Effort Certification

Effort Reports for Faculty & Other Exempt Employees

Federal and state agencies, private foundations, organizations, and industry sponsors provide
significant funding to enable the DSU to conduct research, public service, and training
projects. Salaries and wages often comprise as much as 2/3 of direct costs charged to sponsored
projects; therefore, it is important to verify that salary and wage charges are appropriate. The
university’s effort certification reporting system is the mechanism for certifying that the salaries
and wages charged to sponsored projects reasonably reflect the level of effort proposed and
allowed on the award and the levels donated to the projects. Section J.10 of OMB Circular A-21
provides the framework for acceptable methods of documenting the effort of employees on
sponsored projects. As a condition to receive federal funding, institutions must maintain an
accurate system for reporting the percentage of time (i.e., effort) that employees devote to
federally sponsored projects.

DSU uses after-the-fact activity records, specifically Effort Report Statements, to account for
effort. Effort reports will reflect the distribution of activity expended by employees as indicated
by the allocation of payments from the payroll system. The effort report accounts for 100 percent
of the activity for which the employee is compensated. All sponsored effort (salaried and
donated) must be certified regardless of source of funds. Effort is expressed as a percentage of
total employed time and is not reflected in hours. The total effort expended cannot be more or
less than 100 percent.

The time and effort of project personnel should be included in the budget. Proposed salaries and
wages must be in accordance with University approved salary rates.

More Information

Intro to Effort Reporting (pdf)

Powerpoint Presentation on Effort Certification

Sample Effort Report Form (pdf)