Both the principal investigator (PI) of a grant and the program official or officer (PO), who advises and monitors awarded grants, hold key roles. A strong relationship between the two is vital.

SBIRs are crucially different than R01 and other academic grants in this regard. 

The PI is a person who directs the program or project that grant money is supporting, with the authority and responsibility to shape the project while being accountable to the funder in terms of creating and sending reports and other oversight and communication activities. It’s up to the PI to ensure project goals are met and financial, organizational, and administrative compliance with any regulations set out by the cognizant funding agency.

At the same time, the PO acts as an advisor and mentor. He or she works to help PIs and the grant recipient team foster scientific learning using his or her own scientific expertise.

What does a good relationship between these parties accomplish?

  • Better advice for applicants: PIs can get information guidance from POs every step of the way, from determining if a project has a chance at funding, through to sharing requirements for specific fields of study.
  • A preview of emerging opportunities: POs stay up to date on what scientific areas are advancing and relevant, and knowing one’s PO well can help in identifying potential opportunities for future scientific opportunities, workshops, and grant applications.
  • A more efficient and accurate process all around.

From directing applicants to the right study section to assisting with scientific review, a PO can do a lot to make a project run smoothly and efficiently, using resources to their full extent. A strong relationship between the PO and PI means that these efficiencies can be identified and put into action, which helps everyone on both sides of the funding.

Grant Engine also works to identify the right programs for our clients. With our expertise and that of a PO, your project’s PI will be able to jump right into accessing funding without spending time digging through various criteria to uncover which non-dilutive funding is best for your project.

While we do not fill the role of a PO or a PI, we are a valuable asset to your grant writing team. We cultivate great relationships between these two key roles, as well as with all of your staff. Contact Grant Engine to answer any further questions you may have. Call us at (650) 937-9164, email, or click here.