5. Effort and

Tracking Committed Effort   

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Stanford Policy
* Fiscal Responsibilities
of PIs

* Cost Sharing:
University Policy




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* Effort Allocation
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* Cost Sharing
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The commitment of effort made in proposals is the starting point for a significant amount of project cost. It also has significant implications for cost sharing. The following fundamentals apply in this regard:

  • Stanford salary is allocated on the basis of a distribution of TOTAL effort (FTE), including teaching, research activities, University citizenship, etc.
  • No one has more than 100% FTE, and most Schools require that a specified % be reserved for non-sponsored activity.
  • Effort committed in a proposal, awarded by the sponsor, and expended on the project must be matched with an equivalent salary charge EITHER directly to the sponsor, or to a cost-sharing account, or to some combination of these. These dollars then are included in Stanford's Organized Research base and become part of our indirect cost rate calculation.
  • Stanford University requires a commitment of effort on the part of the Principal Investigator during the period in which the work is being performed. This effort may be expended during the academic year, summer quarter only, or both.
Faculty Effort
on Sponsored Research

RPH site

NOTE: In the School of Medicine, such commitments require a corresponding direct charge to the project. The School prohibits the cost sharing of faculty salaries (see School policy).

A commitment of effort is usually made in the proposal budget, but it may also be made in the narrative or in conversation with the sponsor. If a % of effort is committed, that % of salary must be accounted for either as a direct charge to the project or as cost sharing (or a combination of both).

Cost Sharing
There has been a national discussion on the proper handling of intellectual effort expended on a project that was not committed to the project. This might include, for example, time spent working with graduate students which could be categorized under the headings of either "instruction" or "research." A-21 allows that precise distinctions in this regard are impossible, and relies instead on estimates. Stanford's policy requires the tracking of committed effort only.


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