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Time and Effort Reports
Baylor faculty and staff who have either charged directly to a sponsored project or who have committed cost shared effort to a sponsored project are required by federal regulations to verify and certify to such effort.

Baylor uses a plan-confirmation system to meet the federal requirements for reporting personnel effort. Under the plan-confirmation method, salaries and wages are initially distributed to activities based on estimates of the individual's planned effort. The employee's effort distribution must be adjusted for any significant changes in actual effort and the actual effort of the employee must then be certified on an after-the-fact basis. More information on the different types of time and effort on sponsored projects is detailed below.

Types of Effort

Effort on sponsored programs may come in two forms:

  • Direct Charged Effort: Personnel salary charged to sponsored research agreements or university research projects, commensurate with the direct effort provided to the project.

  • Cost Shared Effort: The portion of effort toward a project or program that is not reimbursed by the sponsor. Cost-sharing represents a commitment by the University in the form of "in-kind" effort.

Categories for Effort Reporting

At Baylor, the time and effort certification process assigns direct charged effort and cost shared effort related to two main categories:

1. Organized Research & Other Sponsored Activities

2. Institutional Activities

OMB A-21 describes the kinds of activities comprising these two major categories of personnel effort, which constitute the major functions of the University:

1. Organized Research & Other Sponsored Activities

A. Organized Research: All research and research development activities of an institution that are separately budgeted and accounted for. This includes:

i. Sponsored Research: All research and development activities that are sponsored by external sponsors. This includes research training (i.e. activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques) and cost sharing commitments which the University has made under organized research agreements.

ii. University Research: All research and development activities that are separately budgeted and accounted for by the University under an internal application of institutional funds. University Research at Baylor includes internal competitions for research funds, including the University Research Committee and internal funding programs through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. This excludes the use of start-up funds from this category and such costs are covered by "Departmental Research" below.

B. Other Sponsored Activities: Projects and programs financed by external sponsors that involve the performance of work other than Instruction (see below) and Organized Research. Examples include community service programs, conferences and symposia, travel, public demonstrations, etc. When these activities are undertaken by Baylor without outside support, they should be classified as Other Institutional Activities (see below).

2. Institutional Activities

A. Instruction and Departmental Research: Teaching and training activities of the institution. This includes:

i. Instruction: Teaching and training (except for research training) activities whether they are offered for degree credit or on a non-credit basis.

ii. Sponsored Instruction and Training: Specific instructional or training activity established by a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.

iii. Departmental Research: Research, development and scholarly activities that are not separately budgeted and accounted for and are not Organized Research. Examples of departmental research expenditures are faculty discretionary funds, faculty start-up funds, and royalty income funds.

B. Other Institutional Activities: All other activities of the University other than Instruction, Departmental Research, Organized Research, and Other Sponsored Activities, as defined above, that cannot accurately be reported in any other category. Review carefully the definitions for the other categories before reporting any effort here.

Types of Cost Shared Effort

In certifying direct and in-kind effort to these categories, there is an additional significant consideration relating to cost shared effort. According to OMB A-21, cost shared effort may fall into one of the following categories:

  • Mandatory: Contributed effort which is required by the agency as a condition of proposal submission or award.

  • Voluntary Committed: Contributed effort that is offered in a proposal by the principal investigator and/or institution, but which is not formally required by the potential sponsor.

  • Voluntary Uncommitted: Freely contributed effort which is provided by an investigator after an award is made which was not committed in the proposal or award. Such effort is outside that for which the individual is compensated and should not be reported on the time and effort report.

Effort reports should reflect only the activity for which the faculty member is compensated by the institution. Therefore, external consulting, other outside professional activities, and voluntary uncommitted cost shared effort should not be considered when assessing the employee's total effort. OMB A-21 states that professional services "provided outside the institution for non-institutional compensation" is not part of the total effort required for effort reporting.