Effort Reporting

Source: OSP Website

Effort Reporting & Salary Certification

The Federal government requires that faculty members or other knowledgeable individuals report and certify compensation and cost shared effort on federal awards. Harvard University uses the web-based system, ecrt, to report and certify effort.

Access ecrt (Effort Certification and Reporting Tool) 

The Harvard Effort Reporting Policy requires that faculty who serve as principal investigators on federal awards certify their own effort annually and certify non-faculty effort on federal awards quarterly. The quarterly certifications cover July-September, October-December, January-March, and April-June.

Important Dates

FY22 Q2 Certification Period

  • January 19, 2022 - FY22 Q2 Project Certification Review Period Opens (See Note 1)
  • February 9, 2022 - FY22 Q2 Project Certification Period Opens (See Note 2)
  • March 10, 2022 - FY22 Q2 Project Certifications Due

Note 1: Please note that while a reminder email will be sent out 21 days prior to the certification start date, effort coordinators are encouraged to review their statements frequently (monthly is suggested) as salary data posts to the respective statements within 2 days. Users can log in to view this at any time throughout the period of performance.

Note 2: In general, the certification window begins within a month after its corresponding period of performance. Each time a certification window begins, there are 30 calendar days to certify the effort.

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Effort

  1. Effort is an individual's work on a project, whether the sponsor pays their salary or not.
  2. If effort is reduced, paid or unpaid, on a federal grant by 25% or more of the current commitment, prior approval from the agency is generally required.
  3. Effort on many activities cannot be charged to a sponsored project. Some examples of activities that cannot be charged include: 
    • writing a proposal
    • Serving on an IRB, IACUC or other research committee
    • Serving on a departmental or University service committee
  4. Any effort expended on a federal project must be certified.
  5. Salary adjustments that affect any faculty or staff who work on federal projects during the year must include the both the Period of Work Performed (PWP) and the employee’s Harvard University Identification (HUID). The HUID and PWP are required even if the specific entry does not include a sponsored fund or sponsored activity to ensure complete reporting through the effort certification system, ecrt.
  6. Since certification occurs quarterly, salary adjustments that span multiple months are required to be broken into fiscal quarters.
  7. Faculty annual certification must reasonably reflect all the effort for all the activities that are covered by an individual's institutional based salary.
  8. Effort is not based on a 40- or 35-hour week.
  9. Effort must be certified by someone with suitable means of verification that the work was performed.
  10. Effort certification is a part of the University's Uniform Guidance audit.


  • Designee Approval Form - A designee approval form is required when a PI delegates Quarterly Project Effort Certification responsibility to another individual with first-hand knowledge of the PI's sponsored award. Designee requests must be approved by the Tub Effort Coordinator. 
  • Proxy Approval Form - A proxy approval form is required if a faculty member is unable to sign his/her own Annual Faculty Effort Certification. Proxy requests must be approved by the school's Tub Effort Coordinator and the authorized approver in OSP. 
  • Certification of Emeritus Paid Committed Effort Form - This form is used to certify faculty effort when ecrt generates an effort statement, but certifier is in emeritus status and does not work full time. It must be signed by the PI or by a proxy approved by the Tub Effort Coordinator and OSP.


Office for Sponsored Programs: The Office for Sponsored programs is responsible for business aspects of the ecrt effort reporting system. For policy questions or help with functions issues, contact the ecrt help desk: ecrt@harvard.edu

HUIT ATS: HUIT ATS manages security roles/rights for ecrt and provides user access to the system.

Tub-level Effort Coordinators: The tub-level effort coordinators (TEC) at each school oversee school-level compliance with University policy and local-level implementation of effort reporting:

 Contact ecrt@harvard.edu for additional questions and resources.