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Effort Reporting & Commitments (ERC) Application Help

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Faculty Member/Principal Investigators ERC Help

Quick Guides:


Frequently Asked Questions:


What is effort reporting?

Effort reporting (or effort certification) is UConn’s means of assuring sponsors that:

  • The commitment of effort (proposed or otherwise obligated) to the project was met
  • The effort expended on the project was at least commensurate with the salary charged
  • Effort devoted to research and other sponsored projects was properly accounted for

This is not “timekeeping” or “activity tracking”. Actual effort should be reported in whole percentages. Voluntary uncommitted effort (effort on a project that was not charged to a sponsored program and was not committed to the sponsor) should not be included on the effort report.
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Who can certify an effort report?

Faculty are expected to certify their own reports. Graduate and undergraduate students’ reports are certified by the PI of each project listed. Staff reports can be certified by the individual or the PI of each project; however, most schools prefer that the PI certifies these reports as well. Department Heads may certify for the PI or individual if they have left the university or are unavailable to certify.
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How do I certify an effort report?

When an effort report is routed to you, you will receive an email notification. Click on the link provided in the email or click here to log into the ERC system. You can access the effort report directly from the email or via your worklist (the default application page). Double-click on the report line to access the report. Once in the report, you will need to enter the Actual Effort worked for each project for the reporting period. If the calculated amounts are correct, you may simply auto-populate those amounts by clicking on the “Default to Calculated Amounts” link above the Actual Effort column. Click on Submit to approve/certify the report (or to return the report to your department administrator or to SPS, if needed). Please see our Quick Guide for Certifying an Effort Report for a detailed guide with screenshots.
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Who needs to have their effort certified?

For each effort reporting period, effort reports are generated for each employee whose salary is charged to a sponsored award and for each employee with an effort commitment on a sponsored award. This includes faculty, staff, post docs, graduate students and undergraduate students. Only non-students are able to certify their own reports.
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What is included in the effort reports?

An individual’s report will reflect all of their University activities – totaling 100% regardless of the actual hours worked. All non-sponsored activities are reflected in the “All other sources associated with your appointment” line. Effort reports are generated three times a year (Fall, Spring and Summer – see SPS Academic Calendar for dates) for all individuals who were paid from or had effort commitments on sponsored awards.
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What do the percentages on the effort report mean?

The Calculated Effort column includes the percentage of salary paid on the project plus any cost shared commitment made to the project which was entered in the ERC application. The percentage is calculated when the effort report is generated. Commitments recorded in the ERC system may be viewed through the Commitment Comparison screen (see Commitment Comparison Quick Guide).

The Actual Effort column is entered by the certifier at a project level. This amount should reflect a reasonable approximation of the effort devoted to the project during the reporting period.
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How do I add a project to an effort report?

While in the effort report, click on the Add Another Project link and then search for an award (by PI Name, KFS Account Number, InfoEd Proposal Number or Sponsor Award Number) to add a project. This functionality is only available when the report is currently routed to you for certification.

It is highly recommended that a report be returned to your department or SPS (see Quick Guide for Certifying an Effort Report) if there should have been pay on the missing project or if there should have been a cost share commitment recorded in our system.
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What should I review prior to certification?

Review the effort report to ensure that all projects with paid or committed effort have been reflected on the report. You may also review the Effort Report Details to review the current commitments in the system.
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How does the effort report routing work?

Changes are allowed ONLY when the report is currently routed to you. Only the PIs or the individual listed on a report can enter the Actual Effort. You can view any report involving your awards at any time in the route.
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How does routing/certification work when someone works for multiple PIs?

Following the initial department administrator review, the effort report will route to all PIs listed on the report as well as the individual themselves, for non-students. For example, the report for a graduate student working on two different PIs’ awards will route to both PIs at the same time. The first PI who logs into the report will see all Actual Effort fields “unlocked”. After the first PI certifies, when the second PI certifies the report, the Actual Effort for the first PI’s award will be locked. The “All other sources associated with your appointment” line will remain unlocked.
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Departmental Staff ERC Help

We are in the process of developing additional guidance for Department Administrators.  In the interim, please review the training slides below.  Contact Jen Pelletier (jennifer.pelletier@uconn.edu) or Kristin Winot (kristin.winot@uconn.edu) for additional assistance.



Department Head ERC Help

We are in the process of developing a guide for Department Heads to claim and certify an effort report when the PI is otherwise unavailable.  In the interim, please contact Jen Pelletier (jennifer.pelletier@uconn.edu) for assistance with this functionality.

Please view the Faculty Help Section for additional information.