Sponsored Programs & Research Compliance

Effort Certification


On December 14th, the effort certification system was upgraded. Principal Investigators and grant project personnel should notice four major changes:

  1. off-campus access no longer requires VPN or Horizon,
  2. Adobe Flash will no longer be a requirement,
  3. a new/modern interface, and
  4. the program will work on Windows and Apple computers as well as iPads.

New instructions for accessing the system (PDF)


Effort certification is required for UNCW (the university) to be able to accept federal funded awards. Federal compliance regulations that govern the acceptance of federal money require the university to have adequate internal controls in place to ensure salary and wages corresponded to the level of effort/workload. The university meets this requirement through effort certifications which are to be completed through the Effort Certification system.

If needed, a hard copy effort certification may be requested to comply with effort certification requirements.

Effort Reporting Periods

The effort reporting period is the period of activity covered by the effort report being certified.

Effort Periods
Period Dates
Fall Sept. 1 - Dec. 31
Spring Jan.1 - April 30
Summer May 1 - August 31


  1. The university has three (3) effort reporting periods corresponding to the fall and spring semesters plus summer. This complies with federal regulation 2 CFR 200.430(i) requirement that a system of internal controls be in place which provide reasonable assurance that charges accurately reflect work performed.
  2. All exempt SHRA, EHRA non faculty, faculty, and graduate students not completing a timesheet reflecting 40-hour work week worked are required to complete Effort Certificates.
  3. Effort Certifications reflect 100% of the employee’s paid effort; and includes instruction, scholarly, administrative, grant cost share, and that directly paid by grant or contract. Effort Certification is required of all paid employees that have Sponsored Program awards.
  4. Employees requiring effort certification will be identified through the Effort Certification system. Certify My Effort percentages of effort are based on actual payroll expenditures posted in Banner HR and Finance. HR salary allocation and labor redistribution documents are approved based upon sponsored project award approved budget.
  5. Effort Certificate reports will become available first day after the end of each period (January, May and September). An email will be sent to individuals required to complete certification. It is preferred that all faculty, non-faculty EHRA and SHRA employees certify their own effort. When that it is not possible the Principal Investigator (PI), chair or dean will be required to certify for them.
  6. All graduate student effort must be certified by the PI, chair or dean. Supervisor can review.
  7. The university requires only a certifier; either the employee or someone with direct knowledge of the subject employee’s effort, for completing the certification process.
  8. Effort certificates are required to be certified within 45 days of the start of the effort certification period. One week after start of effort certification period weekly notices will be emailed to the subject individual’s supervisor (i.e., PI, Chair or Dean) and Director of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance, as well as Associate Provost of Research and Innovation.
  9. If an effort certification is still not signed and complete at the end of 60 days from start of effort certification period, the grant fund(s) applicable to that employee will be frozen by the university. At that time, any current HR actions will be moved to a state or trust fund designated by the Associate Provost of Research and Innovation.