Extramural Funds

Effort Reporting

The federal government requires an effort report when an individual is compensated by or has agreed to contribute time to a federally sponsored project. All faculty who serve as investigators on sponsored agreements are personally responsible to certify the amount of effort that they and their employees spent on sponsored activities.

The University fulfills the effort reporting requirement through the use of the Effort Reporting System (ERS). ERS is a web-based tool that calculates the distribution of effort for all employees paid from federal and federal flow-through funds, captures certification electronically, and provides a mechanism for processing corrections and re-certifying reports.

This site provides general information on effort reporting and specific information and instructions on using the Effort Reporting System (ERS).

What is Effort

Effort is defined as the amount of time spent on a particular activity. It includes the time spent working on a sponsored project in which salary is directly charged or contributed (cost-shared effort). All university work — including research, teaching, service, clinical work, and administrative duties — performed by an employee over a defined period of time is the employee's "effort”.

The percentage of effort for a project is calculated as follows:

Average weekly project hours / Average weekly UCSB hours = % project effort

What is Effort Reporting

Effort reporting is mandated under OMB Uniform Guidance which requires certification of effort spent by all employees whose salaries are charged directly to federal and federal flow-through funds, as well as reporting any committed cost sharing. When UCSB accepts a federally sponsored project award, a legal obligation is made to certify that the effort required as a condition of the award has actually been completed.

The University fulfills the effort certification requirement through the use of the Effort Reporting System (ERS).

About the System-wide Effort Reporting System (ERS)

An effort reporting system must provide records on how individuals participating in federally funded sponsored agreements actually spend their time. Because the federal government mandates effort reporting, it is incumbent upon institutions that receive federal funding to maintain accurate and auditable systems and records.

ERS is a web-based tool that, based on actual pay, calculates the distribution of effort for all employees paid from federal and federal flow-through funds; captures certification electronically; and provides a mechanism for processing corrections and re-certifying reports. Effort reports are required for all personnel paid directly from sponsored projects funded by federal sources, including private and state federal flow-through funds.

Features of ERS include:

  • Certifications are easy to track
  • Maintains historical information
  • System becomes "office of record"
  • Reduces risk of noncompliance
  • Accessible online 24/7 through Web-based interface
  • Reports and certifications are distributed and captured electronically
  • Online editing and edit checks
  • System interacts with PPS so you can drilldown to detailed payroll calculations
  • Tracking of payroll changes against effort reported

Certifying Effort using ERS

All investigators on sponsored agreements are responsible to certify the amount of effort that they and their employees spent on sponsored activities.

DSAs

Coordinators

Certifiers

Where to get help

Should you have questions regarding the Effort Reporting System, please contact Rudy Moreno at rudy.moreno@bfs.ucsb.edu. x6127