Faculty may have effort on--and part of their salary paid by--sponsored grant accounts during one or both semesters of the academic year, or over the summer. GSRAs, student temps, and even staff members may also sometimes have effort on sponsored projects.

What is meant by "effort"?

Effort relates to those activities for which a person is paid under their base compensation rate on their regular University appointment. Effort defines the amount of time and energy spent by a person to accomplish their University responsibilities. There is no effort attached to additional pay, special awards, etc. Effort is not a dollar amount.

What is effort distribution?

Distribution of effort describes a reasonable estimate of how a person’s total effort is divided among different job functions (such as teaching, administration, and sponsored activities) and identifies the percentage of time spent performing each role.

Effort distribution is shown on the Department Budget Earnings (DBE) section of the Employee Total Picture in the Human Resources Management System (HRMS); this triggers the payroll system to proportionately split a person’s salary and fringe benefits charges and distribute those charges among various shortcodes.

What is effort certification?

Effort certification is an employee’s concurrence that the effort distribution shown on the DBE for a stated time period reasonably and accurately reflects their actual work on different activities.  This is a federal requirement and institutions must maintain an accurate system certifying to the percentage of effort employees devote to sponsored projects and other activities.  For all sponsors, effort certification also provides an auditable record confirming that the sponsor actually received a level of effort in line with the salaries paid by the award.

More information on effort reporting and UM’s certification program can be found at these links: