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Time & Effort Reporting

Effort Reporting Guidelines

Time & Effort Reporting FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Effort Reporting Guidelines

As a recipient of external funding, the University is required to demonstrate that the payment of salary and wages from external funds is consistent with records which accurately reflect the work performed. As such, the University has in place systems of internal controls to assure that compensation for personal services are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated to federal and non-federal sponsored activities.  For the purposes of effort reporting, the definition of "institutional base salary" (IBS) is annual compensation for an individual's appointment (9, 10, 11 or 12 months), and covers individual time spent on research, teaching, administration or other activities.

UHD's Effort Reporting System tracks after-the-fact total activities, not to exceed 100% of the compensated activities covered by the Institutional Base Salary (IBS), for all employees working on federal and other sponsored projects. This system demonstrates to external sponsors that funding expended on the designated portion of an individual's salary charged to a funded project is no greater than the individual's effort spent on that project.

Principal Investigators (PIs) must confirm for themselves and all others working on their project, that salaries charged to sponsored projects are consistent with the effort that was contributed.

Federal Requirement:

The Federal requirement regarding effort reporting is outlined in the Uniform Guidance section §200.430, Compensation-personal services. It states that the standards for documentation of personnel cost charges to Federal awards for salaries and wages must be based on records that accurately reflect the work performed, and that these records must:

  • Be supported by a system of internal control which provides reasonable assurance that the charges are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated;
  • Be incorporated into the official records of the non-Federal entity;
  • Reasonably reflect the total activity for which the employee is compensated by the University, not exceeding 100% of the IBS;
  • Encompass both federally assisted and all other activities compensated by the University on an integrated basis (teaching, research, administrative);
  • Comply with the established accounting policies and practices of the University for Additional Compensation.
  • Support the distribution of the employee's salary or wages among specific activities or cost objectives if the employee works on more than one Federal award; a Federal award and non-Federal award; an indirect cost activity and a direct cost activity; two or more indirect activities which are allocated using different allocation bases; or an unallowable activity and a direct or indirect cost activity.
  • Budget estimates alone do not qualify as support for charges to Federal awards

Frequency of Effort Reports

UHD issues effort reports on a semesterly basis for all Principal Investigators and other full-time employees paid on sponsored projects or contributing effort towards it. Below are the effort reporting periods.  The certification completion for each period is 90 days after the close of the reporting period.  

Semester Reporting Period Approximate Due Date (actual due date = date month closes + 90 days)
Fall September 1 – January 31 May 5
Spring February 1 – May 30 September 5
Summer June 1 – August 31 December 5


Timing and Responsibility

Each department is responsible for establishing business processes to certify effort reports. The Department Business Manager is responsible for working with the PI and for follow-up to ensure effort forms are certified.

Time Frame Recipient Responsibility
Initiation (at the close of the reporting period) The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Post Award (PA)  creates Effort Reports 
Notification The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Post Award (PA)  emails Effort Reports to DBA/CBAs for review/processing
Certification The PI reviews and certifies effort forms.  During this time, if there are any corrections to the payroll (reallocations), the PI must work with the DBA to make the necessary changes before certification can take place.
Re-Certification (30 days after certification) If a payroll salary reallocation is posted to a sponsored award after the effort form has been signed, and the correction creates a variance above 5%, the DBA will contact Post Award for certifications to be re-certified by the PI.  Recertification completed after 30 days requires appropriate justification.
Reminder (30 Days After Due Date) The Associate Vice President  for Faculty, Research, and Sponsored Programs, or the Director of Researchand Sponsored Programs will send an email to the Department Chair/Dean who still has PIs who have not certified their effort forms. 


Office Responsibilities:

ORSP Post Award

  • Run a BOB report for each month of the semester.
  • Prepare the Effort Report for all personnel who require a report.
  • Receive all signed reports by the due date, and file in share drive.


Department/College Business Administrator

  • Ensure all forms are received from ORSP for all employees paid on payroll from the grant or cost sharing/matching cost centers.
  • Ensure accuracy of all data entry spaces on the completed form.
  • Have the form signed by the employee and the PI. In the case of the PI's own effort report, the PI should sign in both the employee and PI spaces.
  • The budgeted and actual columns for 'direct charged' and 'cost shared' should be completed.
  • The total percent effort should add up to 100%. Note: the 'Other' category includes all other unlisted activities, such as academic teaching, administrative service, community service, internal unfunded research, etc.
  • Ensure the correct signatures are received and scan the signed reports and email them to by the due date.