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Actual Effort The Effort that an employee estimates to have devoted to a particular Sponsored Project or other professional activity, even if no salary is paid by the project or activity, including Effort pledged to a sponsor as mandatory or voluntary committed Cost Sharing, expressed as a percentage of total Effort during the confirmation period.
Cost Sharing

The mandatory or voluntary commitment of institutional resources contained in the proposal or award. The concept of cost matching is synonymous with Cost Sharing. Cost Sharing may be made up of either labor or non-labor costs. This policy only pertains to Cost Sharing as it relates to Effort commitments made by Individuals listed in the proposal or award. There are different types of Cost Sharing:

  • Mandatory Committed Cost Sharing refers to costs in excess of what the sponsor is going to fund where a requirement for the grantee to fund some portion of the cost is required by the sponsor as a condition of obtaining an award. It must be included in the contract or grant proposal to receive consideration from the sponsor.
  • Salary-cap Cost Sharing results when an Individual’s Institutional Base Salary exceeds a sponsor’s salary cap. The prorated excess is a form of mandatory Cost Sharing that must be funded by an appropriate and allowable source.
  • Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing refers to costs in excess of what we are asking the sponsor to fund that are included in the proposal budget where cost sharing was not required by the sponsor.
  • Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing refers to costs of a project not funded by the sponsor and which were not committed in the proposal or award.

For both mandatory and voluntary committed Cost Sharing, when a notice of grant award is received in which Cost Sharing was proposed, the Cost Sharing becomes a binding commitment that must be provided and tracked in a consistent manner across The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB). Budget reductions and scope changes recommended by the sponsor may be a basis for renegotiation of any proposed Cost Sharing. Additionally, these forms of Cost Sharing must be included in the appropriate direct cost base in the facilities and administrative rate proposal.

Date of Discovery The date on which the need for a Cost Transfer is acknowledged.
Designated Responsible Party The Designated Responsible Party (DRP) is the senior administrative executive for the research operation who will manage and be responsible for the Effort reporting compliance program. This individual possesses exclusive responsibility for managing the risk, including the appropriate knowledge and necessary authority to manage the risk. The Associate Dean for Research Administration is the DRP at UTMB. It is acknowledged the DRP will work closely with the Provost, chief business officer and the institutional compliance officer to ensure all specific risks are adequately mitigated and effectively monitored.
Effort Sometimes referred to as Level of Effort, Effort is the amount of time spent by an Individual on any activity expressed as a percentage of Total Professional Effort for which an Individual is compensated by a UTMB. It is extremely important to understand that Effort is not calculated on a 40-hour workweek or any other standard workweek. In addition, Total Effort must equal 100%. For example, if an Individual with a full-time appointment averages working 60 hours per week during the Effort Reporting Period and estimates that he/she spends an average of 15 hours each week on a Sponsored Program, 25% of that Individual’s Effort is spent on the Sponsored Program and the other 45 hours, allocated to other institutional activities, represents 75% Effort.
Effort Confirmation (Also, referred to as Effort Certification): A Primary Individual’s representation that the Effort supported by the sponsor has been performed and/or Effort expended in support of a project (but not paid by the sponsor) has been performed. It is important to note that payroll distributions and Effort Confirmations are not the same thing. Payroll distributions describe the allocation of an Individual’s salary; whereas, Effort Confirmation describes the allocation of an Individual’s Effort.
Effort Confirmation Period The designated period of time for Individuals to enter and for Primary Individuals to confirm, estimates of actual Effort in the official UTMB Effort system. The end of the Effort Confirmation Period is deemed to be the initializing transaction date as referenced in the Cost Transfer vis-à-vis timeliness.
Effort Coordinator The individual at the department level that manages and oversees the Effort reporting process for a particular department or group departments. This individual is responsible for monitoring whether Effort has been reported and that the necessary salary adjustments resulting from Effort reporting (or lack thereof) are made.
Effort Reconciliation Period The designated period of time, after the Effort Confirmation Period, in which salary paid should be reconciled to the Effort confirmed and any adjustments submitted.
Effort Report

This is also known as the effort card. A form used by UTMB to document the proportion of total Effort devoted by an employee to each activity with which he or she is involved, including Sponsored Projects, administration, teaching and service. This document becomes UTMB’s official verification that the IBS charged to a Sponsored Project is consistent with the Actual Effort expended on the project. The sum of all reported Actual Effort percentages on the Effort Report represents the employee’s total Effort. By definition, total Effort must always equal 100%.

An Effort Report must be completed for all Individuals with Effort on a Sponsored Project by someone with suitable means of verification of the Effort expended on a project. This may be the Individual or it may be the direct supervisor. Confirmation of the Effort expended must be made in accordance with this policy. A Supporting Individual may not confirm the Effort expended on the Effort Report.

Effort Reporting Period The designated period of time over which the Effort is to be reported. UTMB reports Effort semi-annually or according to other timetables established and published by Research Services.
Effort Reporting Procedure Manual A UTMB document that contains all the implementation and operational guidelines for Effort reporting at UTMB.
Entity Business Operations Entity Business Operations is charged with the oversight of policies and procedures for the Departmental Business Operations that report to them. Entity leaders and CFO’s will ensure that each department has an appropriate review process in place.
Fiscal Year The financial accounting period from September 1st through August 31st.

An Individual is anyone who has committed and/or reported Effort on a Sponsored Project regardless of whether salary was charged to the project or not. Where appropriate in this policy the following subcategories will be utilized:

  • A Primary Individual is a person listed as principal investigator (PI), project director, co-investigator, co-project director, or those with comparable responsibilities on a Sponsored Project application. A Primary Individual typically, but not always, carries an academic (i.e. faculty) appointment.
  • Supporting Individual is an employee other than a Primary Individual who has expended Effort on a sponsored program. The Supporting Individual may or may not have been identified on the funded application and typically does not have Committed Effort greater than the amount paid on a specific Sponsored Program.

An Individual designated as Key Personnel may be either a Primary Individual or a Supporting Individual based on the unique circumstances of a specific Sponsored Project.

Institutional Base Salary (IBS) The total guaranteed annual compensation an individual receives from UTMB, whether the individual’s time is spent on research, instruction and teaching, patient care, public service or other activities. The IBS shall be used to compute salaries charged to sponsored programs unless sponsor’s policies further limit salary charges. IBS excludes: fringe benefit payments; non-recurring merit payments; incentive payments; reimbursed expenses; temporary, supplemental compensation for incidental work; income earned outside of duties to the institution; and any portion of compensation deemed to be at-risk. IBS may or may not include additional payment, in special circumstances, by prior approval of Research Services.
Key Personnel Key Personnel are defined as Individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of the project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not salaries are requested. Typically, these Individuals have doctoral or other professional degrees, although Individuals at the masters or baccalaureate level should be included if their involvement meets the definition of Key Personnel. Consultants should also be included if they meet the same definition. Key Personnel must devote measurable Effort to the project whether or not salaries are requested. Key Personnel are generally listed on the Notice of Award and they may be designated as Primary or Supporting Individuals within the Effort reporting system.
Office of Sponsored Programs Finance (OSPF) OSPF is responsible for ensuring that policies and procedures are in place for Effort Reporting.
Research Services Research Services is UTMB’s institutional office charged with the administrative oversight of sponsored research.
Sponsored Project An externally funded activity that is governed by specific terms and conditions. Sponsored Projects must be separately budgeted and accounted for subject to terms of the sponsoring organization. Separately budgeted means that a project budget has been prepared to identify the costs necessary to meet the objectives of the project. Sponsored Projects may include grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for research, instruction and training, and other public service activities. Sponsored programs involve a specific commitment of time of the principle investigator and other key personnel and can be either: 1) externally funded activities for which a formal written agreement, such as a cooperative agreement, contract, or grant is entered into by UTMB and by a sponsor; or 2) internally funded activities which are separately budgeted and accounted for by UTMB as a result of a formal application and approval process within UTMB. For externally funded programs, the commitment of time can either be paid or unpaid by the sponsor (see mandatory and voluntary committed Cost Sharing definitions). A sponsored program may be thought of as a transaction in which there is a specified statement of work with a related, reciprocal transfer of something of value.
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