How is Effort Classified?

Federal guidelines require that universities must have the Classification of Effort 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.)


What's In and Out of Effort Reporting

Activities That Must be Accounted for When Reviewing and Verifying Effort

Examples of Activities That May be Charged Directly to Sponsored Programs (Note - Some sponsors may require specific budgeting of these activities)

Engaging in any of the following activities related to the sponsored program:

  • Preparing non-competing and supplemental proposals and requests or extensions
  • Mentoring students related to the sponsored research
  • Writing reports and articles
  • Participating in appropriate seminars
  • Attending meetings and conferences
  • Consulting with colleagues and/or graduate students
  • Participating in Data Safety & Monitoring Boards (DSMB)
  • Effort related to pursuing intellectual property
  • Delivering special lectures regarding aspects of the research
  • EH&S proposals
  • IACUC proposals

Examples of Activities That May Not be Charged Directly to Sponsored Programs

  • Teaching
  • Administration
  • Service
  • Clinical activity
  • Institutional governance
  • Effort on new and competing proposals
  • Possible exceptions:
    • Sponsored project is specifically awarded for one of the aforementioned activities (e.g., award is for instructional (teaching) activities)
    • Proposal preparation time charged to a mentored K award or research training grant


Activities That are Excluded From Effort Certification Entirely

Examples of Activities That are Excluded From Effort Certification Entirely

  • Outside professional work
  • Volunteer community or public service
  • Interdepartmental consulting for which supplemental compensation is paid
  • Effort related to review panels or other advisory activities for federal sponsors that include honorarium, per diem, and/or travel reimbursement by the Federal agency
  • Normal scholarly activity performed during summer time outside of the main nine-month Academic year, if not compensated during that time
  • Editorial or peer review effort for scholarly journals
  • Participating in the work of national professional organizations and societies
  • Effort for faculty on Reduced Responsibility (RR) status exceeding the support provided by the department for scholarly activities

Examples of Activities That are Excluded from Effort Certification if the Time Involved is De Minimis

  • University of Washington activities whose inclusion in or exclusion from total effort would not, in the aggregate, affect the percentages of effort allocated to sponsored activity, and therefore do not require separate tracking and funding.
  • Personal activities such as:
    • Voting
    • Completing effort reports
    • Completing expense reports


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.