Score an A+ when completing your Effort Report! (Important Resources)
An effort report (ER) is the receipt that auditors use to document the amount of effort actually performed (both directly charged and pledged as cost share) on a restricted grant or contract.
Although the current regulations in 2 CFR Part 200 Uniform Guidance allows for flexibility in the methods of documentation of personnel costs, MSU has elected to continue to follow the more restrictive requirements in OMB Circular A-21 section J.10 until it is known how auditors will react to some of the newer options put in place at other institutions.
Auditors use ERs to validate that the percent of salaries charged, or cost shared to the project are justified by comparing them to the effort percentages reported on the effort report. If, for example, an auditor could not find an ER, or the percentage of salary charged to the project is more than the percentage of effort reported (effort %), the auditor will request a refund of the difference. All Universities receiving grants, cooperative agreements or contracts from the Federal government must document personnel expenses.
Effort reports are required for those individuals with salary charged, or committed cost share/effort, to projects funded from the Federal Government, the State of Michigan, or from other agencies that specifically require salary/cost sharing documentation (i.e., most sponsored project RC, Federal MSUE RE and Federal AgBioResearch RA accounts). The time reports for students and on-call/temp employees paid by CATS serve as their effort receipt, therefore, they will not have ERs.
It is critical to understand the importance of reporting effort accurately and understand the pitfalls and ramifications if inaccurate information is provided (e.g., approving your effort report before corrections are made. MSU Contract and Grant Administration (CGA) is unable to reverse your approval.) The following recorded seminars are a valuable resource to help you fully understand effort reporting.
Webinars focused on Effort Reporting (available on demand):
Artificial intelligence has entered the mainstream in a way the world has never experienced before. Millions of people are using tools such as ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion for AI-generated help answering questions, creating images and accomplishing a host of other tasks.
But anyone who has used these systems has probably also noticed these
tools have limitations. They can, for example, overlook a key component
of a request or come up with something that’s not quite right.
“Even when they provide the right answer, they might be right for the
wrong reasons. We need to know what is their line of reasoning,”
Kordjamshidi said. “That’s not very clear right now, and that’s the
The Office of Naval Research has awarded Kordjamshidi and her
colleagues a $1.8 million grant to make our interactions with AI more
reasonable and reliable. This would bolster the confidence people have
in using AI tools that are increasingly acting as digital assistants.
But the team also has larger goals.
The researchers are working to help AI better process a range of
inputs — text, images and video — to make human interactions with
computer systems more powerful and seamless. The project could thus
enable advances in a variety of applications, Kordjamshidi said,
including education, navigation and multimodal question-answering
systems in general.
This represents one of the major research thrusts for Kordjamshidi’s team. In fact, she won a 2019 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development, or CAREER, Award and a 2021 Amazon Research Award on this
front. Her team is working to help AI understand natural, everyday
human language — rather than computer code — and put that understanding
to work in following human instructions for navigating a realistic
The researchers are working to help AI better process a range of inputs... Learn more Here.
What’s hot in science? Check out NSF research news through August 2, 2023
Keep up with today’s research news from the U.S. National Science Foundation. This is a daily look at noteworthy scientific findings from researchers around the country.
We are pleased to announce the 2023 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) transportation research programs. Funded projects are anticipated to begin by approximately July 1, 2024. Visit the MnDOT Research & Innovation website and see information below for RFP details.
2023 MnDOT-LRRB Transportation Research RFP
The 2023 RFP includes 25 need statements in the following categories: environmental, materials and construction, multimodal, traffic and safety, policy and planning, and maintenance and operations. The 2023 RFP also include an architectural research need (NS-706) on sustainable energy building upgrades to Minnesota rest areas and travel information centers. Of the 25 need statements included in the RFP, 19 were generated by MnDOT’s Research Steering Committee and 6 were generated by the LRRB, which represents Minnesota cities and counties.
Please note this specific information on the MnDOT R&I website:
As your university’s research master agreement contact, please submit any proposals for your institution, along with the attached summary spreadsheet of proposals with all proposal submittals identified, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals are due no later than 4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time Tuesday, September 12, 2023.
Incomplete proposals will not be evaluated and proposal content beyond the 14-page limit will not be reviewed (see instructions). Also, please inform the PIs not to submit proposals directly to MnDOT. All proposals need to be submitted through the university master agreement contact.
For your convenience, links to the project proposal form and instructions are included below.
MnDOT’s Office of Research and Innovation administers the RFP and staff can help guide you through the process. Proposers may also contact the Project Champion or Project Advisor for need statement clarification. Additional information regarding need statements shall be provided at the discretion of the Project Champion.
Thank you for your interest in our 2023 Transportation Research RFP. We look forward to working with you as this process progresses. If you have any questions, please contact our staff at email@example.com.
MnDOT Office of Research & Innovation Katie Walker, Director 395 John Ireland Boulevard, Mail Stop #330, St. Paul, MN 55155 mndot.gov/research
Description: The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Energy
Technology Laboratory (NETL), on behalf of the Office of Electricity
(OE), is releasing a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to solicit
applications for innovative long duration energy storage system (ESS)
demonstration projects that advance a technology towards
commercialization and validate its cost and performance in the field to
the energy stakeholder community. These demonstrations will contribute
data to the National Lab led Rapid Operational Validation Initiative
(ROVI) in order to unlock insights about the performance of these
systems that will accelerate the testing and validation process for
The FOA will contain three areas of interest based on eligible
technology: 1. Lithium Batteries 2. Flow Batteries 3. Other Innovative
Technologies, that will each be eligible for up to $5 million in federal
funding available with 50% cost share provided by the applicant
These projects will support DOE priorities such as the Long Duration
Storage Shot and Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) and address
challenges identified in DOE’s Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES)
Pathways to Commercial Liftoff report, Electricity Advisory Committee’s
(EAC) 2022 Biennial Energy Storage Review, and the Federal Consortium
for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) blueprint for lithium batteries. As
required under Section 3201(c)(4), DOE is required to “make publicly
available a report describing the performance of those programs.”
To fulfill this requirement, OE anticipates separately funding a
competitively selected national lab consortium to implement the Rapid
Operational Validation Initiative (ROVI), which will implement
“accelerated life testing protocols to predict estimated lifetime
metrics with accuracy,” as required under Section 3201(b)(3). ROVI will
leverage the data from projects funded under this FOA to accelerate
commercial development and deployment of a wide range of lithium
batteries, flow batteries, and other storage technology. Applicant teams
would be expected to work with the ROVI Lab Consortium to negotiate
data sharing requirements and allocate a portion of the awarded funding
to ensure these requirements are met.
Additional Information: BrightFocus provides research funds for U.S. domestic as well as international researchers pursuing pioneering research leading to greater understanding, prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. BrightFocus is committed to supporting scientists from diverse backgrounds to foster creativity and innovation in addressing complex scientific challenges. We strongly encourage applications from individuals who are from groups underrepresented in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research.
The Standard Award provides significant funding for researchers who have already generated some amount of preliminary data, but are often required to demonstrate additional, significant progress before they can apply to governmental or industrial funding agencies.
Applicant must be allowed by institution to apply for and manage a grant award and mentor students.
Additional Information: The Foundation aims to support teams of creatives, technologists, researchers, and social/cultural workers to design and build prototypes and pilots that will bring into reality innovative solutions to Internet connectivity particularly among communities where current technologies are unavailable or not readily accessible. The Building Opportunities/Leveraging Technologies (BOLT) Grant Program is designed to support teams of innovators working to expand the possibility of Internet connectivity and access globally through the development of prototypes and pilots. Teams may include creatives, artists, technologists, researchers, social or cultural workers and must be housed in a relevant non-profit organization or institution. The Foundation seeks to fund teams housed in organizations that align with the Internet Society’s mission and its work for an open, globally connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for everyone.
Teams should be focused on building technical and social innovations related to Internet connectivity that strive to be:
Relevant to users and community
Imaginative and engaging in experimentation and play
Additional Information: BrightFocus provides research funds for U.S. domestic as well as international researchers pursuing pioneering research leading to greater understanding, prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Postdoctoral fellowship awards are intended for young researchers in their final stages of mentored training. These awards fund projects in an established laboratory that will serve as the basis for the applicant's own independent research career. BrightFocus is committed to supporting scientists from diverse backgrounds to foster creativity and innovation in addressing complex scientific challenges. We strongly encourage applications from individuals who are from groups underrepresented in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research. Applicant must be within 5 years of degree conferral.
Description: DER has a catalog of research and funding seminars available on demand. Seminar topics range from critical instruction for new faculty through advanced training for senior research faculty. These presentations include instruction from experts regarding themes that include best practices in research, MSU policy, sponsor compliance, industry specific seminars, and more. Check them out today and utilize this incredible resource to help streamline your proposal development and promote success in your research. Watch now on demand!!!
Recent seminar presentations include:
DER is Here to Help (proposal & proposal development resources geared to promote success)
Tips for Writing a Persuasive Grant Proposal (grant writing to ‘sell’ a project to funders)
Finding Funding (tips for finding funding to support your research)
Roles and Responsibilities (tips for understanding roles and responsibilities at each stage of the project)
CAREER Award Workshop - Session 1 (best practices and strategies for producing successful NSF Career proposals)
Does effort reporting for your grants and contracts seem more cumbersome than it should be? CGA has compiled a very
helpful list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Topics range from reporting deadlines, to resolving errors, and everything in between!
As you peruse this list, you might notice that there is a dedicated email address for any questions or issues you may have when submitting effort reporting. Please use firstname.lastname@example.org to expedite service.