Effort Reporting


Policy Summary

Effort reporting is the process by which the university determines and documents the effort of faculty, staff, and students expended on sponsored projects during each reporting period.  This policy speaks to the requirements of effort reporting and who must comply with the policy.

Related Regulations

OMB Uniform Guidance 2 CFR §200.430

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Students


As a recipient of federal funding for sponsored projects  The George Washington University (GW) is required to comply with The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance 2 CFR §200.430. The OMB requires universities to have systems of internal control which provide reasonable assurance that personnel charges are accurate, allowable and properly allocated. 

To fulfill federal requirements, the university requires that all employees whose compensation is directly charged and/or whose compensation is directly cost-shared in connection with a sponsored project must comply with University policies and Sponsoring agencies regulations regarding proposing, charging and reporting of effort on those awards in an accurate, allowable and properly allocated manner. University faculty and staff are expected to charge their time to sponsored awards commensurate with the effort expended on all activities they perform.  The effort reports are used to confirm the effort distribution of Institutional Base Salary (IBS) allocable to sponsored projects and to non-sponsored activities. Principal Investigators (PIs) are also responsible for ongoing monitoring of the level of effort expended by others on all sponsored projects under their purview. 

Each effort report must be confirmed and signed by the employee, the PI, the department chair, designee or another responsible official using suitable means of verification that the work was performed.

During their review, authorized personnel are expected to confirm the payroll distribution on the effort report, and determine whether the effort distribution reasonably correspond to the portions of the individual’s IBS.

Actual effort shall be monitored closely throughout the life cycle of each sponsored project. As significant changes to planned effort distributions become known, the effort shall be updated on an ongoing basis to reflect the appropriate work distribution.


Institutional Base Salary:  Compensation is based on an individual’s total IBS.  IBS is the annual compensation paid by the University for an Employee’s Appointment, whether that individual’s time is spent on research, teaching, teaching administration, clinical activity or any other activities.

Confirmation: The assertion by a PI/faculty, employee, department chair or other responsible official, that the salaries charged to sponsored projects as direct charges or cost sharing reasonably reflect the effort expended and work performed during the period of work performed/reporting period.

Cost Sharing: Any project costs that are not borne by the sponsor.  Cost sharing of effort is the provision of faculty and/or staff time and related fringe benefits that were committed and provided in support of a project but are paid for by other sources of funding. Cost-shared effort in excess of the commitment made in the proposal does not have to be identified or certified.

Designee: Authorized delegation of effort report responsibilities on a specific sponsored project to another individual (other than the PI).

Related Information

Cost Transfers on Sponsored Projects Policy 

Cost Sharing on Sponsored Projects Policy 

Effort Reporting Cycle

GCAS Labor and Effort Guidance


Contact Phone Number Email Address
Grants and Contracts Accounting Services 571-553-4117  [email protected]


Responsible University Official: Associate Vice President and University Controller
Responsible Office: Grants and Contracts Accounting Services


Non-compliance with this policy can be reported through this website.