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Time & Effort System. Texas A&M University Research Services Karan Watkins Effort Reporting Administrator kwatkins@tamu.edu. Why is Time & Effort Required?. Federal Regulations require universities to document the distribution of activity on federal projects.

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Time effort system
Time & Effort System

Texas A&M University

Research Services

Karan Watkins

Effort Reporting Administrator


Why is time effort required

Why is Time & Effort Required?

Federal Regulations require universities to document the distribution of activity on federal projects.

Each year Texas A&M receives millions of dollars from the federal government, State of Texas, and other organizations that sponsor research. As a recipient of these funds, we agree to the required terms and conditions.

Research Expenditures – Texas A&M University

FY 2008 $585 million

FY 2009 $631 million

FY 2008 TAMU ranked 20th in NSF’s annual report of top academic research institutions. The goal for 2020 is to be ranked in the top 10.

When is it required
When is it Required?

  • Required for individuals working on federal, State of Texas, and certain other non-federal sponsored projects.

  • Required for employees paid directly from a sponsored project - Budgeted

  • Required for employees paid from other non-sponsored funds - Cost Shared

What is effort
What is Effort?

  • Effort is the amount of time spent on a particular activity, expressed as a percentage of all the time you spend on your A&M job duties.

  • Examples of typical job duties include:

    • Instruction

    • Administration (meetings, committees)

    • Public Service or Extension

    • Research activities – Internal (funded by department or college)

    • Research activities - External (sponsored projects)

Activities not included in effort certification
Activities NOT Included in Effort Certification

  • Consulting for extra pay through a non-University consulting agreement

  • Supplemental or overload pay for teaching continuing education courses

  • Extra activities (i.e., working at an athletic event as a ticket taker)

How is effort determined
How is Effort Determined?

  • 100% Effort = Total time estimated for ALL University activities

    Exempt Employees ≠ 40 hours ≠ 60 hours ≠ 10 hours

  • Example: If an employee works on average 60 hours per week, and devotes 40 hours a week to a sponsored project and 20 hours a week to instruction, the employee's report should reflect 67% effort devoted to the sponsored project (40 hours divided by 60 total-effort hours) and 33% to instruction.

    $5,000/month (Institutional Base Salary)

    $5,000 X 6 months = $30,000 (100% IBS for the reporting period)

    $21,000 to the sponsored project – 67%

    $9,900 to instruction – 33%

    100% Effort = 67% + 33%

    100% IBS = $30,000

Determining the committed level of effort
Determining the Committed Level of Effort

  • A minimal commitment is required on the part of the PI and other key personnel during the project. The University’s minimum commitment is 1%. The minimum requirement does not apply to:

    • Equipment grants

    • Dissertation support

    • Student augmentation grants (i.e. dissertation support, scholarship/fellowship grants, etc.).

    • Limited-purpose grants such as travel grants or conference support

How precise do we have to be
How precise do we have to be?

  • Distribution of effort is based on payroll data from the University’s payroll system.

  • Federal guidelines state that the payroll distribution system should reasonably reflect the activity for which the employee is compensated.

  • TAMU policy allows for a 5% variance when certifying T&E reports. As a general rule of thumb, a change applicable to a given project or activity of 5% or more of an employee’s total effort would warrant a payroll correction.

What about cost sharing
What about Cost Sharing?

  • Cost-sharing represents that portion of the total costs of a sponsored agreement that are not paid for by the sponsor.

  • Cost-sharing of effort represents a contribution of institutional resources to support sponsored agreements.

  • Any commitment of effort stated in the project proposal or the award document must be performed and reported in the effort reporting system.

Time effort red flags
Time & Effort Red Flags!

  • Late effort reports – Must be certified within 45 days from the date the report is made available to you (will usually be the first week after the end of the reporting period)

  • Effort certified by someone without first hand knowledge (suitable means of verification)

  • Payroll corrections after the time and effort report has been initially certified

  • Percent of effort for non-sponsored activities is not credibly sufficient (i.e., teaching load, admin. duties, other research grants)

Who will certify effort
Who will certify effort?

  • Faculty members and employees with PI eligible job titles are required to certify their own time and effort reports.

  • Effort reports for other employees including graduate students and other student workers will be certified by the employee’s supervisor.

  • Employee Confirmation is an optional feature of the Time and Effort system that allows non PI-eligible employees to agree that their report is correct prior to certification by their manager. 

How often are t e reports certified
How often are T&E reports certified?

Texas A&M faculty and personnel that are paid monthly (exempt employees) will certify their effort bi-annually based on the calendar year using the web based Time and Effort System through Single Sign-On (https://sso.tamus.edu/logon.aspx).

I. January – June will be certified in July

II. July – December will be certified in January

Employees paid from timetraq
Employees Paid from TimeTraq

  • Beginning January 2010, supervisors of non-exempt TAMU personnel paid via the TimeTraq system will certify effort bi-weekly during the time approval process.

  • Employees will still receive a paycheck even if the time and effort cannot be accurately certified at the time a supervisor approves the timesheet.

  • Time and Effort not certified during the bi-weekly approval process will require certification during the bi-annual period via the SSO Time and Effort System.

Certification statement
Certification Statement

  • “I certify that this report reasonably reflects the activities for which I have been compensated, during this period.  If I am certifying on behalf of one of my employees, I certify that I have knowledge of this person's work activities and that this report reasonably reflects those activities for which this employee has been compensated.”

Departmental administrator role
Departmental Administrator Role

  • Initial point of contact for time and effort questions is your departmental business administrator.

  • Contact your departmental business administrator when:

    • Effort report does not appear to be accurate

    • Payroll corrections are necessary

Texas a m university research services
Texas A&M University Research Services

Karan Watkins

Effort Reporting Administrator


(979) 862-1765