Effort reporting is the mechanism used to confirm that salaries, wages, and benefits charged to sponsored projects are reasonable in relation to the actual work performed.  Certification of an effort report is a UAB Project 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 semi-annual (every six months) effort reports.  This system must represent a reasonable estimate of the actual work performed.

UAB Project Employees must certify semi-annual 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 semi-annual reporting period and distributed for review and certification. Certification of effort reports is required no later than sixty (60) days after the end of the period.  Reports not certified in this period are considered past due.  Effort reports remaining uncertified after the subsequent period’s effort reports are generated are delinquent.

For more information, please see UAB Effort Reporting Policy, Effort Reporting Procedures, and the Effort Reporting Training Course reference materials.

Role of the Office of Compliance & Risk Assurance

The Office of Compliance & Risk Assurance 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: Principles, Process, and Certification

This course is automatically assigned to newly designated employees who will receive any Effort Reports for review and certification.
This online course covers topics relating to the policy and procedures established at UAB regarding responsible fiscal management of sponsored projects through effort reporting. Those required to take this course must complete and pass the assessment in order to receive credit. Required of all employees who must certify effort on sponsored project(s) (UAB Project Employees), and there is an expectation that this course be completed prior to certifying effort.

Required of all Departmental Effort Officers (DEOs).

Additionally, other individuals may be assigned this course by their respective school/college. Notwithstanding, nonexempt (biweekly paid) employees who are Project Employees but not DEOs, are not required to complete this course since their effort is reported through UAB's official time tracking and recordkeeping system rather than through an effort report.

If you attempt to register in the new system and are told that you are not listed or found, please contact Kathleen Harris at krbrown@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

Effective July 1, 2016, the Recertification of Effort Form will be used for recertifying a previously certified effort report and certifying a delinquent effort report. The Recertification of Effort Form, which replaces the form entitled ORC Review Request (commonly referred to as a request to recertify effort/RFR), is listed as follows on the Financial Affairs forms webpage:

ROE Form screenshot from FA page