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A-21 Effort Reports - ________ Semester, 20___


In order to comply with audit requirements and federal regulations, certain employees are required to certify the percentage of time (i.e., effort) that they devote to sponsored projects, departmental administration, and instruction/departmental research. Each University school or college has the primary responsibility to ensure compliance with this policy. If effort is not properly certified, salary charges cannot be made against the fund.*

Activities in support of the department

Please read the category definitions below carefully in order to account properly for your effort during the semester being reported on. Activities in support of the department should be divided among columns 1, 2, 3 as appropriate. Note that personal research, advising, and committee work associated with curriculum or faculty development should be reported on column 1. Effort on most other committees and effort expended on preparation of proposals is considered other and should be reported on column 2. Persons with some activity in support of an externally sponsored project to which salary is not charged should report effort devoted to this project as cost sharing on column 3 for the relevant account. For these types of activities, column 4 should be blank.

Activities in support of sponsored projects

Salary charges for the effort of those faculty and staff with full or partial salary paid directly by sponsored projects are listed in column 4. Columns 1, 2, 3 of these lines require no further entries.

The A-21 Effort Report form is designed to allow employees with salary charged to multiple funds, either departmental or restricted, to report all effort on a single form. If more than one form is generated for a given person, both forms should be signed. You may also find that the percentage shown may total either 99% or 101% due to rounding. The dollars shown in the “Earnings” column are the exact amounts charged to each fund.

Instructions for completion of the A-21 Effort Report forms

Each form must be signed by either the employee or a supervisor/chairperson who has first-hand knowledge of the work performed by the employee. "Per" signatures and signature stamps are not acceptable.

No corrections are to be made on the form. If corrections are necessary, a salary reallocation and a new A-21 form must be completed. To download a blank A-21 form, click on following (sometimes holding the Shift key [Option key on the Mac] while clicking on the link helps the browser get into download mode):

Download Excel file

Contact the Office of the Controller (ext. 2137) if you would like any additional information about A-21 reporting.

*NOTE: Because constantly shifting salary dollars and budget dollars to mirror actual effort on a semester basis would be an administrative burden on departments and central administration, it is permissible, pursuant to section C.4.d.(3) of OMB Circular,A-21, to make the required certification on an average basis pro-rated by semester. In other words, if the average effort devoted to a given funding source is expected to be x% over the course of a year, then it is permissible to certify x% in all semesters of that year even if the actual effort in a particular semester is less than or greater than x%. Adjustments may need to be made in the last semester of that year if the actual average effort turns out to have been significantly different from what was expected.



All forms of instruction and training (except where supported by training grant or contract); supervision of student research or study; preparation of course material; grading; student conferences; development and revision of instructional material; improvements of teaching methods; advising; counseling; service on committees such as curriculum, promotion and tenure; professional development related to teaching (e.g. attendance at MLA or APA meetings); as well as research not separately budgeted and accounted for.


Activities related to the formulation of policy and decision making, including: service on committees that are administrative in nature, escorting visitors, preparation of budgets, proposal preparation, professional development related to administration (e.g. attendance at NASULGC meetings), interviewing candidates for faculty, staff and administrative positions. Examples of committee assignments which should be included are budget, research, human subjects, safety, and library. Also, any other activities that are not related to instruction, or sponsored activities.


Do you spend any time supporting a funded contract or grant from which you do not receive a portion of your salary from that contract/grant? If YES, cost share FOAPALs that have been entered in Banner payroll will be pre-populated on the form. If you have cost share to report that is not yet in Banner, please use a salary reallocation and submit a new A-21 form reflecting the changes. If NO, please leave blank.


Do you spend any time supporting a funded contract or grant from which you receive a portion of your salary? If YES, sponsored project FOAPALs that have been entered in Banner payroll will be pre-populated on the form. If you have sponsored project charges to report that are not yet in Banner, please use a salary reallocation and submit a new A-21 form reflecting the changes. If NO, please leave blank.

(Revised October 2012)

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