Introduction

These guidelines are being provided for clarification for University personnel in defining, planning for and monitoring fulfillment of faculty effort commitments under sponsored agreements including

  • effort charged directly to sponsored agreements
  • cost sharing commitments
  • funding shifts (i.e. changes in the source of salary funding)
  • cost sharing commitments  

The scenarios and examples below assume that the award is under expanded authorities when the University (typically the Office of Sponsored Programs [OSP]) has specific authority to act on behalf of the sponsor. If the award is not under expanded authorities, then sponsor approval is generally required before taking any action.

There are times when a sponsor makes an award that is less than the proposed amount. In these cases, it may be necessary to communicate (via OSP) with the sponsor's Grant's Management Officer (GMO) about any of the following scenarios to obtain approval.

  • The "originally proposed effort" or "originally funded amount" is the percent against which future reductions should be calculated.
  • If the effort/amount is not renegotiated, it is  assumed that the PI will maintain the original proposed effort even with the reduced funding.
  • The renegotiated "originally proposed effort" or "originally funded amount" becomes a new percent/amount against which future reductions should be calculated.

Under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 guidelines, a PI may reduce his/her effort up to a cumulative maximum of 25% (across all non-competing segments of the award) from the originally proposed effort without prior approval.

  • If, at any time, the cumulative change represents 25% or more of the original committed effort, a formal request to the sponsor for reduction in effort is required.

While this document refers to the PI (out of writing convenience), a change in the effort of any Key Personnel (as identified in the award document) on a grant or contract requires that the same procedures be followed.

Process for Documenting Reduction of Effort or Shift in Funding Source

Reduction of Effort (from original commitment)

  • Less than 25%: adjust OPUS to reflect new percent effort
  • 25% or greater: contact sponsor through OSP for prior approval of the reduction

Shift in Funding Source from Award Funds to Other Sources

  • If the change is less than a 6 month FEC cycle, use the Adjust/View Cost Share feature in eFECS Effort Reporting to set up a "shift" cost share.
  • If the change is greater than 6 months, it is highly recommended that the department prepare a Cost Share Addendum and send it to GCA with and informational copy to OSP. 
    • GCA will add the cost share commitment to the Cost Share Module.
    • This ensures the cost share commitment appears on the FEC as a reminder to departments that a shift in the source of funding has occurred creating a cost share obligation.

It is recommended that, for the department's future reference, documentation for the shift in funding sources for the grant be maintained in department's records (e.g. OPUS text, letter in faculty and/or grant file, etc.)