Effort Reporting


The effort report is the mechanism used to track the amount of time each faculty spends on sponsored projects.  The payroll data reflected on the UVa Effort Report is generated directly from the University financial system (and HSF payroll if a Clinician).  Labor Distribution schedules were entered by your Department or Dean’s Office to produce this data.  Payroll percentages on the report are reflected in whole percentages as the intent of effort reporting is to “reasonably” reflect your efforts toward individual sponsored projects.  Insignificant decimal variations may occur due to rounding.  Please visit the Office of Sponsored Programs for additional information on Time and Effort Certification.

OSP Instructions for Time & Effort Certification

  • Instructions pertaining to Faculty
  • Instructions pertaining to GA’s, Staff and Wage Employees

Why are Effort Reports necessary?
As a recipient of federally sponsored projects, the University is required under guidance provided in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Circular A-21, Section J.10 to confirm, through effort reports, all effort contributed to each specific sponsored award and in doing so verify the accuracy of payroll charges to those sponsored programs. All effort spent on individual sponsored programs that was either 1) directly charged to the award (Sponsor supported) or, 2) was committed in the proposal as cost share from another funding source must be documented and certified.

Who generates the Effort Reports?
Effort Reports are generated by the Office of Sponsored Programs.

When are Effort Reports distributed and when are they due back?
Effort Reports are distributed by the Office of Sponsored Programs on different schedules for different types of employees.  In order to meet the deadline set by the Office of Sponsored Programs, the PI’s have approximately 30 days from the date the reports are distributed to the field to complete the reports, certify them and return them to the Research Administration Office.  It is extremely important to meet the deadline outlined in the memo which is distributed along with the Effort Reports.

What are the PI’s responsibilities?
PI’s must review Effort Reports to ensure their accuracy.  Make changes to the percentages where needed.  Please call research administration at 243-4313 should you have any questions.  Once you have confirmed the accuracy of the report/s, sign, date and return to research administration.

What should I look for when reviewing the Effort Reports?
First and foremost, look at the dates at the top of the page.  This is the period of time you are reviewing for accuracy.  Consider which semester is included in this time period.  Think about the active dates of the project.  Did it begin or end sometime during the Effort Report period?  Be sure to add up the percentages.  Reports should always total 100%.  Because of rounding issues in the Oracle payroll system, you may need to make minor adjustments.  OSP considers a 4% variance to be an acceptable level of difference between committed effort and payroll.  If any of your percentages are off by more than 4%, you must make the necessary changes before signing.  If differences are less than 4%, you may consider your report to be accurate. 

Who signs the Effort Reports?
The PI of record is required to sign and date all Effort Reports.  If the PI is not accessible, the Effort Reports will need the Chair’s signature.

Steps to track the flow of effort reporting:

  1. Once you are aware that you will begin working on a sponsored project, notify your payroll contact so that the labor schedule is adjusted to reflect your new project.  Use your best judgment to determine the approximate amount of time you will use on each of your projects.  Please remember that the total of all projects must equal 100%.
  2. OSP will generate reports for Faculty, Classified, Wage, GRA’s, etc. and send them to your fiscal administrator.  These effort reports are to be formally certified by persons having first hand knowledge of the work performed/effort devoted toward specific sponsored projects.  Normally this certification will be performed by the named individual on the University generated effort report.  In the event that the named individual is unable to certify the effort report, the Department Chair is looked to for the certification.
  3. The Research Administration office will then send these reports to the responsible parties with a deadline for completion.  You will find a checklist on the reverse side of the cover memo sent to you for things to keep in mind as you work through your review.  In order for the OSP deadline to be met, it is imperative you complete your review and return back to your Research Administration office by the deadline given to you.
  4. Review
    • (1)  Look at the effort report.  Write in any project that is not present that falls under any award that begins with “G.”  (2)  Confirm that the payroll percentages are commensurate with the effort your provided on each of the projects.  If correct, certify at the level of the payroll %.  If no and the difference is greater than 4%, correct the percentages on your report using whole numbers.  Any certified effort that is less than the recorded payroll % requires a labor distribution adjustment.  You must advise your administrator of the necessary adjustment as soon as possible so that the appropriate action can be taken.  (3)  If your annual salary is over the NIH salary cap, the payroll percentages reflected for any NIH projects (GC awards) will be less than your true effort since the percentage of your pay not reimbursed by NIH has been paid in most cases by non-sponsored activities.  (4)  Be sure to include all of your cost share commitments on the report.  If they are not present, write them in.  Remember to check the total which includes the cost share percentages to ensure the total equals 100%.
  5. Certify each report once all adjustments have been made by signing and dating each report in the space provided.  By signing, you are stating that all effort listed on the report totals 100%.
  6. If you are not the named individual on the effort report, be sure to sign the report, include your title, print your name and date the report.
  7. Return your signed effort reports to the Research Administration office
  8. The research administration office will review for completeness and forward on to OSP once all reports have been received.