Research and Grants | Effort Reporting

Research and Grant FAQs

If I am a part-time faculty/staff, can I submit a grant?

The institutional policies permit only full-time faculty/staff to submit a grant and serve as GGC principal investigator / project director (PI/PD).

Will the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) write my grant?

No, you as the content expert will develop the proposal with editing assistance and guidance from ORSP.

Will ORSP help prepare my budget?

Yes, ORSP will guide you in your budget development to assure compliance with all federal, state and institutional guidelines.

Will ORSP locate money/resources to fund my research?

Yes, ORSP encourages the use of Pivot (create account or login), a funding database, to begin your quest for funding.

What other resources for funding are available?

ORSP can assist you with locating funding. You should complete the ORSP Funding Opportunity Request form (PDF) to initiate this service.

I have located funding. What do I do next?

The process is described in detail in the ORSP Award Life Cycle and the Policies and Procedures Manual.

What items are allowable in my budget?

Allowable budget items will depend on the grant guidelines and must conform to federal, state and institutional policies. The Policies and Procedures Manual provides additional information regarding allowable costs.

Am I allowed to apply for grants that require cost-share/match?

You are discouraged from submitting to grants that require cost-sharing or match. Cost-sharing or matching strains institutional resources and takes away resources (such as faculty and staff time) that may be needed by the College. If you are allowed to apply for grants that require cost-sharing, you must have the cost-share approved by the unit/dean and provide documentation of committed match from internal and external partners.

How do I determine where a required cost-share/match will be paid from?

Working in consultation with your unit/dean and ORSP, funding for the required cost-share/match will be explored. Cost-share/match may include time, printing, food, related supplies, travel costs and other allowable GGC donations.

What does IDC mean?

The acronym IDC stands for indirect cost (aka facilities and administration). These are the costs to support your research or sponsored program, such as buildings, equipment, library, operations and maintenance expenses, supplies, technology, general administration and general expenses. All budgets for sponsored programs must include indirect costs when applicable. 

What is GGC’s IDC rate?

Effective July 1, 2017, the GGC IDC rate is 45%. This rate is effective until June 30, 2021.

Who processes payments for my grant?

Your school/unit administrative assistant can assist you with requests, purchase orders, travel and personnel requests.

Can I receive compensation as the PI/PD of my grant?

Yes. You are allowed to earn up to 30% of your annual contract for the summer months only when not on contract.

Can I hire part-time help, including students?

Yes, if your grant allows it.

How much are student assistants allowed to earn?

Students are paid $8.25/hour and allowed to work no more than 25 hours per week.

What about part-time help?

Please consult Human Resources before considering this option.

Can I hire a consultant?

Yes, if your grant allows it.

Can I purchase food for my grant?

Yes, if your grant allows it. Purchases must also comply with state and institutional purchasing policies.

Can I serve as a sub-awardee?

Yes. In fact, serving as a sub-awardee will provide experience for your own future funding and exposure for GGC.

Can I grant sub-awards in my proposal?

No. GGC is not positioned to award subawards to other institutions or entities at this time. This policy is stated in the Research and Sponsored Programs Policy and Procedures Manual Section 6.53.4.7 D.

Who must review and approve my proposal before I submit it?

Your supervisor / school dean, along with ORSP director and the senior VPASA/provost, among others, must all sign the routing form before submission.

Am I required to consult with IRB before conducting my research?

It depends on the subject being studied. It is recommended that the GGC Institutional Review Board (IRB) be consulted before conducting your research.

Should I be concerned about intellectual property rights?

Yes, all researchers should consider its applicability to the research outcomes and consult with GGC IP committee or ORSP.

Why is a time and effort reporting form required?

The time and effort reporting certifies to the funder that you have completed the work as stated in the grant.

Who provides letters of support for my grant?

The grant guidelines will state if letters of support are required. If allowed, the letters of support may be provided by your unit/dean, library dean, the senior VPASA/provost, and/or the president.

When I receive a grant, who is responsible for signing the grant agreement / MOU / MOA?

Funds are awarded to the College, not the PI / PD. The person responsible for signing the grant agreement is GGC’s designated representative. All agreements must be processed by ORSP.

Will my funding be paid to me directly?

Funds are awarded to the College, not the PI / PD. Should you receive a check, it should be forwarded to ORSP.

What happens if I have not completed my activities and my grant is about to expire?

You should be in consultation with ORSP immediately so that the funder can be contacted to request a no-cost extension, if allowed.

Who should I contact if I wish to apply for a grant to a private foundation that requires a 501c3?

You should consult with the GGC Foundation for grants requiring a nonprofit status.

Can I write a grant to support my travel?

Yes, you may. There are grants available for faculty / staff to travel for research and dissemination purposes.

What is our current mileage rate?

$0.535 per mile for automobile. This is subject to change.

Can research study participants receive compensation for their participation?

Individuals with a GGC ID may receive compensation for their participation in a research study. The amount cannot exceed $15 for the project / activity. To receive compensation, a Petty Cash Disbursement Form (PDF) provided by ORSP must be completed by the PI and signed by the budget manager. The form is then given to the participant to present to Student Accounts within five days of issuance for payment.

What is fringe benefit cost?

Fringe benefit costs are the employment-related benefits associated with FICA (social security); FICA Med (Medicare); Health and Life Insurance and Retirement and other costs as defined in the BOR Business Procedures Manual. The Office of Business and Finance provides established rates to utilize in preparing program budgets that require fringe costs to be included.

If allowed, the grant’s budget should include the current rates for the employer’s portion of the fringe benefits. Current rates as of July 1, 2017 are as follows:

FICA Medicare: 1.45%

FICA Social Security: 6.20%

Teacher’s Retirement System: 16.81%

Optional Retirement Plan: 9.24%

Only FICA Medicare is applied to part-time employees working on a grant.

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Effort Reporting FAQs

What is effort reporting?

Effort reporting is a process designed to ensure that effort committed to a sponsored activity is confirmed after the fact as having been performed as committed or at some other level. The committed effort is presented in the awarded budget, budget narrative or proposal.

Confirmation of the actual effort worked allows the College to ensure that the sponsor is appropriately charged for actual effort worked, as opposed to what was originally budgeted. Part of this process entails the certification of effort by the individual who was directly engaged in the work or in some cases by an individual who possesses suitable means of verification that the work was performed. The effort devoted to sponsored projects, whether charged to the sponsor or cost-shared by GGC, must be reflected by the College’s payroll and/or ORSP’s associated system of records.

Effort for a sponsored project is considered in the context of all institutional responsibilities. Significant reductions in effort (ordinarily ≥ 25% of committed effort, or absences of three months or longer in duration) typically require prior approval from the sponsor.

Why do effort reporting?

The federal government requires effort reporting. Effort reports constitute one of the primary auditable documents to support salary costs on a sponsored project. Some organizations may also require effort reporting if in-kind support has been committed.

Why is effort reporting required?

Federal regulations issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) require employees performing work on sponsored agreements to certify college work efforts as a distribution of 100% of total compensated time worked.

What is 100% effort?

For purposes of proposing and certifying effort, GGC full-time faculty and staff should consider "100% effort" to be the total time spent conducting professional activities for which the individual is compensated by GGC (i.e., total college effort), irrespective of standard work schedules whether that is during the academic year (faculty) or the fiscal year (staff). For faculty, this includes work performed outside the "9-to-5" work schedule, work performed on vacation and off‐hours regardless of whether the effort is performed on or off campus. This definition is consistent with federal regulations.

The exception to 100% effort is for faculty who may have limited or no teaching load during the summer. Therefore, their effort will not be 100%.

How much effort is allowed for research or grant work?

GGC allows faculty to devote 15-30% of their time and effort towards scholarship and creative activities, including grant work, during the academic year. Release time is allowed to conduct research during the academic year. One three-hour course release is equivalent to 12.5% effort and one four-hour course release is equivalent to 16.7%. With the dean’s approval, faculty are allowed up to 12 hours course release out of the full teaching load of 24 credit hours in an academic year.

What activities are included in and excluded from Effort Reporting?

Although the scope of activities considered as total college effort may differ among individuals, the following activities provide general guidance as to what would be considered part of college effort.

Included in 100% effort:

  • Administration* 
  • Teaching
  • Student engagement
  • Service
  • Research (externally‐ and internally‐sponsored). Research work includes mentoring students engaged in sponsored research.
  • Other: This item is added for staff who may perform essential duties other than the ones listed above.

* Since assistant deans have nine-month appointments, they are allowed to receive summer grant pay.

Excluded from 100% effort:

(These activities are not typically included in a faculty AY contract.)

  • External consulting
  • Special activities resulting in one‐time payments for activities intended to be short-term (less than six months) in nature (e.g., Grizzly Orientation)
  • Temporary activities over and above normal responsibilities (e.g., course overloads and summer camp)
  • Fellowships, conference grants, travel grants

What is committed effort?

Committed effort is that proportion of an individual’s institutional effort that will be devoted to a sponsored activity. Effort proposed for a PI / PD or other key personnel in a grant application, typically in the budget and/or budget narrative, becomes a commitment (or obligation) the College must fulfill, unless explicitly modified during award negotiations with the sponsor.

The cost associated with committed effort may be borne by the sponsor (charged to the grant or contract) or by the institution (documented as cost-sharing).

Can compensation for academic year sponsored research effort be deferred to the summer?

For work begun during the academic year that extends into or is completed in the summer, effort would be considered to be expended in the summer and may be charged to the sponsor.

I have received my effort report. What does it mean?

You will receive a three-page document, which includes an overview of effort reporting, a Planned Time and Effort form, and the Semester Time and Effort form.  This document will be prepared by ORSP and sent to you and every project team member specified in the budget as receiving compensation or committing to donate time.

Planned Time and Effort Form 

At the beginning of the project, ORSP will prepare a “Planned Time and Effort” form, which shows the anticipated distribution of effort (% effort) per semester during the life of the grant. No compensation will be indicated, unless it is obligated in the grant. You would need to review and sign this document.

Semester Time and Effort Form

At the end of every semester, you will be asked to review and certify the accumulated level of effort up to that particular semester. For example, a grant that started in the fall will have a spring effort report that will include both fall and spring. The level of effort will be based on the Planned Time and Effort form. The PI/PD and/or the direct supervisor will receive a copy of this and the Planned Time and Effort forms.

The effort report for the grant’s last semester requires certification by you and your supervisor and/or PI/PD. If you or your supervisor has a correction, ORSP will revise and resubmit the document to you for signatures.

I am taking a research leave (or administrative leave) during my award’s project period. Is there anything I should do?

Contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs before your leave so prior approval can be obtained. The sponsor must be informed and must approve the leaves of any PI/PD or key personnel, especially if it will be over three months or a reduction of 25% effort.

I am being asked to certify that I have worked on a specific grant-funded project. I do not know if the work I am performing is in support of that project. What do I do?

You should consult with your supervisor, PI / PD, or other appropriate individuals to learn what award your work supports. 

Can my effort distribution be changed during the year?

Yes, the effort distribution may be changed during the fiscal year when a significant change occurs, e.g., your salary has changed; you changed from course release to payment; reduction/increase in percent effort. The change has to occur prior to the signing of the supervisor and/or the PI/PD, and the PI/PD and ORSP have to be notified.

I did not in fact work the effort that was committed. What do I do?

Notify ORSP and the PI/PD immediately. Aside from the revised effort certification, the change may require a cost transfer.

Are there any exceptions to effort reporting?

Here is a partial list of grants or effort that ORSP does not track:

  • Voluntary, non-mandatory work towards a grant
  • Equipment and instrumentation grants for acquisition are not tracked, unless the sponsor requests to track the PI/PD and co-PI/PD’s effort for the installation, setup, and scheduling, among others
  • Travel grants, fellowships, career awards, workshop/conference grants

ORSP tracks only effort that is included in the approved budget justification and/or the award letter as a mandatory cost-share or as compensated time.

Should the committed effort be higher than your approved compensation, you can do a buy-out during the academic year. In the effort reporting, you can “buy out” time from your other responsibilities (e.g., from “service”) and transfer it into your research activity. The buy-out will be included in the general heading of Research and Other Scholarly Work, and must be discussed with your supervisor.

I am a 9-month faculty. Can I cost-share my unpaid summer effort to meet any grant requirements?

No, because this would result in unpaid effort which violates labor laws.