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Effort Reporting Guidance

Download the PDF – Effort Reporting Guidance

Effort is not calculated based on a 40-hour workweek, or any other number of hours a week. Instead, for a full-time employee, it is based on 100 percent of effort for USC.

Principal investigators (PIs) and other project personnel (including co-PIs, investigators, key personnel and other project staff) are expected to charge salaries to the sponsored project according to the effort actually expended, and never above the actual effort. If salaries are above the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cap, the overage must be charged to an unrestricted institutional account.

Institutional base salary (IBS) is the total guaranteed USC salary set in advance by the provost for the year (including core salary, supplemental salary, administrative stipend and fixed clinical salary, but excluding incentive payments or bonuses) that is paid to a faculty or staff employee for Institutional Effort (including teaching, research, administration, service and patient care activities, but excluding overload teaching.)

Principal investigators may not offer a cost-share commitment on their own, even if they think it is desirable to free up funds for other project costs. They would in effect be charging the department or school budget for effort they are devoting to the sponsor’s work, as well as impacting USC’s rate for recovery of indirect costs. Dean’s prior approval is required for any cost-sharing commitments.

Table of Contents:

  1. Basics on Effort Reporting
  2. Types of Effort and Salary
  3. Cost Sharing
  4. Certification
  5. Charging Effort
  6. NIH Salary Cap, K Award and Clinical Activity
  7. Questions Specific to Nine-month Faculty