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Effort Certification FAQs for Effort Coordinators

I have an individual who worked in another department for the previous semester but is currently employed by my department. What do I do?
Unfortunately, you are now responsible for reporting time for the entire semester since the employee is now employed by your department.  You will either have to contact the previous department for guidance or speak with the employee about the activities that the employee worked on for that effort term.
I am working on the Summer Term and am seeing new Fall term reports. Why do I see a term that has not yet ended?
Because the effort system is interactive with PeopleSoft Payroll Module, every time payroll runs it feeds into the effort system.  Therefore, new effort reports are always being updated.  You will notice, however, that these reports are sitting in the Effort Initiator approval sequence and will not be released to the department until after the close of the specific term.
I have the security role, but do not have anyone that is listed for my department.
It could be that the department ID needs to be added to the security. Please contact your DSA and have them add the department ID in Human Resources > Security > Core Row Level Security > Effort Reporting Security.  Otherwise, contact our office at effort@admin.ufl.edu for further assistance.
I have a faculty member that was not paid during the summer but has an effort report with courses. What should I do with these reports?
Think of effort as time and not payroll. Even if the faculty did not get paid but had students reporting to them, the effort system expects time allocated to those courses. This is to meet state reporting requirements that the Office of Institutional Planning and Research (OIPR) are responsible for reporting.  If they did not have students assigned to them and did not teach, you will need to have the courses updated in the Academic Activity Reporting system to remove them from the effort record.
Why is the submit/certify button grey and unavailable?
If the button is grey, that means that the person looking at the record has already completed their part.

  • If the button is grey for a Principle Investigator (PI), that means that it is pending another PI to certify.  An effort record can require more than one PI’s certification if the report is in the CERT_PI path, and there is more than one project ID.  In this path, the only thing the PI is certifying on the effort record is for the projects they are responsible for.  They are not required to review any other activities on the effort record and it indicates so at the bottom of their certification screen.  So if the button is grey for a PI, that means it must be waiting for another PI to do their part as well.
  • If the button is grey for you, that means you have already done your part and the record is pending another job appointment in a different department.  The effort record will remain at your level until all departments have allocated and submitted, to cause the entire record to go the certified only once.
How can I see who has approved an effort report and when?
Effort Reports have an approval history on each effort record.  At the top right hand corner, by the comment bubble, is an icon that appears to be notebook paper. If you click on that icon it will take you to the approval history.  Once there, but sure to expand the information and click on the “View All” hyperlink if available.  This will give you all the information for the effort record.
How do I assign a proxy?
Information to assign a proxy approver in the effort system can be found here:  http://training.hr.ufl.edu/instructionguides/effort_reporting/ja_requesting_a_proxy_approval_role.pdf
How long does it take to get a proxy approved?
Proxies are normally reviewed every day.  Cost Analysis runs a query to identify any requests.  If approved, we will uncheck the box and the proxy will receive a notice overnight.  If not approved, you will be notified with a question or why the proxy was not approved.  Please give 24 – 48 hours for proxy approvals.
How long does it take for a payroll cost transfer (retro) to update and effort record?
After the cost transfer is input into the system, it should take approximately one week to update effort.  If it has been a week, and there are no updates, please contact us for further information at effort@admin.ufl.edu
The effort report is averaging over 100%.  Since I cannot allocate more than 100% what should I do?
Determine which payroll line is rounding up more than what is needed for effort.  Reduce that particular line by 1% and email effort@admin.ufl.edu for tolerance override.
How do I calculate National Institute of Health (NIH) Over the Cap (OTC) – Non K Awards
NIH over the cap does not allow a person to charge up to the cap amount, but takes what is actually worked for that time period to calculate what we can actually charge the sponsor directly.  It is a percentage of the over the cap.  This per NIH guidelines.  For example, if a person is $300,000 in annual salary.  To see how much they are over the cap take the 300,000 (Salary) – 212,100 (OTC amount) = 107,700.  Then take the 107,700 (paid over the cap) divided by the 300,000 (annual salary).  This means this person is paid 35% over the cap.  In addition, you have to take the FTE of the person as well.  So to keep it simple, in this example we are saying this person is Full time (1.0 FTE and) and is a 12 month faculty.  Given that information, with a 10% commitment to the award, the calculation for how much the department can charge the grant is the commitment .10  X (1 – .35) = 6% that can be directly charged to the grant.  The other 4% has to be covered by the department. However, this all depends on how much the person actually works.  If they only work 6% that is directly charged, then you can’t meet the OTC requirements.  For a 6% time worked, the most a department could charge the grant would be .06 X (1-.35) = 4%.  The other 2% would have to be met as OTC cost sharing and the salary charged would have to be reduced.   If the person worked 12%, then it would be different.  It would be .12 X (1-.35) = 7% that can be directly charged and the other 5% that would have to be over the cap.  The good news is that the system does all these calculations for you.  You will not have to manually do this to arrive at this answer.
How do I find effort records that are pending certification in the system?
There are two ways to find effort records that are pending at your department:

  1. Run the Enterprise Reporting Report – myUFL>Main Menu>Enterprise Analytics>Access Reporting>Human Resource Information>Workforce Information>Effort Reporting>Effort Certification>Outstanding Certifications
  2. On the main effort search screen, scroll to the bottom and click on the “Clear” button.  This will remove all of the search criteria.  Look for the approval sequence step, and type in the number “3” then click search.  This will bring up any outstanding records.
How do I find effort records for closed terms?
You can access those in Enterprise Reporting.  We also recommend using this report instead of screen shots of the effort records as it comes with the electronic signature of who certified and the date.

  • For Terms Summer 2011 – Current:  Navigate to myUFL>Main Menu>Enterprise Analytics>Access Reporting>Human Resource Information>Workforce Information>Effort Reporting>Effort Certification>Audit Report by UFID.  Be sure to convert it to PDF and it will be a much better version of the effort records.
  • For Terms Before Summer 2011:  Navigate to myUFL>Main Menu>Enterprise Analytics>Access Reporting>Human Resource Information>Workforce Information>Effort Tracking>Semester Effort Report by UFID.  If you do not find it, please email effort@admin.ufl.edu as we may have an electronic version of the a manually certified record on file that we can provide to you.
What do the approval steps mean in the effort system?
  1. Approval Step 1 – Effort Initiator (this is the Cost Analysis Department)
  2. Approval Step 2 – Effort Coordinator (this is at the department administrate level)
  3. Approval Step 3 – Effort Certifier (this pending certification from the Faculty, PI, or other personnel)
  4. Approval Step 4 – It Depends!
    • If the employee is certifying for themselves this step is the effort reviewer.  If the employee changes anything that would cause an error, then it stops here until that error is corrected
    • If the PI is certifying for an employee then this = pending to be finalized
  5. Approval Step 5 – Finalized (This is at the Cost Analysis Department)
An effort record is finalized, and I want to make changes, can the record be undone?
NO!  Once  a record is finalized, it is set in as that is what the employee did.  Please make sure that all information is accurately reported before submitting and certification.

Effort Certification FAQs for Certifiers (Faculty, PIs, etc.)

What is an effort report?
An effort report is a representation of your time spent each academic term for which you are compensated by the University of Florida.  All faculty and anyone that teaches or works on a grant needs to complete this report certification per the University Policies and Procedures.  The effort report should accurately reflect your time spent as a whole to 100% of your UF activities.  You need to report the time spent on the various components as a percentage of the whole.  The best way to explain it is to  visualize a pie and how you cut that pie into pieces reflects the time spent for UF.  The % is then calculated based on size of the piece.
Can I correct the actual effort column for my effort record?
YES!  Please allocate based on what you worked on for the given effort term.  Keep in mind, that effort must equal 100% total.  If you feel more comfortable with someone helping you, please deny the effort record back to your effort coordinator.  If nothing changes as requested when you get it back, please email effort@admin.ufl.edu for assistance.
Can I correct the actual effort column if I am certifying someone else’s record as the PI?
NO!  Because there may be other projects on the effort record that you are not responsible for, any changes must be done by your departmental effort coordinator.  Please deny the record back to them to correct appropriately.  If nothing changes as requested when you get it back, please email effort@admin.ufl.edu for assistance.
What am I certifying when I am certifying as the PI for my staff?
If you are the PI certifying for one of your staff, you are only certifying the time spent on the project you are the PI for.  You are not responsible for anything else on the effort record.  This is confirmed, when you click on the certify/send back button.  At the bottom of that screen lists the project(s) you are certifying.
The link is not working to certify effort.  What do I do?
Most of the time, this is due to the fact that there has been some upgrades to the myUFL system.  You will need to clear you browser history (Cache/cookies) and the link will work for you.  If not please, email effort@admin.ufl.edu for further assistance.
Who can I contact for further assistance?
If you know your department’s effort coordinator, please reach out to them.  However, if unknown we are happy to assist.  You can contact Cost Analysis at effort@admin.ufl.edu

Commitment FAQs

What is a commitment?
An amount of time agreed upon for the PI, Investigators, and Key Personnel in a sponsored agency proposal – regardless of whether or not salary support is requested.
Where is the percentage for the commitment coming from?
The percentage in effort is a calculation done by Cost Analysis based on the agreed upon commitment with the sponsoring agency, the time left to meet the commitment, and the Job FTE of the person that is required to meet the commitment.  If you have any questions related to how your commitment was calculated please email commitments@admin.ufl.edu.
Are commitments automatically uploaded from UFIRST?
No, because of the need to decide the correct HR Job appointment, FTE, and time frame to meet the commitment, it is not automatic.  Every commitment is entered in the myUFL system by Cost Analysis.
Is there guidance available regarding commitments?
Yes!  Please visit our website at for detailed explanation of commitment entry at Commitment Guidance.

Space Allocation FAQs

Who do I contact to remove a room or building from my space report?
Please contact Business Affairs Technical Services to assist in this request at bats@admin.ufl.edu.
Who do I contact if I have questions regarding projects, allocations, or occupants?
Please contact Cost Analysis at spacealloc@admin.ufl.edu.
If a student is in a research lab, with a desk how do I allocate the space?
  • If a UF student is in the lab with a desk area and they are PAID from sponsored programs, AND they have a desk space somewhere else in your area to do their homework, the space can be coded all to research.
  • If a student is in the lab with a desk area and they are PAID from sponsored programs, AND they DO NOT have a desk space somewhere else in your area to do their homework, a small amount of instruction must be added to the space to accommodate the time they might do their classwork instead of the research
  • If a UF student is in the lab with a desk area and they are NOT from sponsored programs, Instruction must be added
Do I allocate space as vacant if I take a two week vacation?
NO!  Normal absences and work breaks (such as summer faculty) do not require you to allocate space as vacant
Why is space allocation important?
  • Space allocation is the primary source of information that is used to calculate the indirect cost (F&A) rate that is charged to grants. This rate is a recovery fee that is the sponsoring agencies fair share of the facilities costs at the University of Florida.
  • Space is used for the RCM budget development for the university.