Effort commitment is the amount of effort promised by Princeton in the proposal or the amended effort included in the award documentation.
The total distribution of effort dedicated to all institutional activities for an individual must not be greater than 100%, including cost sharing commitments.
100% research effort, is not realistically possible for individuals with significant non-research obligations to the institution (administrative or teaching).
If key personnel intend to reduce their committed effort on a federally sponsored program by more than 25%, Princeton must notify the sponsor and receive approval (e.g. reducing from 20% to 14%). NOTE: Review sponsor re-budgeting rules as requirements may vary. The PI, working with the DA are responsible for monitoring committed effort in the sponsor proposal as compared to reported effort in the payroll and effort reporting systems.
If the receipt of an award increases an investigators total effort commitments to greater than 100%, the investigator must revise the level of committed effort requested by communication with the sponsor, reduce effort on other activities, or refuse the award.
The University must maintain an accurate payroll distribution system allowing for periodic certification of effort devoted to specific activities, as set forth in OMB Circular A-21. In addition, the University must exercise due diligence in the review of periodic effort reports to ensure reasonableness in charging salary/wage costs to external sponsors and to document salaries that are being used to meet cost sharing requirements.
The University’s Effort Certification Policy applies to all federally-funded and non-federally funded sponsored project or program awards. The policy includes the definitions relating to effort certification, describes the “after-the-fact confirmation” method and use of the Effort Certification System, clarifies roles and responsibilities, defines authorized certifiers of effort, and details the procedures that are required.
Postdoctoral Research Associate Effort on Federally-Funded Awards
Federal regulations do not allow a Postdoctoral Research Associate to engage in career-building activities, such as writing grant proposals, while having 100% of his or her salary charged to a research grant. In order to comply with federal regulations, the maximum effort of Postdoctoral Research Associates on federally-funded research grants is limited to 97%. The remaining 3% must be charged to unrestricted funds, such as the faculty research rebate account. Please note that this requirement does not include federally-funded training grants or individual fellowships that are supporting Postdoctoral Research Associates.
There may be unique circumstances in which it is appropriate for the salary of a Postdoctoral Research Associate to be charged 100% effort to a research grant. Under these circumstances, the PI and Department must submit a completed and signed Post Doc Waiver Request Form to ORPA for review and approval.
Faculty Summer Salary
The University limits faculty summer effort on sponsored awards to 2.5 months per year. The Office of the Dean of Faculty requires a Faculty Summer Salary Request Form for each faculty member with approval from his or her home department. The information from this form is entered into Labor Accounting.