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Summer and Other Effort Requirements

It is important to ensure that salary charged or cost shared to a particular sponsored project during the academic year represents the actual effort expended on that project. 

When determining how much effort should be charged to a particular project it is important to remember that effort is not based on a 40 hour week. If an individual typically works 50 hours in a week than 100% effort is based on a 50 hour week making 10 hours 20% effort. If an individual typically works 32 hours a week then 10 hours is 31%. It is the faculty member's responsibility to provide support for his or her normal workweek and the distribution of effort upon audit.

It is very important to make sure for faculty to meet committed levels of effort in awarded sponsored projects and to certify the appropriate effort on a timely manner. 

Any decrease in effort of more than 25% requires sponsor approval. As mentioned above, effort is based on 100% of time not individual hours spent. Contact ORA as soon as you realize that your actual effort will drop more than 25% of the committed effort on a project.

Please note, per the NIH Grants Policy Statement "Zero percent" effort or "as needed" is not an acceptable level of involvement for senior/key personnel." This level of effort also needs to be included in the effort reporting process for certification on all NIH funded project. Exceptions to this requirement include equipment and instrumentation grants, doctoral dissertations, training and travel grants.

In order to mitigate audit findings for late certification of effort it is essential that all effort, both on sponsored projects and non-sponsored activities, be certified promptly. 

It is important to review effort cards early in the certification process and contact ORA with any questions as early as possible. E-mail reminders are sent by ORA office at the beginning & throughout each certification period as needed.

Additional Compensation Guidelines

Go back to Effort Certification page


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