Determining Effort FAQs


Choose an FAQ link below to jump to the respective answer or scroll through and read all of the FAQs and answers:

Is University Effort based on a standard 40 hour work week?

No. For the purpose of effort certification, university effort totals 100%, regardless of the number of hours worked.

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What is the institution's position on 100% support of effort from federally sponsored activities?

In addition to sponsored program activity, full time faculty, as part of their 'University effort,' generally have responsibilities for other University activities such as non-sponsored research, instruction, administration, advising students, service or clinical activity that would generally preclude their devoting 100% effort solely to federally sponsored activities. Proposal preparation for future funding (competitive, new, renewal sponsored funds) would also preclude full time faculty from committing 100% effort to federally sponsored activities. Salary support for these other University activities must come from non-federal UVA sources, except when the sponsored project is specifically awarded for those purposes. It may be appropriate for certain research faculty to be supported at 100% solely from federally sponsored activities in cases where other such responsibilities do not exist.

Incidental work and de minimis activities, over and above or separate from those duties assigned to a faculty member, need not be included as part of one's 100% 'University effort' (e.g., on occasion teaching a continuing education course; occasional attendance at faculty meetings; rare, non-routine time spent in advising students).

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Is there a minimum effort requirement on my federally sponsored projects?

Yes - in most cases. Based upon federal guidance, some level of committed effort for all Principal Investigators/Project Directors and 'key personnel' is required on most Federal and Federal flow-through sponsored research activities, unless specifically exempted by the sponsor. The commitments must be fulfilled at any time within each year (academic year, summer months, or both).

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What is the minimum level of effort expected?

The minimum amount of committed effort to each sponsored activity is to be no less than 1% of the employee's University effort. However, beyond this minimum, the specific amount of effort committed to a particular sponsored activity is left to the judgment of the responsible Principal Investigator/Program Director based on their expectations and estimates of effort necessary to meet the technical goals and outcomes of the project. For additional detail on this topic, reference Appendix A of Policy FIN-028, Minimum Effort on Federally Funded Sponsored Research Activities at

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