Research Compliance and Effort Reporting

Conflict of Interest (COI) Committees

Effort Reporting

Effort comprises one's professional workload at Stockton University for which an employee is compensated. This includes instruction, research (including scholarly and artistic endeavors), other sponsored activities (such as training and public programs), service to the University, administration, and even competitive proposal preparation.

For the purpose of effort certification, effort totals 100%, regardless of the number of hours worked or the individual’s percentage of time spent on each type of activity.

The effort certification process is Stockton’s means of providing assurance to sponsors that:
Salaries charged to sponsored projects are reasonable in relation to the work performed; and that faculty and staff have met the effort committed to a project when the proposal was initially sent to a funder.  Once a sponsor agrees to fund the project, the commitment of effort becomes a condition of the award.


  • Pass-through funding: Awards from non-federal sponsors such as the State of New Jersey or a non-profit or a private company where the funding originates with the federal government.
  • Committed cost sharing: The effort or other resources that you reported to the sponsor at the proposal stage that will be supported by the University or another non-federal source.
  • Uncommitted cost sharing:  The effort or other resources utilized on the project at the cost of the University or another non-federal source, but were not specified to the sponsor at the proposal stage.

Effort reporting is required by the U.S. government’s OMB Circular A-21 (Principles for Determining Costs Applicable to Grants, Contracts, and Other Agreements with Educational Institutions), which requires certification of effort spent by all employees whose salaries are charged directly or indirectly (via pass-through funding) to federal awards, as well as for reporting committed cost sharing (but not uncommitted cost sharing).

Therefore, effort reporting is important because it is required by federal regulation. Failure to certify effort correctly and in a timely manner could:

  • Jeopardize Stockton’s federal funding;
  • Result in sponsor disallowances if Stockton cannot document that an employee required to certify effort is devoting the required amount of effort to the appropriate project; or
  • Subject the institution to fines if it is found that effort reports have been erroneously certified.

An effort report is required for any employee whose salary or any portion of salary is charged to a federally sponsored award, including federal flow-through funds, and for any employees with a cost sharing commitment associated with a federal or federal flow-through fund. If effort was committed on a sponsored project charged to a federal or federal flow-through fund, the report must be certified.

However, Stockton has opted to have all employees dedicating effort to a sponsored project certify effort, as more non-federal sponsors are beginning to ask for such documentation.

It is the preference at Stockton that individuals certify their own effort, because it is the individual who is in the best position to determine the amount of effort they have devoted to a particular project or projects. However, in cases where the individual is unavailable to certify, the Project Investigator (PI) or other project staff who has firsthand knowledge of the individual’s effort devoted to a particular project, can certify on their behalf.

If you have questions or concerns related to your effort report specifically, or the effort report process in general, you can contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 609.652.4844.