unit logo
  1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. Cost Analysis
  4. Effort Certification and Commitments
  5. Commitment Entry Guidelines
  6. Commitment Entry General Guidelines

Commitment Entry General Guidelines

Directive Statement

The University collects commitments through UFIRST at a person level as it was specified to the sponsor.  Each person provides commitment over the appropriate sponsor-defined budget, project, or award period.  The commitment data is translated to job level by Cost Analysis and entered into myUFL.

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.

General Entry

Commitments are at the AWARD level, not the project level.

  1. Not every project under an award requires a commitment, even if the project’s type is not exempted.
  2. If no key personnel’s effort is tied to that project, then no commitment is to be entered.
  3. All awards should have at least one commitment or a clear indication in the UFIRST award smart form why none was entered.

If the award (or submitted proposal) includes a quantified commitment for key personnel in both calendar months and a percent of effort, to guarantee sponsor requirements are met UF will track and manage the larger of the two.

Generally, one commitment line per person per budget period should be entered.

  1. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds each budget period separately.  To account for this requirement one line will be entered for each budget period even if the commitment is the same expected amount each year.
  2. If the sponsor does not require breaking the award into budget periods and the commitment effort remains constant throughout, one commitment for the life of the award may be entered

Cost Analysis enters the following into myUFL:

  1. For 9-Month Employees, assume full summer FTE – 3 months denominator.  For example, a one-month commitment would be entered as 33%
  2. Academic term commitments should be entered on the FA09 appointment and summer appointments should be entered on the FASU

UFIRST General Guidance

For awards set up in myUFL prior to the inception of UFIRST (July 1, 2016) and then converted into UFIRST, it is not necessary to enter all historical information.  Only the current budget period and forward should be entered.  The sole exception is no-cost extensions where the final budget period and extension period should both be entered.

myUFL General Guidance

  1. In cases where a new commitment must be added to a certified effort term or a commitment must be changed in a certified effort term, an error will trigger in myUFL that will prevent the effort report from being reopened or recertified without core office intervention.
  2. DSP and C&G will review to determine if effort is available for recertification via departmental funded effort.
    • If departmental funded effort is not available, DSP and C&G Leadership will be engaged to determine if the proposed change is appropriate.
    • If necessary, sponsor approval will be obtained before the change is approved internally.
  3. After the review above occurs, Cost Analysis will override any errors and reopen a closed term for recertification.


Individuals – Commitments to be entered for award level:

  1. Principal Investigators (PI)
  2. Co-PIs or Co-Investigators with quantified commitments
  3. Any other individual identified in the award (or if silent then in the proposal) as key personnel with quantified commitments
  4. Individuals used to meet voluntary committed or Mandatory Cost Sharing requirements

Zero FTE Personnel – No individual with a 0 FTE should be proposed with a quantified commitment. If a faculty member has made a commitment but is retired or under a non-pay appointment (i.e. Courtesy), a commitment cannot be entered and effort cannot be tracked in the system.  If no other individuals meet the requirements for a commitment for this project no commitment will be entered.  If the budget includes a specific commitment, Cost Analysis will notify DSP to ensure appropriate resolution with the sponsor.  If the PI is an Emeritus Faculty they can remain the Award PI and/or Project Manager but must have a Courtesy (CTSY) appointment and cannot have a quantified commitment

Minimum Effort

  1. In cases where the overall award commitment for the PI is not quantified, a minimum of 1% voluntary committed effort must be entered in UFIRST and also in myUFL.  No such entry is required for other key personnel. See: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/omb/memoranda_m01-06/
  2. Although PIs might reference a specific period of effort (summer months), they cannot be absent from the project for all other periods. In myUFL, a 1% voluntary committed cost share commitment will be entered for the other academic terms.
    1. Exception to the above: If the faculty has a nine-month appointment, a summer commitment does not need to be entered if (1) there is no expectation of effort during the summer, (2) there is no budget for summer, and (3) there is no summer appointment for the PI.
  3. Some programs such as National Institutes of Health (NIH) Career (K), NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI) funded grants, and NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA or R35) have minimum commitments. Consult the award, including the original solicitation, for confirmation of the appropriate minimum commitment.  Both the award document and solicitation should be attached in the UFIRST Award attachments. See the “Awards for protected time” section of this guidance.

Exceeding Tolerance Levels

If a full-time faculty member is committed over 90% on sponsored projects, a review of the faculty member’s other University activities must be performed to determine if the faculty member can meet the sponsored requirement and other duties as assigned by the department.

  1. Cost Analysis will enter the commitment and notify Contracts & Grants, who will in turn contact the department to review the situation and determine what, if any, action needs to be taken
  2. If the individual exceeding 90% is an NIH K award recipient and the faculty has no courses other than dissertation or mentoring courses, no communication to C&G is necessary as long as there is no teaching

If a faculty member’s commitments exceed 100%, the pending commitment cannot be entered in myUFL.  It should be entered into UFIRST to track the actual sponsor commitment.

  1. Cost Analysis will notify Contracts & Grants and the Division of Sponsored Programs, who will work with the department and committed individual to review the commitments made during the effort term and determine how to resolve

Last Reviewed

04/30/2022: reviewed content


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

Effort Reporting Activity Categories

Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200

2 CFR 200 Quick Reference Guide


UF HR Toolkit – Adjusting Committed Effort

UF HR Toolkit – Understanding the Salary Cap


Contracts & Grants: (352) 392-1235

Cost Analysis: (352) 392-5778

Division of Sponsored Programs: (352) 392-1582

Still have a question?

View our FAQs