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Managing Faculty Effort

Is it sufficient for a faculty member to simply tell his/her Program Officer about a change of effort of 25% or more of current (committed) effort?

While it is important that the researcher maintains a good relationship with the Program Officer, communicating changes solely through the Program Officer is not sufficient.

Any decrease in effort of 25% or more by key personnel (as noted in the Notice of Grant Award) must be approved in writing prior to the change by the sponsors' Grants Officer.

An increase in effort greater than 25% for key personnel should also be reviewed to assess whether there has been a change in the scope of work and the impact, if any, on other sponsored agreements.

Any change in the scope of work must also be approved in writing prior to the change by the sponsors' Grants Officer. All requests must be processed through the UW Office of Sponsored Programs in advance of the change.

Can a PI reduce his/her effort during an FEC cycle by 25% or more if the total effort during the budget period is compliant with the commitment on the grant? Does the PI still have to contact the sponsor for prior approval?

Normally it is acceptable for the effort commitment to be met over the project budget period and not tied to each FEC cycle. It is common for effort to vary from FEC cycle to FEC cycle provided the PI (or key personnel as designated in the Notice of Grant Award) does not (a) absence him/her self from the project for three consecutive months or more, or (b) reduce effort on the grant (direct and cost shared combined) by 25% or more over the budget period.

A PI can reduce their effort 5%, 10%, etc. without any impact on the award. However, prior approval must be obtained if the reduction falls under a sponsor requirement. For most NIH research (non-K) awards, a change of 25% or more requires prior approval. PCORI also requires approval for a greater than 25% change. There are no repercussions for a less than 25% change in either of those circumstances.


Does the original effort commitment extend to the no-cost extension period and, if yes, does the PI need to request permission to reduce his/her effort or does the institution have the authority to approve the reduction of effort when approving the no-cos

From a strict policy stand point, the terms and conditions of the award continue unless amended, so reducing effort by 25% or more would require sponsor approval.

The PI may, however, request that the sponsor approves eliminating or reducing the cost share during the no-cost extension process. While the University may approve the no-cost extension, the reduction of effort must be granted by the sponsor.

K awards present a unique case as they generally carry the requirement for a 75% commitment of total professional effort.

Can effort related to pursuing intellectual property be charged to sponsored agreements?

Consistent with the spirit of the Bayh-Dole Act, reasonable levels of activity related to pursuing intellectual property can be charged to grants.

These activities may include making an invention disclosure, meeting with UW’s tech transfer office (CoMotion) to discuss an invention disclosure, meeting with a patent attorney about a UW invention and/or reviewing internal actions on patent applications.

As with any effort charged to sponsored agreements, effort associated with the pursuit of intellectual property must be directly related to the sponsored project that is being charged. Where more than one award or activity contributed to the development of the intellectual property the effort distribution should be based on proportionate support provided under the awards or other equitable relationship.

The effort must also occur within the award period for it to be eligible for direct charging. These activities should be included within total University effort for effort reporting purposes.

If sub budgets are set up for a grant and salaries are redistributed between the parent and sub budget(s) after the faculty have certified their FECs, do they have to recertify their FECs?

Recertification of the FEC is only required if the level of effort on the sponsored project changes. Documenting the transfer of salaries to a sub budget number is not required as long as it does not change the overall project effort for the respective FEC cycle. This includes salary transfers from a parent budget to a sub budget or between sub budgets within the same project.

I have question regarding salary or home department on faculty's FEC?

eFECS obtains salary and primary position as home department from Workday. Please contact Workday to futher solve the issue.