University of Minnesota  Procedure

Documenting Effort Outside of ECRT


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Governing Policy


Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

Effort expended on a sponsored project must be confirmed within the Effort Certification and Reporting Tool (ECRT) whenever possible. If necessary, a manual effort statement can be produced and attached to the electronic effort statement to address a situation such as when a faculty member with a nine month appointment is paid over 12 months, researchers with multiple rates of pay, overtime pay or retroactive pay. In these situations, the "manual certification" status is used within ECRT. The Effort Template may be used for this purpose and should be attached to the individual's electronic effort statement. 

There are also situations when a researcher will expend effort on a sponsored project but must use a method other than ECRT to document that time. These situations include:

  • Volunteer or unpaid effort for adjunct or retired faculty who act as key personnel:

    There are certain circumstances when a faculty member will act as key personnel on a project but they are not paid for that time. Because there is no payroll or cost sharing data, ECRT will not generate an effort statement for these individuals. However, because of their role on the project, the unpaid effort must be documented. This is referred to as an Unpaid Activity Report.

  • Volunteer or unpaid effort for non-key personnel:

    The University does not require documentation of this voluntary effort. However, if the researcher's contributions were promised in the proposal and accepted in the award, then it must be documented in case the sponsor wants proof that the commitment was met. Follow the procedures stated above for producing and retaining an unpaid activity report for key personnel.

    In both situations, the Effort Template should be used to create an unpaid activity report. Since the individual is not an employee of the University, unpaid activity is typically documented in hours spent on a project rather than as a percent of total professional effort. Since no statement exists for these individuals in ECRT, the completed unpaid activity report should be retained in the departmental award file and available upon request in the event of a review or audit.