Classification of Effort

How is Effort Classified?

Federal guidelines require that universities must have the ability to "reflect activity applicable to each sponsored agreement and to each category needed to identify F&A (Facilities and Administrative or indirect) costs." eFECS is designed, therefore, to capture both sponsored projects and other activities performed by faculty.

For effort reporting, activities are classified as either sponsored activity (e.g.. grants and contracts, cooperative agreements) or other (non-sponsored) activity (e.g.. instruction, service, administration, etc.).


Sponsored Research Sponsored research includes all research and development activities that are sponsored by federal and non-federal agencies and organizations. This includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques (commonly called research training).
Mentoring Students Mentoring of students related to sponsored research is appropriately included in effort directly charged to a faculty member's sponsored agreement. Federal guidelines state that charges to sponsored agreements may include reasonable amounts for activities contributing and intimately related to work under the agreements, such as delivering special lectures about specific aspects of the ongoing activity, writing reports and articles, participating in appropriate seminars, consulting with colleagues and graduate students and attending meetings and conferences.
Data Safety and Monitoring Boards (DSMB) Included in sponsored activity if participation of a DSMB member is specifically budgeted in the grant. Otherwise effort associated with DSMBs would be part of departmental activities.
Intellectual Property Effort related to pursuing intellectual property (e.g.. making an invention disclosure, meeting with UW's Tech Transfer Office to discuss an invention disclosure).


Instruction The preparation, evaluation and delivery of teaching and training activities of the University, regardless of whether offered on a credit or non-credit basis. It also includes instruction related activities such as thesis advice, mentoring of students and similar activities. Effort related to instruction is included in a faculty member's total effort.
Administration Effort incurred for services that benefit common or joint University or departmental activities or objectives in dean's/chancellor's offices, academic departments or programs and divisions and organized research units. This includes, but is not limited to serving as dean, chair or center director, department/college committee activities and grant proposal preparation.
Thesis, Search, Admission Committees and Faculty Senate Committees or Activities Generally these types of activities are considered to be administrative or instructional in nature. To the extent such activities are de minimus in amount, meaning that in the aggregate their inclusion in or exclusion from total effort would not affect the percentages of effort allocated to sponsored research, separate tracking and funding is not required. Management Accounting and Analysis (Executive Director) at 616-1379 and Financial Management (Associate Vice-President) at 543-8951 are available to assist in consultation regarding such activities as needed.
Proposal Preparation During the effort reporting period in which faculty prepare a proposal, the percentage of effort spent on proposal preparation must be funded by University sources other than sponsored projects. An exception to this is when salaries are charged to an NIH Career Development (K) Award.


Personal Activities

Personal activities such as voting, completing effort reports or expense reports are excluded from effort reporting. Activities such as these that are intrinsic to the faculty member's personal daily routine do not need to be separately funded and accounted for in the effort reporting system. These types of activities are not viewed as serving a separate University function or administrative purpose, apart from the research, teaching, clinical or administrative functions in which the faculty member is otherwise engaged.

It should be emphasized, however, that any effort that is associated with activity identifiable in its own right, such as proposal writing or departmental or University administration, even if it involves only the faculty member him/herself, must be reflected in the faculty member's total effort. Moreover, should the 'housekeeping' activities referred to in this guideline become more than de minimus in amount for any reason, it may be necessary to reflect them in an administrative or other category of total effort.

Questions about whether activities come within this guideline may require consultation with the Departmental Administrator. Management Accounting and Analysis (Executive Director) at 616-1379 and Financial Management (Associate Vice-President) at 543-8951 are available to assist in this consultation as needed.

Review Panels or Advisory Activities Effort related to review panels or other advisory activities for Federal sponsors that include an honorarium, per diem, and/or travel reimbursement by the Federal agency is not included in a faculty member's total effort for effort reporting purposes. The University encourages such participation and does not require prior approval provided that, should the activities involve time away from the University, approval for this travel is sought from and approved by the appropriate supervisor. Such activities should be reported annually on Form UoW 1461, Outside Professional and Public Activities.


 Sponsored and Non-Sponsored Activity

Salary related to sponsored activity must be distributed to individual grant/contract budgets at the percentage of total University activity on those grants or contracts. Non-grant activity, regardless of the number of activities, can be funded by one or many funding sources.

For example, if 20% of University activity is teaching and 20% is administration consisting of involvement in an IRB, proposal writing, and search committees, the 40% can be funded entirely by one or several non-grant budgets.

Non-sponsored activities may be funded by any University budget that does not have other restriction placed on it by the funding source. These may include State and Research Cost Recovery funds. Gifts and endowments are also appropriate sources if the activities are consistent with donor intent.