Time and Effort Instructions

The purpose of the report is two-fold:

  1. to certify that an employee who is being paid from a sponsored project is actually working on that project for the time indicated, and
  2. to document cost sharing, which includes any time and effort expended on a sponsored project but funded from another source.

Individuals are included on the report if:

  1. they are paid in whole or in part from sponsored project funding, or
  2. their time has been promised as cost sharing on a sponsored project.

Please check the report against your payroll roster to make sure all such individuals are included.  If someone is missing, add the payroll information to the certification page in the space provided.

Student employees paid via timecards are not included on the report, so their timecards serve as their time and effort report.  Those signing timecards must have first-hand knowledge of the work performed.


(1)  Time & Effort

  • Salary figures are generated from the payroll system.  Please note that salary figures are the ORIGINAL pay and completed cost transfers are not included on the report.
  • If the sponsored project salaries accurately reflect the time employees worked on each project, certify by initialing on the auth init line under the Time and Effort column for all indexes from which the employees were paid.  Federal regulations require certification of 100% of effort.
  • If any entries are not accurate, do not initial the inaccurate lines and do not change the indexes or percentages, but instead write “HRS error” or “cost transfer” on each inaccurate line (exception to this rule below).  Next, send ORSP a copy of your correspondence with HRS or a payroll cost transfer, if you have not already done so.  ORSP attaches this documentation to the report as certification of the time and effort.
  • If your cost transfer is from a non-grant index code to a non-grant index code note this on the report and certify the line.  If the line is being used as cost sharing indicate the new index code on the report.
  • MAF002 (C&G Leave Pool) represents sick and/or annual leave taken, and is not included in the time and effort percentages.  Salaries paid from MAF002 cannot be used as cost sharing.

(2)  Cost Sharing

  • Any time and effort expended on a sponsored project but funded from another source must be documented as cost sharing if it is mandatory or voluntary committed cost sharing.  Voluntary uncommitted should not be submitted on the time and effort report as it is not recorded or reported by ORSP.  See Sponsored Program Cost Sharing for more information. 
  • If the employee did cost share on a sponsored project, fill in the line to the right of the entry where the payroll was charged with (a) the index code of the sponsored project, and (b) the percentage of the payroll shown on the line that was dedicated to the sponsored project.  Then initial on the auth init line under the Cost Sharing column.  Other sponsored projects have X’s under the Cost Sharing column, because they generally cannot be used as cost share.
  • If the employee did not cost share, do not complete the cost sharing section.
  • If the employee has fulfilled their cost sharing requirement, do not continue to report it.  Cost sharing above the required amount is considered voluntary cost sharing and does not need to be documented.  You can contact your grant accountant to have the person removed from the report when they have met their cost sharing requirement.

Federal and university regulations require that those certifying time and effort reports have first-hand knowledge of the work performed.  A staff person without direct personal knowledge of the work performed can certify the reports only if s/he has written documentation from someone with first-hand knowledge indicating the time worked on the sponsored projects.  That supporting documentation must be retained in the department for audit purposes. 

Graduate students cannot certify their own effort.  A supervisor/PI with firsthand knowledge may certify, or an administrative assistant who receives firsthand documentation from the supervisor/PI that corresponds with the time period of each T&E report.  This documentation may be in the form of timecards, an email from the supervisor/PI to the admin, a memo, or via other mechanisms. 

Each person initialing the line-by-line entries in the reports must also sign the certification page at the end of the report.  Using signature stamps or signing another person’s name followed by your initials is not allowed.

University policy requires that time and effort reports are completed and returned to ORSP within 30 days of receipt.  Failure to do so not only affects our ability to bill sponsors but also could lead to a procedural audit finding that can result in all sponsors questioning the salary and benefit charges for which they have been billed.  It is extremely important that these reports are completed promptly and accurately in order to justify to sponsors and auditors that salaries and benefits are properly charged to sponsored projects.