Effort reporting is the mechanism used to confirm that salaries and wages charged to sponsored projects are reasonable in relation to the actual work performed.  Certification of an effort report is an employee's agreement that the report reasonably reflects the activity for which he or she is compensated by the University.

Federal regulations require that institutions receiving federal awards maintain systems and procedures documenting the distribution of activity, and associated payroll changes, to each individual sponsored agreement.  Compensation for salary, wages, and benefits may be charged to sponsored project accounts provided that they are reasonable, conform to the established policy of the organization, are consistently applied regardless of the source of funds, and reflect no more than the percentage of time actually devoted to the project.

UAB’s Effort Reporting Policy

At UAB, the effort of UAB Project Employees is accounted for under an after-the-fact activity records system that uses a combination of personnel documents and quarterly effort reports.  This system must represent a reasonable estimate of the actual work performed.

UAB Project Employees must certify quarterly effort reports specifying the percent of total UAB effort on the employee’s various UAB activities.  UAB activities include sponsored research, sponsored instruction, other sponsored activities and all other UAB activities (i.e., instruction, training, and administration).  Certification or approval of the effort report is to be made by the UAB Project Employee, or, in some circumstances, the certification may be made on behalf of the employee by another person who has direct knowledge or suitable means of verification of that employee’s activities.  Principal investigators and departmental management are responsible for ensuring that UAB Project Employees responsible for certifying their activities understand clearly which accounts represent those activities and how their effort actually relates to those accounts.

Effort reports will be generated approximately 15 days after the end of the quarter and distributed for review and certification. Certification of effort reports is required no later than sixty (60) days after the end of a quarter.  Reports not certified in this period are considered past due.  Effort reports remaining uncertified after the subsequent quarter’s effort reports are generated are delinquent.

For more information, please see UAB Effort Reporting Policy.

University Compliance Office Role

The University Compliance Office provides regular monitoring of effort reporting to assess compliance, provides training and a mechanism for employees to ask questions and receive appropriate guidance, and supports a process for formulating corrective action plans to address non-compliance.


Follow the links in the table below to search and register for Effort Reporting courses.

Course Title


Target Audience

Effort Reporting: Responsible Fiscal Management of Sponsored Projects

Search and register for the course through the UAB Faculty & Staff Learning System.*

This online course introduces UAB employees to the policy and procedures established at UAB regarding responsible fiscal management of sponsored projects through effort reporting.

Required of all UAB Project Employees (employees who must certify effort on sponsored projects) and for Departmental Effort Officers (DEOs)*

Effort Reporting: From New to Certified

Search and register for the course through the UAB Faculty & Staff Learning System.*

This hands-on, instructor-led class is presented in a computer lab. The topics covered include managing labor distribution (LD) using burst reports, system tools and system forms. Other topics covered are the effort report workflow, effort report document statuses, notification action buttons, document locator, view effort report extract, salary reclass form, and viewing salary distributions by period and document. Registration is required before attending.

Strongly Recommended for DEOs and others responsible for tracking Effort Reports or verifying quarterly effort report accuracy

Approving or Certifying Effort Reports

Search and register for the course through the UAB Faculty & Staff Learning System.*

This hands-on, individualized, 30-minute clinic is held in a computer lab and covers the process of approving or certifying effort reports, including access to the document through the personal worklist and the information available using the "View Previous Effort Reports" menu option. Registration is required before attending.

Recommended for anyone who certifies or approves Effort Reports

If you attempt to register in the new system and are told that you are not listed or found, please contact Fredia Fuller Dillard at eteacher@uab.edu.

Related Training

UAB’s effort reporting process is an important element of UAB’s overall process for sponsored project management.  Employees who participate in sponsored project management in their units are encouraged to complete the introductory course entitled, "Understanding the Cost Principles Framework" available in the UAB Faculty and Staff Learning System.  Course content is available to download for future reference here.

Related Forms