Effort Commitment and Cost Sharing


Email: venaccounting@ucdavis.edu
RMI North, RM # 1152

What is Effort Commitment?
Effort commitment is the portion of time committed to a particular activity expressed as a percentage of the individual's total activity for the institution.
The effort commitment, stated as a percentage of a principal investigator’s time in a grant application, is a real and binding commitment. As long as a grant is active, the investigator must keep track of the effort commitment and is required to account for it, with full grant details, whenever asked by a sponsor or when required by university policy.

When the application is awarded, this committed effort must be tracked in the Effort Commitment system to ensure that the effort and the salary charged to support it are in agreement.
Failure to accurately track and meet effort commitment requirements can subject the university to heavy fines and sanctions that inhibit the ability to receive future federal funds for research.
What is the Difference Between Effort Commitment & Effort Reporting?

Effort commitment is that effort committed or promised prior to or at the start of the project. It is not the actual effort expended, but a projected amount. The amount committed should be a realistic amount that can be adhered to. Effort commitment is tracked in the Effort Commitment system.
Effort reporting is done after the effort has been expended. It shows the actual effort spent on the project. Effort reporting ensures that the effort charged or committed to each research award has actually been met. It is tracked in the Effort Reporting System (ERS).

The cost share information entered in the Cost Share Tracking system is reflected in ERS. It is important that effort commitments are entered in a timely manner to ensure that the information is accurate in ERS.
The federal government holds the university responsible for complete and accurate effort reporting and for ensuring that each investigator’s complement of support accurately reflects their actual programmatic activities.
For further information go to: http://accounting.ucdavis.edu/Costshare/whatisec.cfm

What is Cost Sharing?
Cost sharing or matching means that portion of project or program costs not borne by the funding agency. It includes all contributions, including cash and in-kind, that a recipient makes to an award. If the award is federal, only acceptable non-federal costs qualify as cost sharing and must conform to other necessary and reasonable provisions to accomplish the program objectives. Cost sharing effort is included in the calculation of total committed effort. Effort is defined as the portion of time spent on a particular activity expressed as a percentage of the individual's total activity for the institution.
Cost sharing is auditable and must be allowable under cost principles and verifiable to records.

An example of cost sharing is any personnel listed on the project budget (showing % effort) for whom no salary is requested in the budget, or if salary is requested, it is less than what is needed to pay for the entire % effort. In this instance, the individual's portion of salary equivalent to that % effort not in the budget, in addition to the fringe benefits and indirect costs associated with those costs, would be considered cost sharing. For more detail go to: http://accounting.ucdavis.edu/Costshare/whatis.cfm