Dear University Business and Grant Administrators,


Have you ever wondered why UVM/SPA requires a minimum 1% time commitment from PIs and Key Personnel on most Sponsored Projects?


Well, …here's the short version.


Like most all other Research Institutions, UVM has instituted this crazy and sometimes maddening minimum time commitment from PIs and Key Personnel be devoted to a Sponsored Project.


At UVM the minimum is 1%, which is common, but I have seen up to 5% used at other institutions. For context, 1% of the normal 2,087 work hours per year equates to about 20 hours.  For me that's hard to track and verify and falls into another set of effort reporting reasonableness rules, but who wants to argue, right?


As you know SPA captures this 1% minimum only in those circumstances where the PI or other named key persons in the proposal have not explicitly indicated any amount of time they will commit to the project. In most cases, the 1% should be budgeted as a direct charge, but can be cost-shared if it meets UVM’s Cost Share Guidance.


The UVM 1% rule is codified under the Effort Management Policy on Sponsored Agreements, page 4/5, with exceptions to the rule found on page 5.  As a side, if you are in grant’s management, UVM’s Effort Management Policy is a must read.


Back to Why…


It’s actually rather simple, federal agency OMB issued a very famous Clarification Memo # M-01-06, dated January 5, 2001.


The memo clarified cost sharing and declared tuition remission for graduate students as an allowable direct cost, all good right? Well if they stopped writing it would have been perfect, but they kept writing and at paragraph 10 it states In addition, most Federally-funded research programs should have some level of committed faculty (or senior researchers) effort, paid or unpaid by the Federal Government.”


Some schools only mandate this federal guidance on the federal population, others like UVM have applied this guidance to both federal and non-federal grants.


Now you know the “why 1%”.


Happy Friday,




Brian Prindle

Executive Director

Research Administration and Integrity

Office of the Vice President for Research

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