Effort is the percentage of time worked on a project, whether the sponsor pays your salary or not.
When you write yourself into a grant proposal, you are committing your effort to the sponsor.
If you reduce your committed 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 not decrease.
Many activities cannot be charged to a federally funded project. Some examples:
- Writing a proposal
- Serving on an IRB or research committee
- Serving on a departmental or university service committee
If you work on a sponsored project, you must certify your effort.
Certifying effort is not the same as certifying payroll.
Certification must reasonably reflect all the effort for all the activities that are covered by your UTHealth compensation.
Effort is not based on a 40-hour work week.
Effort must be certified by the PI of the project for all support staff. All faculty will certify their own effort card regardless of who’s project they are paid on.
Auditors look for indications that certification was based on factors other than actual, justifiable effort.