Post Award



Monitoring Effort for Federal Sponsored Awards


This CCHIP defines and outlines the monitoring of committed effort for sponsored awards which consists of identifying commitments during the award stage, direct charging or cost sharing compensation during the conduct of the project, and certifying effort in accordance with the terms & conditions of the sponsored award within the University’s Federal Effort Reporting Tool (PERT).


Cost Sharing (Matching) – That portion of the sponsored award or program costs not borne by the sponsoring agency.

Effort – The proportion of time spent on a particular activity expressed as a percentage of total activities

  • Committed Effort – Effort that a University employee has agreed to work on a specific project. It is not necessary the actual effort expended each month, but a projected amount to be achieved over the period of the award. This commitment is set at the time of the award.
  • Mandatory Committed Effort – Effort that is required by the sponsoring agency as a condition of making the award and committed by the Principal Investigator or other key personnel that must be monitored and reported after award.
  • Proposed Effort – Effort identified in a proposal submission to a sponsoring agency committed by the Principal Investigator or other key personnel.
  • Voluntary Committed Effort – Effort that is not required by the sponsoring agency but volunteered and committed to the sponsor prior to award by the Principal Investigator or other key personnel that must be monitored and tracked after award.
  • Voluntary Uncommitted Effort – Effort that is over and above that which is committed and budgeted for a sponsored agreement that does not require monitoring or effort reporting.

Key Personnel – The Principal Investigator and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a sponsored award in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they receive compensation from the award.

PERT – Personnel Effort Reporting Tool is USF’s official method for reasonably reflecting the activities for which employees are compensated.

PERT Report – An electronic report, produced on a semester basis that enables research personnel to certify the percentage of time spent working on federally sponsored awards or providing cost share to any sponsored award.

Sponsored Award – Any grant, contract, or other agreement between the University of South Florida and a sponsoring agency.


All USF personnel providing committed effort (direct charged or cost-shared) on federally sponsored awards should certify effort in PERT on a semester basis as appropriate. In order for an effort report to generate, compensation must be allocated directly to a federally funded award or through cost sharing to a sponsored award. Once the report generates, the PERT Department Administrator adjusts it to reflect effort (as defined by the employee or Principal Investigator) and opens it for certification. The report is then certified by the employee or Principal Investigator.

Prior to certifying, employees must complete mandatory PERT Certifier Training, which is accessible from the USF PERT website. Sponsored Research keeps track of the personnel who have successfully completed the training.


Associate Deans for Research

  • Upon receipt of effort reporting variance reports from Sponsored Research, evaluate and resolve issues as appropriate.

Department Administrator

  • Direct charge compensation to sponsored awards or cost sharing accounts based on allocation information from Principal Investigator.
  • Assist Principal Investigator with compensation allocation to ensure that all appropriate active sponsored awards are represented either through direct charging or cost sharing (thereby generating an effort report).
  • Assist investigators to monitor total effort (proposed and committed) on sponsored projects.

PERT Department Administrator

  • Prepare PERT reports based on system generation and information from Principal

Principal Investigator and other Faculty providing effort

  • Provide compensation allocation information to departmental administrator based on proposed effort and work plan referenced in award documents.
  • Certify PERT report ensuring that effort is accurate and consistent with commitment.
  • Monitor total investigator effort (proposed and committed) on sponsored projects.

Sponsored Research

  • Provide guidance regarding federal effort reporting (PERT) through Compliance unit.

Please address comments or questions regarding this CCHIP to Sponsored Research Compliance.


PERT Certifier Training
PERT Website


OMB Circular A-21 (Federal awards issued prior to 12.26.14)
Uniform Guidance (2 CFR §200) (Federal awards issued on or after 12.26.14)


This CCHIP is effective as of the date of revision and rescinds all previous versions pertaining to
Monitoring Effort for Federal Sponsored Awards.

ISSUED: December 7, 2010
LAST REVISION: August 16, 2018