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Conversion of percentage of effort to person months is straight-forward. To calculate person months, multiply the percentage of your effort associated with the project times the number of months of your appointment. For example:
25% of a 9 month academic year appointment equals 2.25 (AY) person months (9 x 0.25= 2.25)
10% of a 12 month calendar appointment equals 1.2 (CY) person months (12 x 0.10 = 1.2)
35% of a 3 month summer term appointment equals 1.05 (SM) person months (3 x 0.35= 1.05)
10% of a 0.5 FTE 12 month appointment equals 0.6 (CY) person months (12 x .5 X .1 = 0.6)
If the regular pay schedule of an institution is a 9 month academic year and the PI will devote 9 months at 30% time/effort and 3 months summer term at 30% time/effort to the project, then 2.7 academic months and .9 summer months should be listed in the academic and summer term blocks of the application (9 x 30% = 2.7 person months; 3 x 30%= .9)
See Percent of Time & Effort to Person Months Calculator (Excel - 20 KB).
A. By devoting 100% effort during 9 academic months of the AY (1.0 x 9 = 9 person-months).No matter what calculation is used, when calculating using a metric other than calendar months, any combination of academic and summer effort must still equal the equivalent of 9 calendar months.
B. By devoting 75% effort during 9 academic months of the AY (0.75 x 9 = 6.75 person-months), AND also devoting 75% effort during 3 summer months (0.75 x 3 = 2.25 person-months).
C. By devoting 67% effort during 9 academic months of the AY (0.67 x 9 = 6 person-months), AND also devoting 100% effort during 3 summer months (1.0 x 3 = 3 person-months).
Person months reported in the Research Performance Progress Report should be reported in whole numbers (1-12). Effort should be rounded to the nearest whole person month; e.g., 1.6 person months would be entered as 2 person months. See NIH Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Instruction Guide (Chapter 6.4 Participants D.1).
Person Months reported in the PHS 2590 may be reported using decimals. See instructions for the All Personnel Report (2.2.8 in the PHS 2590).
For all progress reports, person months less than one should only be reported if that individual is the PD/PI.
The SF424 (R&R) budget accommodates partial months up to two decimal places (e.g., 2.55 is an acceptable value) and less than a full month (e.g., .50 is an acceptable value).
The person months used in the competing application, both in the detailed budgets or the budget justification, should reflect the actual effort that an individual is proposing to devote to the project regardless of the compensation that is requested. Effort and institutional base salary in detailed budgets are used to verify the requested salary. Applicants should describe any differences or provide clarification for salary requested, as needed, in the budget justification.
For example: 10% Univ. appointment would be listed as 1.2 mos on one line of the budget & 15% VA appointment would be 1.8 mos on another. Or if this is a Modular grant then the grantee should reflect this information in the budget justification identifying his/hers appointment type (i.e. calendar, academic and/or summer months).When dealing with the concept of total professional effort, it is still appropriate to reflect overall responsibility proportional totals as percentages of total. This would be acceptable since you are potentially dealing with clinical, administrative, teaching and/or research responsibilities within each appointment. However, grantees have the flexibility to manage this process in the manner that fits their institutional practice as long as consistency is applied.