI

Appoint alternate ASU PI without subaward to new institution

  • PI in conjunction with unit and/or AMT will determine from award terms and conditions whether sponsor approval is required. If unsure, PI will contact the sponsor to determine steps to take to effect the change in PI.
  • Regardless of whether sponsor prior approval is required, unit will prepare an Award Change Request in ERA. The Award Change Request should include the following information:
    • The information the sponsor requires
    • The information required for
      • Change of Key Personnel and where appropriate, Change of Scope
  • PI/Unit will await approval from sponsor to implement the change in investigator.
  • If approved, AMT will process the Change of PI request
  • If not approved, PI/Unit will follow instructions from sponsor

Appoint alternate ASU PI with subaward to new institution

  • PI will follow the steps in Appoint an Alternate ASU PI
  • In addition, unit will request a new subaward request a new subaward be issued to the new institution using the instructions

Faculty retirement and emeritus status

The decision whether to allow a retired faculty member to serve as PI beyond their official separation date is made on a case-by-case basis. Some of the considerations include:

  1. Is the person in emeritus status? Those who have official emeritus status may serve as PI). Obtain a copy of the emeritus designation letter from the unit HR representative for inclusion in the ERA internal attachments docs.
  2. Is the individual retired but not in official emeritus status?  The faculty member(s) may work on a sponsored project with the approval of the unit/school and college. They may NOT serve as PI.

Terminate project at ASU – no PI change

  •  Ensure that the investigator has a qualified to be PI appointment for as long as the project will continue.
  • If the PI may only continue the project for the duration of his/her qualified appointment
  • If the project extends beyond that date, the termination date must be brought back to the end date of appointment.
  • Follow the Close Out Account Work Instructions.

For projects where the investigator is Co-I or other key personnel

  • Discuss their departure with the PI of each grant they will be leaving.
  • PI will choose from the following options
    • Issue subaward
      • A substantive portion of the work is done by the investigator and the PI wants him/her to continue at the institution.
        • If a portion of the project will be transferred to the departing investigator’s new institution, follow the instructions for Changes to Key Personnel.
    • Remove investigator
      • The investigator will not continue with the project:  Remove the investigator from the award using the instructions for “Deletion of Personnel”, under Changes to Key Personnel.
        • If a subaward is to be issued:
          • Upon receipt of approval from sponsor, request a new subaward be issued to the new institution
          • If sponsor declines the request, follow the Changes to Key Personnel, “Deletion of Personnel”, and any other instructions provided by the sponsor.

Checklist: Other considerations for departing investigators

Students and staff

Will the graduate students/staff stay at ASU or follow to the new institution?

  • If staying, arrange for a new mentor and transfer to new project
  • If following, transfer the student(s) and hire the transferring staff at the new institution

Human subjects

See the departing investigator information on the Research Integrity and Assurance website.


See the departing investigator information on the Research Integrity and Assurance website.


See the departing investigator information on the Research Integrity and Assurance website.

Conflicts of interest

See the departing investigator information on the Research Integrity and Assurance website.

Export controls and security

See the departing investigator information on the Research Integrity and Assurance website.


Determine title to and disposition of equipment

  • For ASU-owned research equipment being left at ASU
    For equipment being relocated within the same unit, see PCS501.  For equipment transfers between two units, see PCS502.
  • For ASU-owned research equipment transferring to a new institution
    See PCS1004-02
  • For research equipment to be taken by retired or exiting employees
    See PCS 1009.

Intellectual property matters

Address intellectual property matters

  • Patent applications/issued patents
  • Co-inventions with other institutions

Contact AzTE for assistance at [email protected]

  • Submit any final patent reports to sponsors

Contact the assigned AMT GCO.

Other agreements

  • No cost collaborations
  • Equipment loan agreements
  • Data use agreements

Contact [email protected]

Contact [email protected]

Data retention and management

See Research Data Management guidance provided by the Research Technology Office and ASU Library.

Record retention

Review the expenditure files for the project(s) worked on while at ASU to ensure

  • all pending expenditures are completed prior to leaving ASU
  • the unit has the all documentation required to support expenditures made on the account(s)

The record retention schedule can assist in determining the documentation retention dates required to comply with audit requirements.


RA should discuss circumstances with their immediate supervisor. If questions remain, contact [email protected].