News Items

... continued from the Director

Summer 2011 Effort Certifications have just been released for review and approval in the Effort Reporting System (ERS). Please note that these certifications cover all institutional activity in the certification period from May 15th to August 15th, 2011.

For all the complexities that surround Effort Reporting, the certification comes down to two things:

       1) Are the salaries and wages charged to sponsored projects reasonable in relation to the effort performed on that project? (using your            base institutional salary as the basis of value); and

      2) Did the Effort expended on the project meet the commitment promised in the awarded project budget?

The percentages on the certification forms are calculated based on the salary expenses paid during the certification period including “adjustments” that were entered moving salary expenses from one Department ID to another. Please note that summer is unique because ‘academic year’ faculty are paid over 12 months, but have no university responsibilities related to the summer pay they receive. Accordingly, while payment related to their university contract appears on their paycheck, it is excluded from the summer effort calculation. For example, if someone worked for one summer month on one sponsored project over the Summer of 2011, the Effort Certification would list “100%” to that project’s Department ID and would ignore the impact of the salary related to the faculty contract.

The largest cause for ‘error’ with Effort Certifications is late data. PARs that were processed after August 15th for Summer work or Cost Transfers impacting Summer Salary that were processed later in September may not be reflected in the calculated percentage and thus cause incorrect certifications. Using the example above, suppose this faculty member worked a second summer month on a second project, but failed to submit a PAR for that second month until September. The Effort Certification would show “100%” as described above, but the employee’s true effort is “50%” to one project and “50%” to the second. The fix to this situation, besides processing PARs and cost transfers more timely, is to click the “Certify” button in ERS and then entering a commit at the bottom of the certification form explaining the true effort (50/50) and stating the project titles or department IDs. It should then be understood that a Fall certification form will be generated in January due to the late PAR (as the system would believe effort was provided during the Fall Certification Period). Again the employee would click “Certify” and then enter the correct percentages in the comment field; which could be 100% to the employee’s department.


... continued from Compliance Corner

*Research Misconduct/ Free Interactive Instructional Resource Available  

“The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct” was created by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to serve as an educational tool in the area of research misconduct. “The Lab” is an interactive movie that allows the viewer to step into one of four main characters and role-play in a case of possible research misconduct. The video is full of questions and situations that, depending on the character chosen and the responses provided to the questions, will drive the direction the story takes, not just for the chosen character but for the other characters as well. ORI also created a Facilitator’s Guide to go along with the movie. It covers items such as learning methods and provides suggestions for using the simulation in a group setting or individually as homework. “The Lab” is a useful learning tool which can be utilized individually or in group sessions to promote further discussions.

*The Lab: A Positive Solution to Research Misconduct Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


Please be aware that completing this role-playing course DOES NOT take the place of the Ethics and Misconduct training available through CITI that is required for students participating on National Science Foundation or National Institute of Health projects. The CITI training can be accessed through our website at the following URL:


*Community of Science Pivot Profiles - Searching and Navigating

COS Pivot Administrators have announced the release of a new and improved web portal that offers upgraded features such as:

• Improved Funding Matches and Advisor recommendations—when Pivot lists suggested funding for a user, they now make country-specific recommendations based on the country(ies) of the affiliation(s) listed in a Pivot profile. Opportunities with unrestricted activity location and/or citizenship and residency will also be included. So, a researcher who is a citizen of Australia will not see opportunity suggestions for a grant for a program in Spain for Spanish citizens, and vice versa.

• Three new Research Admin only reports: The “Active Opps” and “Tracked Opps” reports show what your researchers and faculty are interested in and have marked currently as Active or Tracked on their Pivot homepages. You can view these reports by Opportunity or by Person and easily export them to Microsoft Excel or Open Office. The “Shared Opps History” report allows you to view lists of people with whom you shared opps, beyond the 2 months that are readily available on your Pivot homepage. You can view the list by Opportunity or by Person to see what you’ve shared.

• Limited Submission/Internal Coordination information is now included when exporting funding opportunity information.

• You have the ability to sort your funding opp search results by sponsor.  

Check out these exciting new features and more at: http://pivot.cos.com/


Please join us in welcoming Julia Rhodes to our team as the Executive Assistant for Sponsored Programs Administration & Accounting. Julia comes to us from Mary Baldwin College. She received a degree in Communication and Culture from Indiana University. She will assist with fiscal reconciliations and lend a hand with coordination of IRB and IACUC activities.


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Sponsored Programs Administration & Accounting