Detroit Mercy Effort Reporting Policy


Effort certification is required by federal regulations (specifically, OMB Circular A-21, J.10) to confirm that the percentages allocated to each sponsored activity represents a reasonable estimate of the work performed. This process applies to all regular staff and faculty of Detroit Mercy whose compensation is charged in whole or in part to an externally sponsored project of any type, including cost sharing.

Effort is measured as a percent of the individual’s total activity within her or his university appointment and includes all research, teaching, service and administrative duties the employee performs. The percent effort is not based on a typical 40-hour work week. Total University effort is 100 percent whether a typical work week is 30 or 60 hours. Effort reported must always equal 100 percent during an on-term semester, and 100 percent or less during an off-term semester. Total effort may never exceed 100 percent and should include only those activities for which an individual receives University compensation. This includes teaching, service, clinical and administrative duties, in addition to work performed on sponsored projects. An individual’s 100 percent effort must be reasonable and supportable to the department, school, university and external reviewers.

Frequency of Reports

Effort reports must be completed every semester for each of the sponsored projects where time and effort is committed. Completed reports are due to the OSPRA according to the following schedule: January 31 (for Fall term), May 31 (for Spring term), September 30 (for Summer term).

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    Certification of Report

    The Office of the Provost and VPAA, in coordination with OSPRA and the Office of Budget and Finance, has implemented a new Effort Certification System in Banner Self-Service. 

    The goal of this system is to make it easier for faculty with time and effort dedicated to sponsored programs to certify their effort, per federal regulations. Please review the following description of the steps involved:


    The new system requires the following steps:

    1. Login to My Portal Self-Service
    2. Go to the Employee tab
    3. Click on Effort Certification
    4. Click on the term for which you want to certify your activity
    5. View the effort distribution as recorded by Payroll
    6. If it is correct, click CERTIFY
    7. If it is incorrect, click Request Changes and send an email with the specific changes requested to

    Video about My Portal certification

    Please view the following four-minute video for more specific instructions on certifying effort using My Portal.  

    Video about understanding effort reporting

    For additional information about why effort certification is required, please see the following four-minute video about Understanding Effort Certification. 

    Please also note that the module for certifying effort for graduate students and postdocs is not yet active, but will be forthcoming.


    Paper reports

    We will also continue to accept paper reports.  If you have difficulty with the online system, please fill out either an on-term TERF form or an off-term TERF form and return it to the OSPRA by the deadline listed above. 

    If you have any questions please contact Ann Serra, Director of OSPRA, at 313-993-1469 or