Principal Investigator Responsibilities for Effort Reporting


  • Ensure that all members of Research Team, including PIs, are trained in effort reporting. Online training is available through WebCampus. Sponsored Projects also offers in-person training to departmental groups and individuals.
  • Ensure that all personnel expenses charged to project budget are certified either through the Effort Reporting System or signed time cards.

Commitment Issues:

  • Make sure that you and all project team members are working at the level of commitment as stated in the proposal. For example, if you committed two academic contract months per year, then you must show two months of effort in the appropriate effort reporting term(s).
  • Notify your Post-Award Analyst in Sponsored Projects if you are not able to work the level of commitment that you proposed for your project. The University may need to obtain prior written approval from the sponsor before changing your level of commitment.
  • Consider how changes in your institutional activities may cause a potential conflict of commitment to your current research commitments. Remember, you cannot commit more that 100% effort.
  • Remember that the salary for effort spent on writing proposals (new and continuing) is NOT an allowable cost on existing sponsored project accounts. This effort must be charged to a non-sponsored account. 100% grant funded faculty can apply for support from the Institutional and Proposal Preparation Support Program.
  • Report all outside activities that pose a conflict of commitment in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Award Phase Issues:

  • Collaborate with our departmental staff to set up the Payroll Action Form (PAF) for all personnel being paid to work on a project. The PAF should reflect the planned level of effort for a future period.
  • Use Memo Accounts if you need to start working on a project before the funding process is complete.
  • Notify your departmental effort coordinator when there is a change in the planned level of effort. A revised PAF may need to be submitted to ensure that future pay is allocated to the correct accounts. A payroll cost transfer may need to be requested if past payroll was incorrectly allocated. NOTE: failure to process these documents on time may result in the charges being posted to your F&A account if they are not allowable costs on the sponsored project account.
  • Charge salary and report effort as work is performed.
  • Collaborate with your departmental effort coordinator to properly prepare effort reports for certification. As PI, you are responsible for ensuring that all effort charged to your project is certified.
  • Maintain proof of Suitable Means of Verification for any effort reports certified by someone other than the employee, supervisor or PI. The Suitable Means may be required in an effort reporting audit.
  • Collaborate with your departmental effort coordinator to report all personnel expenses that are being used to fulfill a match/cost share commitment.