Managing Committed Effort

 – Level of Precision

Federal rules (OMB A-21) applicable to federal grants state that effort reports should “reasonably reflect the activities for which the employee was compensated by the institution.”

“… is recognized that, in an academic setting, teaching, research,
service, and administration are often inextricably intermingled. A precise
assessment of factors that contribute to costs is not always feasible, nor is
it expected. Reliance, therefore, is placed on estimates in which a degree of
tolerance is appropriate.” (OMB A-21 J10b(1)(c))

An acceptable practice, and one used at PSU, is to require a change in the effort report and the labor cost distributions, when actual effort on sponsored programs varies by 5% or more from the reported effort. Differences of less
than 5% do not require labor cost re-distributions unless the associated costs are unallowable, such as for effort on preparing competitive proposals.


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To start the PSU grant process, you must fill out this form:

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