Frequently Asked Questions
Please use this hotlink to go to the GCAS Resources web page and the documents are located under "Labor & Effort".
Under 2-CFR-200 section §200.430 Compensation-personal services it states: Compensation for personal services includes all remuneration, paid currently or accrued, for services of employees rendered during the period of performance under the Federal award, including but not necessarily limited to wages and salaries as well as (i) Be supported by a system of internal control which provides reasonable assurance that the charges are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated. The GW Effort Reporting Policy states that the university will maintain a system for verifying salaries and wages associated with federally sponsored agreements.
Compensation is based on an individual’s total Institutional Base Salary (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.
IBS is established by each School via their annual appointment which includes regular salary associated with their academic appointment(s). IBS also includes secondary administrative appointments such as department chair, associate deans, etc. IBS does not include items such as:
- Honorarium payments, incentives/bonuses or other one-time payments
- Income that an individual is permitted to receive directly from third parties outside of their University responsibilities such as consulting fees.
Total Effort is always 100% whether a person is employed on a full-time basis by the University or on a part-time basis. The work represents 100% of Institutional Base Salary by GW.
Effort is defined as the proportion of time spent on any activity expressed as a percentage of the total institutional activities for which an individual is compensated by the University, regardless of part-time or full-time status and/or number of hours worked. Total Effort is always 100% whether a person is employed on a full-time basis by the University or on a part-time basis. Faculty members with multiple appointments consider their combined responsibilities to arrive at their Total Effort.
The Effort report must be signed by “the employee, principal investigator, or responsible official(s) using suitable means of verification that the work was performed.” Please note that only one signature is required on the report by any of the above listed individuals. Email is also an acceptable indication of approval. Please include the respective effort report in the email.
The legislatively mandated provision on National Institutes for Health imposing a cap (“NIH Salary Cap”) on the reimbursement of salaries creates a unique circumstance in completing effort reports for highly compensated faculty and staff. Since this agency may not reimburse the University for salaries under sponsored projects at an annual rate that exceeds the Salary Cap, OVPR creates separate cost sharing awards to capture that portion of salary in excess of the Salary Cap. For effort certification purposes, the individual should consider the two awards together: the federal award and its companion cost sharing award.
Admin Supplements are included in Institutional Base Salary and the example above should be used to calculate the faculty member’s effort percentage. If the additional costs cannot be managed within the budgets of the awards, a conversation should be held with your Sponsored Project Administrator and a revised budget may need to be submitted to the sponsor.
Uniform Guidance requires the grantee to confirm that the payroll costs charged to the project are reasonable in relation to the actual work performed during the period. Please take a look at the sample below. Assume a Principal Investigator (PI) performs work on non-sponsored activity and research awards throughout the year. The effort report is based on the salary for each pay cycle.
The University’s current process for calculating effort percentages for each pay cycle takes the weighted average of each month’s salary (i.e., the salary for each activity divided by the total salary). Using the information above, the PI’s effort certification would show:
Contacts for effort reporting questions:
- Chart of Accounts Interactive Guide
- Closing Schedule
- Finance Division
- GW Annual Reports, Financial Statements, & Single Audits
- GW GCAS Staff Directory
- GW Sponsored Projects Handbook (PDF)
- Key Reports for Financial Management
- Office of Sponsored Projects
- Office of Vice President for Research
- Uniform Guidance Website
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