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Effort Reporting

As a recipient of significant external funding, Northwestern must assure Federal and other sponsors that the assignment of time and associated salary and fringe benefit costs to the projects they sponsor is fair, consistent, and timely. The University fulfills this responsibility through Effort Reporting. Effort Reporting is required for exempt faculty and staff with sponsored funding or commitments.

Related Policies & Procedures

Training and Tools

Archival References

Accessing the Effort Reporting System (ERS)

Access the online Effort Reporting System (ERS) using your NetID and password. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is also required (similar to other secure Northwestern systems, such as myHR).   Off campus only, VPN is also required.

If you need help with NetID, MFA, or VPN, please contact the Northwestern IT Service Desk at or 847.491.3457.

Faculty/Certifier Quick Start

The resources below provide an overview of key Effort Reporting concepts faculty/certifiers need to know, as well as step-by-step navigation guides to the Effort Reporting System (ERS).  Faculty are also welcome to contact Tina Mete ( for one-on-one assistance and support.


Certifier Training and Job Aids
Resource Name Description
Certifier: Basics of Effort Reporting This guide is for faculty/certifiers of effort reports, to introduce the concepts and principles of effort reporting, as well as the regulatory background.
Certifier's Job Aid: Certification Screen-by-Screen Guide Access/navigation step-by-step guide for certifying effort reports in the Effort Reporting System (ERS).
Certifier's Job Aid: How to Correct a Certified Effort Report Step by step instructions for how faculty/certifiers can access previously certified effort reports to make corrections. Note: Only the assigned certifier can modify certified effort. Reports should be modified only to correct errors or omissions.


Training and Tools

Effort 101 and Effort 102 cover the fundamentals of Effort Reporting at Northwestern, and are required to gain administrative access to ERS.

Effort 101, "Introduction to Effort Reporting and Regulatory Compliance," covers the Federal Regulatory Basis (Uniform Guidance), Northwestern Polices & Procedures, and Roles and Responsibilities. This on-demand training can be completed in myHR Learn at any time.

Effort 102, "Hands-on Training Using the Effort Reporting System," is a live hands-on training for Effort Reporting System (ERS) Tasks/Navigation, including Pre Review, Certification, and Post Review.  Check myHR Learn to view and register for upcoming classes.  Prerequisite: Effort 101 must be completed prior to enrollment in Effort 102.

After completing Effort 101 and Effort 102, please explore Training and Tools to continue building your knowledge.