A Herculean Effort
Effort reporting is the proverbial thorn in the side of all persons working on federally funded grants. Most grant personnel categorize effort reporting as mysterious, annoying and distracting from the conduct of vital research.
Effort reporting, however, is directly vital to the execution of all grant-funded research: it is the way institutions prove to federal auditors that employees did, indeed, work on a specific federally funded project during the specific time requested in the application, and at the correlating level of effort. The funding agencies need to know that dedicated monies are being spent according to the terms of the notice of grant award/contract and as defined (and required!) by the U.S. Office of Management and Budgets (OMB). Remember, salary and fringes are allowable costs within the OMB – as long as the paid individual is working on the grant’s objectives and if appropriate “time and effort” records are maintained.
Having trouble certifying yourself or an employee? Here are some instructions developed by the research support staff in CLAS on how to use the system: