Effort is your work 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 effort, paid or unpaid, on a federal grant by 25% of your committed effort, you must have sponsor 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 sponsored project. For example, the time you spend on these activities cannot be charged:
Writing a proposal
Serving on an IRB, IACUC or other 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 as it includes unpaid effort as well as paid effort.
Certification must reasonably reflect the effort for all of the activities that are covered by your University compensation.
Effort is not based on a 40-hour work week. It's not based on hours at all.
Effort must be certified by someone with suitable means of verifying that the work was performed (the individual or the supervisor).
Auditors expect certifications to be done timely and look for indications that certification was based on factors other than actual, justifiable effort.
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