Research Administration > EFM > Effort Reporting > Effort Reporting Main Page

Effort Reporting


Effort reporting is the method of certifying to the granting agencies that the effort required as a condition of the award has actually been completed. Federal regulations require that any individual committing effort on a federal or federal flow-through contract or grant certify that the salary charged or cost shared by the institution is reasonable in relation to the effort expended on that project. 2 CFR 220 (formerly OMB Circular A-21) sets the criteria for acceptable methods of charging salaries and wages to federally sponsored projects, and requires that institutions follow acceptable methods for documenting the distribution of effort for all project personnel.


Related Links


There are no current announcements. Please visit the Announcements page to view all past announcements.


To receive ERS announcements, please subscribe to the Mailing List.


What is Effort?


Effort is the proportion of time spent on any single professional activity and is reflected as a percentage of the total professional activity for which an individual is employed by an institution. Total professional activity at UCLA includes teaching, clinical practice, research, preparing proposals, administrative responsibilities or any other duties performed for UCLA.


Who Should Certify?


2 CFR 220 (formerly OMB Circular A-21) states:


Reports will reasonably reflect the activities for which employees are compensated by the institution. To confirm that the distribution of activity represents a reasonable estimate of the work performed by the employee during the period, the reports will be signed by the employee, principal investigator, or responsible official(s) using suitable means of verification that the work was performed.


In other words, the Certifier must have first-hand knowledge of the work performed. If an individual does not have first-hand knowledge of the work performed, whether they are an employee in an administrative role or involved in the research, they are not authorized to certify.


  • Principal Investigators and other faculty in Professorial, Professional Research, and Management titles who are paid on or have commitments to work on federal or federal flow-through funds are required to certify their own effort since they are in the best position to understand how they are spending their time in support of the various activities in which they are engaged.
  • Principal Investigators should also certify for employees that they have primary oversight of, given the fact that they have first-hand knowledge of the work performed.
  • Self-certification for all staff is an option. However, each department sets their own self-certification policies based on their department's culture.


If you are uncertain who should certify the effort report, please consult with your ERS Coordinator or ERS Support.


Effort Reporting Statistics


back to top