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Commitment Adjustment Guidelines

Directive Statement

If term-by-term adjustments, reductions within allowable sponsor tolerances, or other adjustments that are allowable but not reflective of what was communicated to the sponsor are needed, those are made ONLY in myUFL while UFIRST maintains the commitment from the sponsor’s perspective.

Commitment Guidance is a hands-on guide to assist departments with all aspects of effort commitments.

Reason for Directive

A commitment is reflective of the promise of time/effort made to the sponsor.  This time can be designated over the life of the award, a project period, a budget period, or to specific terms.  Most federally funded research programs should have some level of committed effort, paid or unpaid.  This effort can be provided at any time within the fiscal year (summer months, academic year, or both).

Who must comply?

All University Departments.

Adjustments to Effort

myUFL is configured to require Cost Analysis approval for any reduction of effort of 25 percent or more from the level that was approved at the time of the initial competing award for the PI and key personnel.

Many awards differ in the tolerance levels; therefore, this is NOT intended to be the sole control – departments are expected to understand unique awards where the tolerance is less than 25%.

When commitments for a single term need to be reduced but the commitment over the entire budget period remains under the 25% tolerance, the change can be made solely in myUFL.  Cost Analysis will take all terms into account when considering term-reduction impacts on the overall budget period.

The overall commitment will not be adjusted in these cases, but a note will be added to the override such as “Commitment within tolerance considering Academic Year (AY) and Summer (SU) terms for budget period.”

Federal Awards

If the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or Key Person effort on an award is reduced by 25% or more of the effort committed in the funded proposal, prior approval must be obtained from the sponsor (2 CFR 200.308 c.1.iii). Any request for such a reduction should be submitted as a Personnel modification through UFIRST.

  1. For awards under the federal-wide research terms and conditions (see: https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/rtc.jsp), prior approval is only required for a change in effort for the Program Director (PD)/PI or other senior/key personnel specifically named in the Notice of Award (NoA)
  2. Other personnel, if not named in the NoA, do not need prior approval
  3. UF will track the effort for all personnel named in the proposal as key, even if not specifically named in the NOA. This simply means prior approval is waived for this subset of personnel; there is still requirement on UF to manage the information
  4. UF will require that declaration of reduction is submitted as part of a UFIRST Personnel modification (even if sponsor prior approval is not required) and then passed to Cost Analysis through the normal communication channels

Nonfederal/Industry

Sponsors also anticipate that the PI and/or the Co-PI will spend the time and effort on the project that was committed in the proposal

  1. The terms and conditions of the nonfederal award will govern whether changes in PI/Co-PI or other personnel effort will need to be reported or if sponsor approval will be required for a reduction in effort
  2. Any request for changes in effort to nonfederal sponsored awards should be submitted as a Personnel modification through UFIRST
  3. Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP) will review the award conditions and determine what approvals or notifications are necessary
  4. After determining that the modification will move forward, DSP & Contracts & Grants (C&G) will complete the modification in UFIRST and Cost Analysis will be informed through the normal communication channels

Definitions

Commitment

A commitment is reflective of the promise of time/effort made to the sponsor.  This time can be designated over the life of the award, a project period, a budget period, or to specific terms.  Most federally funded research programs should have some level of committed effort, paid or unpaid.  This effort can be provided at any time within the fiscal year (summer months, academic year, or both).

Effort

Effort is the time devoted to a particular activity, expressed as a percentage of the total time spent on UF activities.

Principal Investigator (PI)

Principal Investigator on a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement. This person bears the main responsibility for costs that are charged to that agreement.

Last Reviewed

05/01/2020: reviewed content

Resources

Effort Report Flow – How Does the Effort Report Receive Information?

Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200

2 CFR 200 Quick Reference Guide

Toolkits

UF HR Toolkit – Adjusting Committed Effort

Contacts

Contracts & Grants: (352) 392-1235

Cost Analysis: (352) 392-5778

Division of Sponsored Programs: (352) 392-1582

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