Sponsored Programs Accounting Office

Effort Certification


A video presentation on completing your effort certification can be found by clicking here.

A tip sheet on completing your effort certification can be found by clicking here.

Effort reporting is a process required by the federal government to verify that direct and indirect labor charges and cost share efforts to federally sponsored projects are reasonable and reflect actual effort performed. On February 1, 2011, Iowa State published a formal effort reporting policy that details effort reporting and certification requirements available in the Policy Library. This policy and the corresponding requirements were published in response to an Internal Audit recommendation and the results of some very high profile audits by the Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The Uniform Guidance (2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E) Cost Principles for Federal Awards is the regulation that guides the allowability of costs on federal awards. 2 CFR 200.430 sets forth the criteria for acceptable methods of charging salaries and wages to federal awards. The regulation requires institutions to have a system of internal control which provides reasonable assurance that salary charges are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated. Effort certification is the university's means of providing this assurance of effort to sponsors.

Prior to July 1, 2019, paper effort certification forms were completed and the distribution of those forms was handled by Sponsored Programs Accounting. This process will be discussed in the section labeled "ADIN Effort Certification Process". Within this process an EASE form was completed to confirm paid effort percentages performed on federal and state sponsored projects and the cost-shared effort on any sponsored projects.

During this time the effort reporting process classified the various types of activities in which employees participated. This reporting process was also used for the following purposes:

  • Quantification of faculty and staff effort for reports mandated by the State through the Office of Institutional Research
  • Allocation of research space by Facilities, Planning and Management


After July 1, 2019, effort certification confirmations will be electronically routed and confirmed to fulfill Iowa State University's effort certification requirements within 2 CFR Part 200. That process will be discussed in the section labeled "Workday Effort Certification Process". In this process an effort certification form is electronically routed within Workday to confirm the effort performed on federal and federal flow-thru sponsored projects from which salary was paid as well as cost-shared effort on any federal and federal flow-thru sponsored projects.

This effort certification process will no longer be utilized for the reports mandated by the State through the Office of Institutional Research or the allocation of research space by Facilities, Planning and Management. Those needs will be addressed through other means. This effort certification may also be used to capture effort that needs to be capitalized for projects at Iowa State University.

For additional information on the EASE form and reporting process, see the EASE Training Manual.

For additional information on effort reporting related to NSF and NIH, see National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.

Contact Sponsored Programs Accounting at 515-294-4569 with questions on Effort Certification.