PI eligibility

Chameleon PIs carry significant responsibility for the users on their projects; we therefore limit PI eligibility to individuals from the following groups:

  • Academic institutions: This eligibility criterion covers research scientists, research staff, and faculty members in supervisory positions at academic institutions. Graduate and PhD student researchers (including those serving as paid research assistants) are not typically considered eligible for PI status on Chameleon. Students should instead ask their faculty advisor to request PI status and give them access to a project.

  • Federal agencies such as national labs, R&D centers, and institutes: Research staff employed by federal agencies or non-NSF Federally Funded R&D Centers (FFRDCs) are eligible to apply for an allocation.

  • International research institutions: To promote intellectual exchange and federation with institutions abroad we support a limited number of international PIs with ongoing, active collaborations with scientists in the US.

  • NSF Graduate Student Fellows: While in most cases, a graduate student is ineligible to be PI of an allocation request, an exception is made for NSF Graduate Student Fellows. Recipients of these NSF awards can submit requests for Startup allocations as long as they include supporting documentation (grant number or an award letter) as part of the request submission.

  • Independent museums, observatories, libraries, research laboratories, professional societies, and similar organizations in the United States that are directly associated with educational or research activities are eligible.

  • State educational offices or organizations and local school districts may submit allocation requests intended to broaden the impact, accelerate the pace, and increase the effectiveness of improvements in science, mathematics, and engineering education in both K-12 and post-secondary levels. A teacher or educator at an accredited public or private K-12 school is eligible to apply for an allocation as PI.

We do occasionally provide case-by-case exceptions to this guideline in well-justified cases.