About Effort Certification and Effort Coordinators

Page Updated: January 23, 2020

Whose effort must be certified?
Effort must be certified for anyone who works on federal or non-federal sponsored projects. This includes faculty, academic staff, university staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral trainees who either:

  • charge salary to one or more sponsored projects, or
  • work on one or more projects without receiving salary support from the sponsor.

For the purposes of effort certification, sponsored projects include those with 133, 142, 143, and 144 fund numbers, EXCEPT gifts (fund 133, document type 2).

Who certifies the effort? Faculty and academic staff certify their own effort. Each principal investigator certifies the effort for the graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and non-PI university staff who work on his or her sponsored projects.

What happens after the faculty member, academic staff member, or PI certifies the effort?
An effort coordinator must review the certification. The purpose of this review is to (a) conduct a quality assurance check to make sure there are no typos, that the certified amount is consistent with the computed effort and that commitments are on track for being met; (b) determine whether the certification is consistent with University policy and with the reality of the situation as they understand it, and (c) identify any follow-up actions that may be required (salary cost transfers, commitment adjustments, etc.).

Which effort coordinator reviews and processes the certification?
The effort coordinator for the individual's home department, from a Human Resources / University Appointment point of view. For example, Joe Smith has an appointment in Department A. He works on projects that are managed by Department A and Department B. The effort coordinator for Department A processes Joe's effort statement. In all cases, one effort coordinator reviews and processes the effort statement.

Some individuals have appointments in more than one department. For each individual in the ECRT system, a primary department has been assigned. The ECRT primary department determines which effort coordinator will process an individual's effort statement. Primary department assignments are based on appointment data, but the data available to the RSP team does not always let us conclusively identify the "correct" primary department. In addition, researchers and administrators may recognize situations where the best person to process the effort statement is not the effort coordinator for the individual's home department. When this is the case, the individual's assigned "primary department" in ECRT can be changed, and the "right" effort coordinator can process the statement.

I'm trying to figure out where the effort coordinators will be needed in my college/school, and whom to assign as the effort coordinator for each organizational unit. How do I do this?
In the ECRT system, the RSP team needs to assign someone to serve as the effort coordinator for each organizational unit in which people hold appointments. The RSP effort team publishes lists of current effort coordinators for organizational units for each college and school: List of Coordinators by Department.

Please review this list periodically to make sure the effort team has the most current information of effort coordinator assignments.