Faculty Effort Overview

Effort Reporting Requirements

The Federal government requires periodic review and certification that confirms the distribution of salaries represents a "reasonable" reflection of effort.

  • For the UW faculty this is accomplished through the Faculty Effort Certification (FEC) reports.
  • These reports provide the supporting documentation for salaries charged to sponsored projects.
  • Without the FEC reports, the salaries are considered unsupported and therefore, unallowable.

Definition of Faculty Effort

Faculty effort is the compensated time faculty members spend on University activities including research, instruction, administration, service and clinical activity.

Faculty Effort Certification is a process the University of Washington uses to document the time spent on University activities. As required by federal guidelines, individual activities are displayed as a percentage of total activity.

Effort Reporting Cycle

Institutional Base Salary (IBS)

Institutional base salary is the annual compensation paid by the University of Washington for an employee's appointment, whether that individual's time is spent on research, instruction, administration, service or clinical activity. Institutional base salary excludes any income that an individual is permitted to earn outside of duties for the University of Washington.

IBS should be used during all phases of the grant or contract life cycle including:

  • Preparing a proposal
  • Charging a grant
  • Reporting to a sponsor
  • Certifying effort

The following identifies the salary sources and components considered part of the UW IBS:

Salary Sourcesi

  • State
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Gifts and Endowments
  • Other UW funds including local funds and departmental clinical salary paid through the UW payroll system
  • Clinical Practice Plan salary paid by UW Physicians (UWPi) and Children's University Medical Group (CUMGi)

Salary Components

  • Regular Salary (REG)
  • Summer Salary (SUM)
  • Paid Professional Leave (PLP)
  • Salary for Retired Faculty (TFA)
  • Administrative Supplements (ADS)
  • Endowed Supplements (ENS)

Additional detailed information on Components of IBS

Harborview Medical Center (Harborview) is operated and managed by the UW. Salary support funded by Harborview is considered part of the UW IBS, and time spent at Harborview is included in the faculty work week for effort reporting.

Similarly, salary support funded by UW Medical Center (UWMC) or Seattle Care Alliance (SCCA) is considered part of the UW IBS, and time spent at UWMC or SCCA is included in the faculty work week for effort reporting.

Faculty Work Week

A faculty work week is composed of the average number of hours a faculty member normally works during a week. Hours are to be averaged over the effort reporting period. For many faculty members, this number will vary from one week to another.

Example: if, within a six month cycle, a faculty member worked thirteen 60 hour weeks and thirteen 40 hour weeks, his/her average work week would be 50 hours. Hours are averaged over the six month effort reporting cycle.

Other Examples:

  • Faculty A: Commits 10% effort in a grant proposal and works 40 hour weeks on average

    10% * 40 = 4 hours (average) per week

  • Faculty B: Commits 10% effort in a grant proposal and works 50 hour weeks on average

    10% * 50 = 5 hours (average) per week

  • Faculty C: Commits 10% effort in a grant proposal and works 60 hour weeks on average

    10% * 60 = 6 hours (average) per week

It is not required that faculty keep track of hours on a daily or even weekly basis. Faculty are expected to maintain a good sense/estimate of what they do on an average per week over the FEC reporting period to be able to provide a reasonably accurate breakdown on the FEC report. This allows them to be able to certify in good faith.

The Code of Federal Regulations Title 2, Subtitle A, Chapter II, Part 220, J 10 (formerly known as Office of Management and Budgetii Circular A-21ii, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions") recognizes that effort is an estimate by stating:

"In the use of any methods for apportioning salaries, it 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."



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