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Finding a Principal Investigator in the SA-CESU
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   Finding a Principal Investigator in the SA-CESU   

Because the SA-CESU was established through a formal competitive process, there is no requirement to use a competitive selection process in finding a principal investigator (PI) for a project.

The term 'principal investigator' is used here to refer to the specialist, researcher, investigator, evaluator, technical expert, or instructor asked to cooperate in a project.

The SA-CESU cooperative agreement allows a federal partner to select any cooperator(s) from among the non-federal partners. It is that simple.

If you already know the PI and the PI is agreeable to cooperate, then you can proceed with developing the project (see Learn How Projects Are Developed in the SA-CESU).

If the PI is unknown and one needs to be found, then there are three ways to find one:

  1. Search the SA-CESU Expert Database. Use the utility on this website to find a PI.
  2. Ask your federal representative (see Federal Partner Directory) for assistance in finding a PI.
  3. Conduct your own search. Use websites, phone calls or e-mails to find a PI within the SA-CESU network.

Many federal agencies have joined multiple CESUs (some have joined all 17 CESUs). This allows the federal agency to look outside the SA-CESU for a PI and still enjoy the benefits of the CESU cooperative agreement. Searching outside the SA-CESU requires visiting the CESU websites (see Links) for their list of partners and expert databases, if present. Contact your SA-CESU federal representative to help locate a PI outside the SA-CESU.

If you know a PI or find a PI that belongs to an organization which is not a partner in the SA-CESU, you cannot use the CESU cooperative agreement as the contract bridge for the project. The organization may approach the SA-CESU for membership (see How to Join the SA-CESU), but realize that acceptance into the SA-CESU is not automatic and requires nine months to a year to be formalized.

 
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