Stanford University

Rare Exception

Rare exceptions to the PI eligibility policy may be made at the discretion of the Dean of Research in unusual and non-recurring situations that meet a particular need or opportunity for the University.  Such requests will be considered only for a specific project with a specific project period.  Examples of rare exceptions that have been granted are: proposals submitted by visiting faculty members and other senior visitors for a limited period of time; proposals submitted by a faculty candidate selected by a department but not yet approved by the Provost, Advisory Board, and President; permission for administrators to submit proposals in support of a project in their area (e.g., the museum or the Stanford University Press); special cases of sponsored instruction; and situations where an Academic Council or MCL faculty investigator ceases to be available and it is necessary for the proposed PI to oversee an orderly phase out of a project.

Requests for such exceptions should be made by a member of the Academic Council or MCL faculty on behalf of the proposed PI. Such requests are subject to the approval of the cognizant department chair, school dean, and the Dean of Research.

Criteria for Granting Rare Exceptions – in all cases, the following six criteria must be met:

  1. The proposed research must meet a programmatic need of Stanford. Meeting a programmatic need means addressing an area of investigation that is not currently covered at Stanford and is endorsed by a sponsoring member of the Academic Council or MCL faculty as directly relevant to and supportive of the research or teaching programs of the faculty. Research that may be important in its own right and for which outside funding is available will not be judged as meeting the programmatic need criterion unless it facilitates the ongoing objectives of the University in an identifiable and direct way.
  2. The proposed research cannot be funded and/or conducted effectively at Stanford unless the proposed individual is the PI. Among other things, this generally will mean that there is no member of the Academic Council or MCL faculty available to take the responsibility for the scientific direction of the project.
  3. The proposed PI's qualifications to direct the project provide assurance that the work will be conducted in accord with the standards of excellence of the University.
  4. The research must be designed and conducted in such a way that work can be discontinued when programmatic need ends or if the sponsoring faculty member ceases to be available.
  5. No incremental space will be required for the project.
  6. For each graduate student participating in the project, a qualified faculty member has been identified to assure that the student's research program and the education derived from it are consistent with the degree for which the student is a candidate.

Exceptions for this type of waiver will only be considered in unusual and non-recurring situations that meet a particular need or opportunity for the University.  Approval under this exception is extremely rare. A written copy of any such requests, along with the justification and approvals of the sponsoring faculty member, the chair, school dean, and Dean of Research should be uploaded to SeRA.

Complete the form below to submit a Rare Exception PI waiver request for consideration.