Effort Reporting
Columbia University Effort Reporting
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Columbia University Effort Reporting
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Important Information for Effort Coordinators:

Read the September 2016 Update

Important information for Faculty
(no current announcements)

Effort Reporting Overview


The ECRT (Effort Certification and Reporting Technology) system facilitates both the monitoring of effort distributions during the year and the required annual certification of effort. Click on icon to enter the ECRT system:

ecrt link


Effort Reporting Info


Effective December 26, 2014, OMB Circular A-21 will be replaced by regulations promulgated under the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (the Uniform Guidance).  Like Circular A-21, the Uniform Guidance requires an after-the-fact review of charges made to Federal awards that were based on budget estimates.  At Columbia, this required after-the-fact review is carried out through the effort reporting process described on this website.  More information about the Uniform Guidance is available at http://spa.columbia.edu/uniform-guidance.




What is effort reporting?

Effort reporting is the federally-mandated process by which the salary charged to a sponsored project is certified as being reasonable in relation to the effort expended on that project.

Why do effort reporting?

The federal government requires effort reporting.  Effort reports constitute one of the primary auditable documents to support salary costs on a sponsored project.

Who is required to certify effort

  • All Officers of Instruction and Officers of Research other than postdocs ("Faculty") who receive sponsored project funding or apply effort to any sponsored projects are required to certify their own effort.
  • Principal investigators are required to certify the effort of postdocs, graduate students and staff funded by their grants.

How is research overseas handled? 

Research overseas observes all of the same protocols as domestic research.  However, if effort is expended by employees of affiliated entities, please contact effort-reporting@columbia.edu for guidance on meeting reporting requirements and subsequent effort certification.

In addition to the Reference Guides, FAQs, and Additional Resources located within this website, if you have questions about the effort certification process, please contact us at effort-reporting@columbia.edu.