Calculating Effort for Grants

Calculating Effort for Grants

Person months is the metric for expressing the effort (amount of time) PI(s), faculty, and other senior personnel devote to a specific project. The effort is based on the type of appointment of the individual with the organization; e.g., calendar year (CY), academic year (AY), and/or summer term (SM); and the organization's definition of such.

How Do You Calculate Person Months?

Conversion of percentage of effort to person months is straightforward. 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)

Another example:

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)