Effort Reporting: Top 10 Things a P.I. Should Know
Council of University Research Administrators
Effort Reporting is our means of providing assurance to
1. Salaries charged to sponsored projects are reasonable in
relation to the work performed, and
2. Faculty and staff have met their commitments to sponsored
Success in the effort realm depends on careful attention to
important issues throughout the sponsored projects lifecycle and communication
with the P.I. Below are the Top 10 things a P.I. should know about
Top 10 Things a P.I. Should Know about Effort
1. Effort is your work on a project, whether the sponsor
pays your salary or not
2. When you write yourself into a grant proposal, you are committing
your effort to the sponsor.
3. If you reduce your effort, paid or unpaid, on a federal
grant by 25%, you must have agency approval. If you reduce your paid
effort, you may choose to document cost-sharing so that the total effort does
4. Many activities cannot be charged to a federally
sponsored project. For example, the time you spend on these activities
cannot be charged:
¤ Writing a proposal
¤ Serving on an IRB, IACUC or other research committee
¤ Serving on a departmental or university service
5. If you work on a sponsored project, you must certify your
6. Certifying effort is not the same as certifying payroll.
7. Certification must reasonably reflect all the effort for all
the activities that are covered by your University compensation.
8. Effort is not based on a 40-hour work week. It’s
not based on hours at all.
9. Effort must be certified by someone with suitable means
of verifying that the work was performed.
10. In identifying audit findings, auditors look for
indications that certification was based on factors other than actual,
Robert C. Andresen, Assistant Director Research And
Sponsored Programs, University of Wisconsin – Madison