College Forms (OOR)
Post-Award Forms (OGC)
Post-Award Forms (OGC)
Effort reports are required by federal regulation under OMB Circular A-21. The purpose of the effort report is to verify that the percent of salaries charged or cost shared on a project are as they were outlined in the original agreement with the sponsor. The Office of Grants and Contracts link on effort reportingexplains the process in greater detail.
College/Departmental/PI Effort Reporting Responsibilities
- Establishing personnel actions for employees in the University payroll system ona timely, prospective basis to ensure accurate payroll charges to sponsoredprojects based on actual work activities to be performed by employees.
- Ensuring that employees working on sponsored projects as part of theUniversity's cost sharing commitment and employees spending significantamounts of time on sponsored projects are scheduled to receive effort reports.
- The timely review, adjustment and certification of effort reports in compliancewith ERS deadlines. Forty-five (45) days is normally allowed after the end of each ERS survey period for the review, adjustment and certification of effort.
- Reviewing certified effort reports to ensure they have been properly completed.
- Coordinating retroactive payroll adjustments affecting sponsored projects orother pay sources for subject employees with the effort certification process toensure that all adjustments to effort reports and related payroll charges arecompleted within the ninety 90-day period allowed for cost transfers.
- Monitoring and maintaining committed levels of effort on sponsored projects.
It is essential that reports back to the sponsor for funded projects be submitted according to the original timeline set forth in the award agreement. This can include financial reporting that details the spending that has taken place over a particular time period and/or a progress report that provides an update to the sponsor. As a Research Administrator, you can assist your faculty member by setting up a calendar that indicates important dates, identifies lead time reminders and, in general, helps them keep their projects in order. Each sponsor and each project may have its own reporting guidelines. It is suggested that at the time a project is awarded, the specific reporting requirements for each project be noted and a reminder system set up.
What is Cost Share?
Cost sharing is that portion of total project costs that are paid from sources other than the sponsor. Typically, cost sharing is a concept that is used by some federal agencies to demonstrate to Congress and others, a recipient's willingness to share in the project's expenses. Some agencies make a distinction between "cost sharing," "in-kind" and "matching." Generally, all these terms refer to the share of costs not charged to the sponsor. In some cases these terms can refer to cash contributions, donated services or facilities.
Federal regulations regarding cost sharing are found in OMB Circular A-110, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations" (A-110). Subpart C, Section .23 of A-110 states in part:
All contributions, including cash and third party in-kind, shall be accepted as part of the recipient's cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the following criteria:
- Are verifiable from the recipient's records.
- Are not included as contributions for any other federally assisted project or program.
- Are necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishment of project or program objectives.
- Are allowable under the applicable cost principles.
- Are not paid by the Federal Government under another award, except where authorized by Federal statute to be used for cost sharing or matching.
- Are provided for in the approved budget when required by the Federal awarding agency.
- Conform to other provisions of this Circular, as applicable.
Unrecovered indirect costs may be included as part of cost sharing or matching only with the prior approval of the Federal awarding agency.
For ECU's detailed policy regarding mandatory vs voluntary cost share, limits on cost share, and post-award procedures for the reporting of cost share, see Cost Sharing Policy. For instructions on reporting Cost Share in RAMSES click here.
What is F&A?—FAQ
Research activity creates costs at the university above and beyond the project specific (Direct) costs These costs are referred to as Facilities and Administration (F&A or Indirect) costs and are included in budgets at the negotiated rate between the university and the Federal Government.
In most cases, F&A (also referred to as indirect costs or overhead) at East Carolina University is calculated at the negotiated 43.5% rate on Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC). The exception to this is when more than 50% of the project costs are to be conducted off campus. In that case, the off campus ECU rate is applied at 26% of MTDC. The important deciding factor is how much of the work/costs during the project are generated on campus vs. off campus. The reason behind this is that when work on a project is actually being conducted off campus, it is not generating the additional indirect costs (such as electrical expenses, heating costs, use of ECU-owned buildings, department office supplies, support staff time, etc.)
Other rates that may be applied to a project are rate for Instruction (48% of MTDC for on-campus instruction and 26% of MTDC for off-campus instruction). If not a research-related project, the project is categorized as an "other sponsored program". F&A rates for other sponsored programs are the same as those for on and off campus research. To access ECU's negotiated agreement click here.
When an administrator receives account information for a project, they should verify F&A rates. Then, throughout the project, as expenses are charged to the account, verification that associated F&A dollars are being transferred to the PI and the department should be noted. See F&A Distribution Policy
Other Administrative Policies—Post-Award