Effort Certification & Training

Reminder Regarding Significant Changes in Key Personnel
As a result of the most recent statewide audit and associated corrective action plan principal investigators are reminded that a withdrawal from a sponsored project, an absence from the university of more than three months, or a 25 percent (or greater) reduction in time devoted to the project on the part of a principal investigator, project director, or other key personnel requires prior approval from the sponsor.

Effort Reporting

Effort Reporting is our means of providing assurance to sponsors that:

  • Salaries charged to sponsored projects are reasonable in relation to the work performed, and
  • Faculty and staff have met their commitments to sponsored projects.

This webpage is a resource for our university’s Principal Investigators (PIs), Co-PIs, and other Primary Individuals responsible for sponsored research projects. It is also for the staff Effort Contacts who assist them.

What does an Effort Contact do for PIs? (Video)

ECS Timeline Spring 2019 (PDF)

Effort Certification System (ECS)

Refer to the introductory statement at the top of this page, to the Required Compliance Module, and to the Effort Procedures sections below.


Effort Certification Training

Faculty, staff, and administrators involved in the effort certification process should complete an on-line training module covering Effort Certification.

Effort Certification on sponsored projects is a significant compliance risk facing The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) as well as all other institutions of The University of Texas System (UT System). As a result, UT System implemented governing policy in the form of UTS163 – Guidance on Effort Reporting Policies. One requirement of UTS163 is the establishment of an education and training program on Effort Certification. To meet this requirement UT Austin designed an Effort Certification Training module (CW 520 Effort Certification Training) to provide the following:

  • An introduction to Effort and Effort Certification
  • An understanding of the importance of Effort Certification
  • An understanding of Committed Effort
  • Effort Certification examples

All individuals who have access to UT Austin’s on-line Effort Certification System (ECS) should take the training module.

The training module should take between 30-45 minutes to complete and once started must be completed. Upon conclusion of the module, each individual must take a mandatory test comprised of 12 questions. A passing grade of 75% will be required in order to receive credit for completion of this module.

The training module is hosted on the Compliance Training System administered by University Compliance Services. A preview of the training (information only) is available here: (PDF) (PowerPoint).

Should you have questions or issues with the training, contact the Office of Sponsored Projects – Sponsored Projects Award Administration at 512-471-6231 and ask for the Effort Certification Training Coordinator, or send an email to effort@austin.utexas.edu.

Resources for Effort Certification

To learn more about allowable sponsored tuition, visit our Tuition Remission page.