The University has adopted the concept of professional effort as the only measure of performance of scholarly and research activities. This concept, which is standard accounting practice for not-for-profits, has been accepted by the federal government in justifying charges for professional effort devoted to federal grants and contracts. It is the instrument used to check that salaries charged to each federal award are reasonable and in line with the actual time worked on the project. In dealing with prospective sponsors, faculty and professional staff members should confine themselves to promising to give to the research some reasonable percentage of their full-time professional effort rather than committing themselves to devote a specified time expressed in hours per week or other time unit.
Graduate research assistants are to be considered as devoting 100% of their total effort to research projects if their only other academic responsibility within the department is to pursue courses and other requirements for an advanced degree.