What is effort
Effort is the proportion of time spent on any activity and expressed as a percentage of the total professional activity for which an individual is employed by JHU and is not reflected in hours. Total effort expended cannot be more than – or less than – 100%.
Important Note: Effort Training expires every 5 years and must be current for all investigators before a grant or contract can be set up in SAP. Read the JHU Effort Reporting Policies and Procedures
How to avoid common mistakes in COEUS
Common Error #1 – Effort is entered in Coeus, but it is not visible on the PD SummaryEnter the percent effort in the Effort % column – If you use the Academic Year % or Summer Year %, the effort will not show on the PD Summary.
Calendar months are used instead of percentage -Please remember to convert the calendar months to a percentage. Ex: 6 months of effort = 50%, not 6%.
Common Error #2 – A proposal has subrecipients, but the subs are not listed on the Org tab.
Always include and list all subs under the Org tab in Coeus. This error will result in a rejection of the record.
Be sure to include a subrecipient determination form for each subrecipient.
Common Error #3 – The title of the proposal does not match documentation and the title in the sponsor’s portal.
Be sure to confirm the information on the record. An alternate title may result in a “lost record” and delay.
Common Error #4 – All documents must be uploaded in Coeus.
Current documents must be uploaded and coordinated with all information. Occasionally old documents or incorrect documents are uploaded. Be sure to include a subrecipient determination form for each subrecipient.
*Scope of Work needs to be uploaded as a separate document for easy access.
Common Error #5 – The certification must be signed and responses must match the Coeus record.
All PIs and key personnel need signed certs. Only the PI needs to upload the full questionnaire.
Be sure that signatures are visible on all uploads and that all questions match what has been directly entered into Coeus.
Effort for students
Effort training does not apply to students applying to F30, F31, F32, T32 applications. Students applying to the above are not subject to effort training.
If the student is the PI, be sure to review the Funding Opportunity Announcement for specific requirements regarding the amount of effort. Sponsors define whether or not students can be a PI.
JHU Schools define eligibility and may require documentation for exceptions.
How to complete effort training/reporting
Effort must be entered in Coeus for each investigator under the Effort% Column.
JHU requires at least 1% FTE commitment (or the minimum required by the program if greater than 1%) on the part of the Principal Investigator and other key personnel during the period of the project.
The minimum requirement does not apply to:
- Equipment grants
- Dissertation support
- Training grants or other awards intended as “student augmentation”
- Limited-purpose grants such as travel grants or conference support.
- Pre-proposal work such as concept papers
- Some supplements
Co-investigators and other “key personnel” must meet the proposal/award effort obligations for each sponsored project or arrange with the PI to amend their effort commitments with the sponsor as needed.
Additionally, JHU requires that all Principal Investigators certifying effort shall complete training on the ERS system. ERS is the web-based Effort Reporting System that JHU uses to certify effort.
Important Note: Effort Training expires every 5 years and must be current for all investigators before a grant or contract can be set up in SAP. (
Faculty and senior staff are required to certify their effort semi-annually. Effort forms are available for certification beginning in January and July, for the 6 month periods ending December 31 and June 30. Semi-monthly non-faculty and non-senior staff that have sponsored support are required to certify their effort quarterly. Effort forms are available for certification beginning in January, April, July and October for the quarters ending December 31, March 31, June 30, and September 30.
The JHU policy requires that faculty certify their own effort using the Effort Reporting System (ERS) except in limited circumstances. With all other employees, effort reports must be certified by the individual employee, or by a responsible supervisory official having firsthand knowledge of all of the activities performed by the employee. Direct supervisors can certify effort on behalf of non-faculty employees who work for them in recognition of the requirement that the person certifying the effort has knowledge of all of the employee’s professional activities.