Effort Reporting/ECRT

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Effort Reporting at NSU

The Effort Reporting policies, procedure, and system at NSU are designed to ensure compliance with the effort reporting regulations, or federal policy OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 2 CFR Part 200.430; NIH Salary Limitation on Grants; and other relevant agency policies that govern the need to provide certification of an individual's effort pursuant to his/her sponsored and non-sponsored activities. All employees who are working on sponsored projects are required to complete and submit a quarterly Effort Certification Statement.

Effort Reporting Policy

The Effort Certification and Reporting Technology (ECRT) System

NSU uses a web-based system, ECRT, to facilitate the institution’s effort reporting and certification process.  ECRT is a web-based technology that intuitively guides certifiers and administrators through the various facets of the effort reporting and certification process on a quarterly basis. The ECRT system uses a guided process to walk users through the steps to complete the effort certification. NSU’s process is simplified and standardized as a result of this technology ... keeping the process simple for the end user.

So, log in and get started. If you have difficulty accessing ECRT, please e-mail the Central Effort Administrator at ECRT@nova.edu

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  • Staff/Students
  • PI/PD
  • Faculty
  • Deans
  • Effort Coordinators
  • Help
Staff (Non-faculty) and Students

Definition of "Research Staff": This term is used to describe all employees, other than PIs/PDs, who have effort, whether paid or unpaid by the sponsor, for sponsored research and other scholarly activities such as instruction, training, and service. Researcher staff are involved in varying degrees with the development and execution of NSU’s sponsored projects. In some instances, researcher staff may be faculty members and will certify their own effort.

RESPONSIBILITIES (per NSU's Effort Reporting Policy) of Research Staff (non-faculty staff and students)
Research staff are responsible for reviewing the quarterly effort certification card and verifying that all sponsored projects to which they are allocating effort are included, and that the percentages of effort expended on each project are correct. The research staff completes certification activities for each sponsored project and enters the actual percentages for the time he or she spent on all activities and saves the effort card.

Effort Reporting Course for Research Staff (Non-Certifier): A course is available in Blackboard for all employees who work on sponsored projects. The goal of this course is to give users the tools needed to understand NSU's effort reporting policy, process and system and also, how to fulfill their responsibilities in the effort reporting system. The course consists of a presentation on effort reporting and NSU’s process, "how to" videos for using the ECRT system, and helpful handouts (including step-by-step guides on using the ECRT system). This course should be completed by all employees who work on sponsored projects, regardless if they are new or existing users. If you have not yet completed the course, please login to Blackboard.

Principal Investigators/Project Directors

Definition of "Principal Investigator": The individual whom the university designates to direct the scientific, technical, or programmatic aspects of a sponsored program, project, or activity. The PI is responsible and accountable to the university and the sponsor for the proper conduct of the project or activity. In addition to accepting the overall responsibility for directing the research or program activities, the PI also accepts responsibility for administrative/financial oversight of the award and for compliance with relevant university policies, federal regulations, and sponsor terms and conditions.

Definition of “Project Director”: For the purpose of these policies, Project Director is a title synonymous with Principal Investigator for a non-research sponsored program.

Definition of "Research Scientist": An NSU employee classification representing someone who is in charge of one or more research projects or serves as the PI of his/her own sponsored project and is thus, treated as a PI or Certifier for certification purposes.

RESPONSIBILITIES (per NSU’s Effort Reporting Policy) of Principal Investigators
The PI/PD for each sponsored project bears the ultimate responsibility for the financial, administrative and programmatic aspects of that project. The PI/PD is ultimately responsible for identifying the correct sources of funding for each employee on his or her sponsored projects. However, it is generally recommended that non-certifying research staff performing the work should complete their effort card prior to certification by the PI/PD. The PI/PD is responsible for ensuring that:

  • Each research staff charged to a sponsored project devoted the indicated proportion of his or her time and effort to the project(s),
  • Effort devoted to sponsored projects is reasonable and commensurate with commitments to sponsors,
  • Effort is certified in a timely and accurate manner,
  • The certification activities are appropriate for the sponsored project(s),
  • The work occurred during the indicated time period,
  • Any transfers of salaries to/from the project(s) reflect the actual effort performed by the employee on that project, and that
  • Any changes on effort commitments are communicated to the Office of Sponsored Programs before the change occurs.

Unless the researcher is a faculty member, the PI/PD is responsible for certifying a research staff’s effort on his/her sponsored project(s). In rare situations where the PI/PD is not the person with suitable means of verification of effort for staff on the project, i.e., for a large Center grant where day-to-day operations have been delegated, the authority to certify effort may also be delegated with approval from the Dean and OSP.

Effort Reporting Course for Principal Investigators and Faculty Certifiers: A training course is available in Blackboard for all PI's and faculty certifiers who work on sponsored projects. The goal of this course is to give users the tools needed to understand NSU’s effort reporting policy, process and system and also, how to fulfill their responsibilities in the effort reporting system. The course consists of a presentation on effort reporting and NSU’s process, “how to” videos for using the ECRT system, and helpful handouts (including step-by-step guides on using the ECRT system). This course should be completed by all employees who work on sponsored projects, regardless if they are new or existing users. If you have not yet completed the course, please login to Blackboard.

Faculty (non-PI/PD)

Definition of "Research Staff": This term is used to describe all employees, other than PIs/PDs, who have effort, whether paid or unpaid by the sponsor, for sponsored research and other scholarly activities such as instruction, training, and service. Researcher staff are involved in varying degrees with the development and execution of NSU’s sponsored projects. In some instances, researcher staff may be faculty members and will certify their own effort.

RESPONSIBILITIES (per NSU’s Effort Reporting Policy) of Research Staff (faculty)
If the research staff member is a faculty member, he/she has the authority to certify his/her effort card, in addition to the responsibilities outlined above for non-faculty members. In doing so, he/she has the responsibility to ensure that the effort devoted to sponsored projects is reasonable and commensurate with commitments to sponsors, that effort is certified in a timely and accurate manner, that transfers of salaries to/from the project(s) reflect the actual effort performed, that certification activities are appropriate for the sponsored project, and that the work occurred during the indicated time period.

Effort Reporting Course for Principal Investigators and Faculty Certifiers: A course is available in Blackboard for all PI's and faculty certifiers who work on sponsored projects. The goal of this course is to give users the tools needed to understand NSU’s effort reporting policy, process and system and also, how to fulfill their responsibilities in the effort reporting system. The course consists of a presentation on effort reporting and NSU’s process, “how to” videos for using the ECRT system, and helpful handouts (including step-by-step guides on using the ECRT system). This course should be completed by all employees who work on sponsored projects, regardless if they are new or existing users. If you have not yet completed the course, please login to Blackboard.

Deans

RESPONSIBILITIES (per NSU's Effort Reporting Policy) of Deans
The Dean of the college/center/department, or his/her designee, is responsible for ensuring that PIs/PDs, research staff, and ECs comply with this policy. He or she reviews the quarterly effort cards of all employees within the college/center, verifying that they have properly certified their effort cards. The Dean, or designee, ensures that all employees charged or cost-shared to sponsored projects receive training and maintain up-to-date knowledge on the time and effort certification and reporting process.

Once the Dean, or designee, has reviewed the effort cards, a record of his or her review is created in the ECRT system. He or she may initiate an enforcement action against college/center/department staff who fail to comply with this policy.

For questions, concerns and training, please contact NSU’s Central Effort Administrator at ECRT@nova.edu.

Effort Coordinators

Definition of "Effort Coordinator (EC)": The individual who administers effort reporting and ECRT system use in each college/center/department. One primary effort coordinator is designated for each college/center/department with the option of having secondary effort coordinators, if appropriate, as determined by the college/center/department.

RESPONSIBILITIES (per NSU's Effort Reporting Policy) of Effort Coordinators (EC)
ECs are designated for each college/center/department that participate in sponsored funding. The EC provides assistance to PIs/PDs, faculty, staff, and Deans as effort is certified and reviewed. The EC should have knowledge of all sponsored and non-sponsored activities and commitments within the college/center/department. He/she will monitor, review, verify, resolve discrepancies and ensure corrections are made to the effort cards for all personnel assigned to sponsored projects within his/her college/center/department. On occasion, the EC will also have these responsibilities for employees from another college/center/department when that employee is working on a sponsored project in the EC’s college/center/department and the employee’s college/center/department does not have sponsored funding. The EC may need to coordinate with other colleges/centers/departments when activities are outside of their college/center/department. The EC reviews the effort cards and is responsible to:

  • Verify that the research staff and PIs/PDs have certified and the Dean or his/her designee has reviewed the effort of all personnel assigned to sponsored projects within the prescribed time frames,
  • Verify that each PI/PD has certified for his/her sponsored projects, for research staff working on multiple sponsored projects with different PIs/PDs,
  • Verify that the percentages of effort on the non-sponsored activities (other university commitments) of personnel are reasonable,
  • Process salaried cost transfers to ensure that any significant changes (greater than 5%) for any assigned activity on the effort card is reflected in the Banner financial system (An example of a significant change: if the payroll percentage for a sponsored project is 5% and PI/PD certifies 7% effort, the percent change would be 40% [((7-5)/5)*100]), and
  • Ensure that effort cards are fully processed within the certification period.

The EC notifies the Central Effort Administrator whenever their respective college/center/department repeatedly fails to meet the requirements of this policy.

For questions, concerns and training, please contact NSU’s Central Effort Administrator at ECRT@nova.edu.

Help

Please contact NSU's Central Effort Administrator at ECRT@nova.edu or your college/center effort coordinator:

Effort Coordinators:

college/center contact name contact email
CLINIC Paul Masongsong pm687@nova.edu
Psychology Bill Allen whallen@nova.edu
MSC Toni Consalvo ctoni@nova.edu
CHASS Alina Gonzalez gonzalin@nova.edu
FSE Samantha Lloyd samalloy@nova.edu
CEC Sylvia Yepes yepessil@nova.edu
HPD-DEN Diana Ortiz-Rios riosd@nova.edu
HPD-HCS Chrystal Randle cr1166@nova.edu
HPD-ICHP Deborah Mulligan dams@nova.edu
HPD-MED TBD      TBD
HPD-NUR Ileana Petrone kyriakid@nova.edu
HPD-OPT Marlem Aleman marlem@nova.edu
HPD-OST Alfredo Rehbein rehbein@nova.edu
HPD-PHR Natalie Damian dnatalie@nova.edu
LAW Joshua Metz jm2878@nova.edu
MOA Nancy Fowles nf200@nova.edu
OAA Robert Jacobs jacobsr@nova.edu
HALMOS Priscilla Finley pf230@nova.edu
SBE Michelle Mertens Hollman  mertens@nova.edu