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Effort Certification System (ecrt)

As a recipient of federal research funding, the University of Pittsburgh is required to maintain a system that allows for verification that direct labor charges to sponsored projects are accurate, timely and reflect the actual level of work performed.

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer partnered with the Senior Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences to implement the Effort Certification and Reporting Tool (ecrt), a web-based application enabling electronic certification. Ecrt went live in January 2013 for the University's first electronic certification of the July-August and September-December 2012 periods of performance. Ecrt integrates data from the University's PRISM General Ledger and Payroll systems, the Salaried Personnel Activity Report (SPAR) and the Research and Proposal Accounting (RPA) applications to enhance compliance management, improve financial information available to academic departments, and significantly reduce the administrative burden of the effort reporting/certification process.


Registration for EC Training

Effort Coordinators (EC) are responsible for the pre-review of all employee effort statements associated to their department(s) prior to the release of these statements to the Principal Investigators (PI) for certification and to monitor the completion of certifications and follow up with PI’s as necessary to resolve issues and complete the certification process.

Hands-on training sessions for EC’s will introduce users to the ecrt application and cover basic effort reporting policies, responsibilities of the effort coordinator role and application navigation to fulfill the requirements, and an overview of the PI responsibilities.

Dates and times of upcoming ECRT workshops are available on the Workshop Registration tab on the left side of this page.


Directions to the Thaw Hall Training Room

Thaw Hall is located at the corner of O'Hara and University Place. Enter Thaw Hall from the main steps in front of the building. Once inside the building, ignore the sign that indicates that Thaw Hall is to your left. Go through the orange double doors immediately ahead of you (do not go left), go up the steps to the 3rd floor, and follow the signs to the Writing Lab. Room M-3 immediately precedes the Writing Lab. The room will be on your left, and there is a PRISM training sign on the door.

You can also access Thaw Hall from the side of the building next to Engineering Hall. Enter the door that is marked as handicapped accessible. On your right will be an elevator. Take the elevator to M, go to the right, walk up the ramp and M-3 will be on your right, immediately after the Writing Lab.


ecrt Forms

Effort Coordinator Reference Materials

PI Reference Materials


Certification Schedule

Period of Performance: May 1, 2018 August 31, 2018
Pre-Review Start Date: September 10, 2018
PI Certification Window: October 3, 2018 November 19, 2018
Write-Off of Uncertified Effort: December 3, 2018

Period of Performance: September 1, 2018 December 31, 2018
Pre-Review Start Date: January 8, 2019
PI Certification Window: February 5, 2019 March 21, 2019
Write-Off of Uncertified Effort: April 1, 2019

Period of Performance: January 1, 2019 - April 30, 2019
Pre-Review Start Date: May 7, 2019
PI Certification Window: June 7, 2019 - July 23, 2019
Write-Off of Uncertified Effort: August 1, 2019