The University of Iowa

Effort Certification

  1. Introduction
  2. Personnel Activity Report System (PARS)
  3. When is a PAR required?
  4. Who completes the PAR?

a. Introduction

University of Iowa faculty or staff member's professional effort is often divided among a variety of tasks, such as teaching, research, administrative responsibilities, etc., to total 100% effort. The definition of 100% effort is total University-funded effort, including all effort required to complete the tasks of one's position, regardless of hours worked per week.

Back to top

b. Personnel Activity Reporting System (PARS)

The University of Iowa uses an online system, the Personnel Activity Report, to track how faculty and selected staff effort is distributed to a broad variety of activities. Federal guidelines, primarily those set forth in federal (Uniform Guidance: 200.201(b)(3 & 5)), and State Board of Regents directives govern who is surveyed for this information, how frequently they are surveyed, allowable variances between federal salary and federal effort, and the time-frame in which surveys must be distributed and completed. Data retrieved from effort reports are compiled, analyzed, and used to prepare summary reports for the State Board of Regents and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Personnel Activity Reports are also used to verify individual effort on federally sponsored grants and contracts, certifying compliance with the effort proposed at application and promised at award and ensuring an investigator is not over-committed.

The Personal Activity Report (PAR) is a two-part form:

  1. Part I lists the current distribution of University salary by activity (e.g. instruction, sponsored research, etc.) and corresponding Master File Key (MFK, or account) established for that purpose.
  2. Part II lists the same categories of effort, and records the individual's actual distribution of effort among those categories.

Back to top

c. When i​s a PAR required?

Personnel Activity Reports are required for all senior faculty members.

PARs are also required for all Professional and Scientific (P&S) staff members, General Service (Merit) staff members, and Student Faculty (Fx18 and Fx19 appointments) who receive any part of their salary from federally sponsored grants or contracts.

Back to top

d. Who com​pletes the PAR?

Anyone having first-hand knowledge of the individual's effort may complete the form. Individuals completing PARs should fully understand the instructions, available through the Departmental PAR Coordinator & Supervisor Guide and other documents posted to the PAR website.

Back to top