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Office of Institutional Research

What if my question isn't answered in these FAQs?
If your question is not answered below, please contact the FACET team at We are available to provide guidance and resources to anyone who uses the FACET system.
What is FACET?
FACET (Faculty Assignments, Commitments & Effort Certification Tracking) is Florida State University's official employee activity reporting system. We track employee "effort" in order to document how various types of funds are used to support university personnel activities. Effort reporting is required for compliance with federal and state regulations governing sponsored research and other activities at the University.
What is effort reporting and why do we have to do it?
Effort Reporting is a method by which employees document their total distribution of effort for each reporting period into pre-defined categories. These categories include activities such as instruction, research, and public service to the community. The University uses this information to support salary expenditures related to sponsored projects and to comply with Florida state statutes and performance funding metrics.
What is effort?
Effort is officially defined as the amount of time spent on a compensated, work-related activity (research, instruction, etc.) as a percentage of total time spent on all activities in a given period. Effort towards all activities each period must equal 100% per job appointment, independent of FTE. It is often easiest to equate effort reporting to a pie chart that shows how an individual's total time is distributed across all possible activities during a reporting period.
Who is required to certify their effort?
Any employee that receives funds from a sponsored project, or is officially committed to perform work for a sponsored project, is required to certify their effort each semester. Certain employees (including all faculty-class employees) paid from state funds or who participate in instructional activities at the University must also certify their effort.
Who should certify the FACET effort reports?
Federal regulations require that a person with first-hand knowledge of the employee's effort (a "knowledgeable person") certify the effort. It is assumed that the employee and their direct supervisor are knowledgeable about the employee's effort. Reports should be certified by the employee whenever possible. If an employee is unavailable, or for any other reason does not certify their report, it is part of the supervisor's responsibility to ensure the effort is certified in a timely manner. Departmental staff cannot certify effort for faculty or other personnel they do not supervise directly. Other individuals may qualify as knowledgeable person if they can demonstrate sufficient evidence of their knowledge of the employee's effort. This generally refers to Principal Investigators and organization directors, but is assessed on an individual basis.
How often do I have to certify my effort?
FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) Exempt professorial and professional employees certify their effort after each semester in an academic year: summer, fall, and spring. Non-exempt employees certify their effort 12 times a year (once a month).
What is the difference between Exempt and Non-Exempt employees?
Exempt employees are employees whose appointment(s) are not covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Non-exempt employees are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and their appointments are required to adhere to the employment rules defined by FLSA.
Where can I find the federal requirement for effort reporting?
The federal requirement can be found in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, J.10 and 2 CFR 200.430 - Compensation-personal services.
How do I decide how much effort to associate with each activity on the FACET effort report?
Employees must look back over the reporting period and decide which type of activity they were involved in as part of their university employment. They must then make a reasonable estimate of the relative amount of time the activity required. This amount of time should be entered as proportion of all activities performed during the same period. Together all effort on all activities should add up to 100% on the effort report.
What if I get started and don't have all the information I need to certify the report. Can I save it?
Yes, you can save any effort values that been entered and come back to the program later. However, if you have entered effort that is not allowed and generate an error you will not be allowed to save until you correct the issue.
Why can't I update effort under Other Instruction (non-credit) or Administration?
Other Instruction and Administration have subheadings under them. Use the Show More Detail button at the top of the FACET effort report to see the subheadings.
How can I find out more information about each type of activity listed on my FACET effort report?
Definitions for each activity type can be found by clicking on the icon located next to the activity's name on the report.
I have appointments in multiple departments. How do I complete my FACET effort report?
If any appointment meets the FACET effort reporting criteria, all active appointments for the term are included on the report. Each appointment requires effort entry totaling 100% per appointment.
May I volunteer effort towards any work-related activity? Does this effort need to be recorded on the FACET effort report?
A salaried employee of the University cannot volunteer any "unfunded" effort towards any sponsored activity at any time. Non-sponsored "unfunded" effort is only allowable in specific circumstances where the individual has received pre-approval from the University administration. In virtually all instances, due to the nature of a salaried appointment, there is no "unfunded" effort allowable by any individual. All activities performed which could be considered part of the individual's appointment with the University, and for which they could be expected to receive compensation for performing, require a funding source to support those activities.
As a salaried employee of the University, I work in excess of 40 hours per week on a frequent basis. How do I report this additional effort on my FACET effort report?
There is an expectation that salaried employees of the university will work the hours necessary to carry out the professional responsibilities of their position. It is also understood that the number of hours required for any activity will change over time. This is one of the primary reasons we base effort reporting on percentages rather than number of hours worked for FSLA Exempt salaried employees.

Appointments generally specify an annual salary amount that is negotiated between the department/college and the employee. This rate of pay covers all activities expected to be performed as part of the position, including research, teaching, public service, and administrative duties.

All effort spent on activities which could be considered as part of an individual's appointment with the University, and for which they are receiving compensation, must be included in the effort distribution amounts assigned to each type of activity in the FACET effort report. In all cases, regardless of hours worked, the effort report must total 100% effort distribution per appointment.
Where does the course information in my FACET effort report come from?
Student Central (SC) is the newest OMNI portal. SC is the official database containing the approved curriculum of the University. It replaced the Course Schedule Master (CSM) File in Fall 2013. Student Central, as it relates to effort reporting, displays the instructor name and record number, the instructor's workload and the course contact hours. Course Funding is assigned by department representatives in the FACET Instructor Funding module beginning six weeks after a semester commences.
What is a Contact Hour and where does it come from?
A contact hour indicates the number of instructional hours of contact between faculty and student per week. This number is generated automatically using BOG guidelines.
How do contact hours relate to the amount of effort that I should enter for a course section?
There really is no direct relationship. Historically, a 3-hour course section has taken a maximum of 25% effort. However, the amount of effort should be based on the amount of time spent teaching the course section. This may vary widely for a course depending on factors such as instructor familiarity with the course, the academic level of the course, and the amount of overall time spent on other activities during the semester.
What if the Course information on my FACET report is incorrect?
If you did not teach a course that is showing on your FACET report, or if a course you taught is not listed on your report, please contact either your department FACET representative, or the FACET Support team ( at the earliest opportunity. Please contact us if you believe the contact hours or funding source for a course on your FACET report is incorrect as well, or for any other inquiries concerning course information on the report.
For effort reporting purposes, what is the difference between Instruction for Credit and Other Instructional Effort-Non-Credit?
"Instruction for Credit" is the preparation, evaluation, and delivery of teaching and training activities of the University for course sections offered for credit. "Other Instructional Effort– Non-Credit" includes instruction-related activities such as thesis advice, mentoring of students, development of new courses or materials, program planning, evaluation of curricula, and planning new degree programs.
Does a faculty member need to enter effort for each course section?
It depends. You should uniquely assess each course and determine which required more of your time. This is an important distinction for our Performance Funding metrics. If the time spent on all courses were proportionally equal, you may enter a total percent at the highest level of "Instruction for Credit" and allow the interface to distribute your effort based on the course contact hours.
Can a sponsored project be used to fund Instruction for Credit?
Yes. If the purpose code for a sponsored project is INS (Instruction), then any instruction for credit is allowed except for course sections coded as Supervised Research. The course content must be directly related to the sponsored project.
Additionally, RES (Research) projects may fund course sections with instruction types of Graduate Thesis hours, Graduate Dissertation hours, Directed Individual Study, or Supervised Research if the registered students' work is directly related to the funding project's research. Mentoring of students related to a sponsored research project is appropriately included in effort directly charged to a faculty member's sponsored agreement.
If Instruction for Credit is funded from my grant, how do I enter the effort in the Sponsored Research Section?
First determine the total effort spent on the project. Enter the effort associated with the specific courses in the "Instruction for Credit" section. Enter the remainder of the total effort for the project in the "Sponsored Research" Section. The FACET system will combine the effort entered to provide a total effort percentage for all activities funded from the project.
What is a 'Commitment' on a sponsored project, and why does it appear as a column on the FACET effort report?
A project commitment is a pre-defined declaration of a minimum amount of effort that will be spent working on a project during a period of time. Commitments are generally made in the contractual agreements with sponsors, and can come from a variety of sources, including payroll dollars requested in project budget to support project activities.

In FACET, an individual can see the amount of commitment required per project, per reporting period as a percentage of overall effort (by clicking the A-21 button on the Effort Certification page). Sponsored Research will enter these into OMNI within two weeks of receiving the award information from the sponsor.
What if the effort reported is less than the commitment entered for the term?
Sponsored Research Administration must be contacted to reduce or remove the commitment for the reporting period. Future semester commitments will be increased to ensure that the overall level of commitment is met for the life of the project. If no future terms are available in the project life, and a commitment has not been met, the sponsor will generally need to be contacted to discuss further options.
What if the effort reported is more than the commitment that was entered for the term?
There is no requirement to update the commitment in cases where the actual effort is greater than the committed effort. However, it is worth noting these adjustments, as you may need to inform Sponsored Research Administration of this additional effort if there is a subsequent semester wherein actual effort is, or will be, less than committed.
What if the effort entered for a sponsored project is less than the salary charged to the sponsored project for the term?
If the employee was paid at a rate greater than the effort entered, the report may be certified. An employee should always record accurate effort information, regardless of funding distribution. However, if funding from a project is in excess of effort spent on the project during the reporting period, a payroll correction will be required.
I work on a non-federally funded project. Do I still need to certify my effort?
Yes. Any individual working on federal or non-federal project must certify their effort in a FACET effort report. This includes individuals not directly paid from the project funds.
May I certify effort on a sponsored project during the Summer semester if I did not receive any salary during the semester?
No. There is no "unfunded" (aka "volunteer") effort allowable by any salaried employee when engaging in work related to sponsored projects. You may work on sponsored projects using non-sponsored funding sources if the funding is authorized by the budget manager(s). Certain departments may not allow individuals to utilize non-sponsored, department funding sources to perform activities for sponsored projects. In these cases, you may be required by your department to charge salary to the project in order to perform work on the project. Please consult with your department management regarding policy for supporting sponsored research activities with non-sponsored, department funding sources.
What types of non-sponsored funds can be used to support activity on sponsored projects?
Any University budget that does not have explicit restrictions placed on it by the funding source may be used to support activity towards sponsored project, with prior approval by the budget manager(s).
Is there a minimum amount of effort required for key personnel listed in sponsored project awards?
Most Federally-funded projects should have some level of faculty or key personnel effort, paid or unpaid by the Federal Government. However, some types of programs, such as programs for equipment and instrumentation, doctoral dissertations, and student augmentation, do not require faculty effort. If a proposal is awarded, the faculty member and key personnel are committed to providing the level of effort proposed unless sponsor policies permit otherwise.
I am an individual who spends 100% effort on a sponsored project. I am also involved in other institutional activities, such as committees, during the same period of time. These additional activities generally only take a few hours a semester/year. How should I record my effort?
Infrequent, irregular activities that requires an amount of effort that could be considered statistically insignificant are called de minimis effort. Activities can be considered de minimis in amount when, in total, they represent less than 1% of an individual's total effort per reporting period. If an individual engages in multiple instances of the same activity type (e.g. several committees), the activities may only be considered de minimis when the full, aggregate amount of effort towards the activities remains less than 1% of the total effort during the term.

Please note that, as a general rule, grant proposal development is not considered insignificant enough to be classified as de minimis activity.
How do I record effort on non-sponsored activities, such as grant proposal development and administrative duties when I am an individual who is 100% funded from a sponsored project?
A portion of salary consistent with the effort is required for any non-sponsored activities during a reporting period must be paid from non-federally funded sources, including university state-funded budgets, SRAD funds, and endowments. No activities can be performed as "volunteer", "off-book", or "unfunded" activities when an individual is 100% sponsored funded.
Does a "no-cost" extension of a sponsored project require a funding source to support effort towards the project?
Yes. All activity related to a sponsored project must be funded by one or more funding sources. Some departments may require individuals to charge salary to a project if any funds are still available on the project, regardless of the "no-cost" extension period. If an individual requests a "no-cost" extension on a project without the prior funding approval of a department, an individual may be prohibited from engaging in work on the project if no other sources are made available. Please consult with your department management prior to submitting any no-cost extension requests to the project sponsor.
I have requested a no-cost extension of my sponsored project. How do I record this effort in my FACET effort report?
An individual spending effort towards a no-cost extension of a sponsored project must continue to be funded from a valid source for those activities during the extension period. This funding may come from department E&G and SRAD budgets, for example, where department approval has been obtained and no explicit restrictions exist. If you plan to reduce your effort on a project make sure to work with Sponsored Research Administration to also reduce your commitment. If you indicate 'no changes' when requesting a no-cost extension, that is assumed you are maintaining your previous commitment amount.
What is the relationship between the Assignment of Responsibilities (AOR) and FACET Effort Reporting?
The AOR is a document that reflects the agreement between a department and a faculty member as to the expectations of assigned duties for the next academic year. The AOR is generally completed in the spring semester prior to the academic year. It is considered an estimate of expected effort, and can be adjusted at any time as appropriate. FACET is a post-hoc, after-the-term effort reporting application for activities performed during the term. FACET effort reports must always provide an accurate accounting of effort an individual spends on all activities during the term.
Can effort in FACET be different from the AOR or must they match?
Yes, they can be different. The AOR is an estimate of expectations at a certain point in time. FACET is a record of the distribution of effort the faculty member actually performed. As such, minor differences are expected and should be recorded on the FACET Effort Certification. Large variances should be addressed by amending the AOR. An example would be a faculty member receiving sponsored funding that was not anticipated when the AOR was prepared; this would result in actual effort being different from what was outlined in the AOR. The AOR should be amended to reflect the change when it occurs.