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Certification of effort on sponsored projects is a federal requirement.
All effort paid from or contributed to sponsored projects must be certified. 
UMass Dartmouth certifies effort through the use of effort reports.  The forms provide certification that the effort distribution as paid adequately reflects the individual's work activities.

Faculty are required to certify their own effort reports and are required to certify the effort reports of their research staff working on their sponsored project(s) unless they have the employee sign their own.

The certification is attesting that effort paid or contributed for a time period matches the effort expended for the time frame.  Summer pay must be for work conducted during the summer months. However, in cases where the employee or principal investigator is not available, a responsible official may certify the effort provided that s/he can document the basis for verifying that the actual work was performed. Salaries and effort are also verified for each grant at the end of the project. 

See UMass Guidance on Effort Reporting for additional information.

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