UF DSP Reminder: Sponsor Communication, Effort Commitments, and Key Personnel

A reminder that the UF Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP), as the Authorized Official, is the appropriate office to contact the sponsor with requests for effort commitment changes, budgetary changes, and no cost extensions. Template letters are available on the DSP website to help draft notification to the sponsor, to be signed by the Principal Investigator or other appropriate party, and countersigned by DSP.

DSP reviews all requests and ensures that all information is included; this prevents additional follow-up or clarification requests that may add additional time and unnecessary delay to any sponsor approval request. It also ensures that the appropriate official at the sponsoring agency reviews and approves the request.

Additionally, UFIRST should match the sponsor documentation for key personnel, effort commitments, and budget category breakout with each increment of funds.

  • Key personnel are individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive measurable way, whether or not they request salaries or compensation.
    1. Awards that were converted into UFIRST may be missing Key Personnel information and you may be asked to update this upon modification. This may require those personnel to complete FCOI forms and/or training courses in order to move the modification to completion.
  • An effort commitment is reflective of the promise made to the sponsor of the Key Personnel that will be working on the project. It is not necessarily the actual effort expended each month, but a projected amount to be achieved over a period of time.
  • It is DSP’s role to ensure this promise of effort commitments of all key personnel has been entered correctly in a UFIRST Award.  Once approved this initial entry becomes the baseline commitment of each key person and is maintained for the life of the award in UFIRST.
  • No changes are made in UFIRST, unless sponsor approved.  In the case of a sponsor-approved change, a UFIRST Award Modification, using the type Personnel, is the correct tool to use to modify and reflect the new baseline commitment. This Modification should be started and used as a mechanism for DSP to communicate the requested change to the sponsor.
    1. Exception: NIH awards. Prior sponsor approval is only required for a change in effort for the Program Director/PI or other senior/key personnel specifically named in the NOA. Other personnel if not named in the NOA do not need prior sponsor approval, however DOES need a UFIRST modification to track the change and communicate the information to Cost Analysis.
  • Any other changes to effort commitments of key personnel that do not require sponsor approval, such as term-by-term adjustments or reductions within allowable sponsor tolerances are made using the myUFL Effort Reporting Commitment Toolkit and not UFIRST.

For a detailed look at Effort Commitment Entry Guidance, please visit the DSP Effort Reporting Page and Cost Analysis site on UF Effort Reporting and read the Effort Commitment Entry Guidance document.