The federal government requires an effort report when an individual is compensated by or has agreed to contribute time to a federally sponsored project.
The PI determines the level of effort committed by him/herself and others working on sponsored projects. The Principal Investigator should be cognizant of the effort proposed and the effort actually spent by those working on the project.
Salary charged to a sponsored project must, at a minimum, be commensurate with the effort committed. OMB Circular A-21 recognizes that precise allocation of effort among various projects and activities is not always feasible and, in such cases, reasonable estimations are acceptable. Research and instruction are inextricably linked. It is difficult to clearly separate them. Use good faith estimates which are reasonable and based on effective oversight of the sponsored project and individual effort.
Salary charges are initially based on estimated levels of effort. If estimated charges do not reflect actual circumstances then salary charges must be modified. Please manage your effort effectively by keeping in mind effort changes in the life
of your project.
The Office of Research documents effort by “Plan Confirmation.” Effort is based upon budgeted, planned, or assigned work activity. The certification report is sent to the PI for review, amendment, and signature. Certification reports must be returned to the Office of Research in a timely manner. Failure to accurately document and return your certification report jeopardizes the University’s eligibility for future Federal grants.