Questions about this topic can be answered by:

Bible, Sara

Associate Vice Provost for Research

Vice Provost and Dean of Research

(650) 723-9050

Schulz, Kenneth P

Associate Vice President

Research Financial Compliance & Services - Mgmt & Adm

(650) 725-1733

Federal Regulation and Stanford Policy

Federal regulations require certification of payroll distribution (total salaries) for each faculty, staff, ASR (Academic Staff Researcher), student and postdoctoral scholar whose Stanford salary is charged in whole or in part to one or more of the following:

  • Federally sponsored projects
  • Subawards with a federal prime sponsor where Stanford is a recipient
  • Cost sharing accounts for federally sponsored projects
  • Non federally sponsored projects that have adopted the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Federal Requirements (A-21) or Uniform Guidance

Faculty, and in rare situations designated certifiers, review and certify employee payroll distribution on an annual basis beginning with calendar year 2013 salaries and wage, using the eCertification system. Prior to certification, the financial or research administrator will review the annual payroll distribution for reasonableness. 

Payroll distribution certification is Stanford's means of providing assurance to federal sponsors that effort was devoted at a level that reasonably reflects the activity for which the employee is compensated by the institution. For anyone whose Stanford salary meets one of the four criteria listed above, the eCertification Payroll Distribution System displays salary charges to: sponsored projects, cost sharing accounts, over the salary cap category and non sponsored category, expressed as a percentage of total Stanford payroll for review and certification.

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Who Certifies?

Faculty self certification:

  • Faculty members and individuals with PI waivers who charge any portion of their salary to any funding sources listed above will review and certify their own payroll distribution.

PI certification of employees:

  • PIs will review and certify payroll distribution for staff, ASRs, students and postdoctoral scholars who perform work and are compensated by on his/her sponsored projects.


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Faculty or Individuals with a PI Waiver Leaving Stanford

Certifiers Leaving Stanford

Certifiers who plan to leave Stanford must complete his or her review and certification before leaving as their award and property under Stanford direction will not be transferred until certification is complete. As soon you are aware a certifier is leaving, contact RFCS and the faculty affairs officer in your school or department.

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Email Announcing Payroll Distribution Certification 2014

To: Stanford Research Community
From: Sara Bible, Associate Vice Provost for Research, Vice Provost and Dean of Research
Ken Schulz, Associate Vice President, Research Financial Compliance & Services
Date: March 31, 2015

Subject: Regulatory requirement - 2014 Annual Payroll Distribution Certification

Dear Faculty,

The 2014 Annual Payroll Distribution Certification system is open for your review and certification. You will be directed to the Payroll Distribution Briefing if you did not review it last year.  If you reviewed it last year you will be directed to a short page with some helpful reminders.  Certification of payroll charges for calendar 2014 by faculty, principal investigators and those with a waiver to serve as principal investigators begins today (March 31) and must be completed by June 5, 2015.

Use the following link to begin the review and certification process. https://ecertification.stanford.edu

Please use the eCertification Payroll Distribution System to review and certify payroll distribution for your staff, academic staff researchers, students and postdoctoral scholars who performed work on and are compensated by your federally sponsored projects during 2014.  You will also review and certify your own payroll distribution.  The 2014 calendar year salary data for sponsored projects and cost sharing accounts is compiled from the four quarterly expenditure statements that you already reviewed and certified, including any salary adjustments that you authorized for the same period.  The Annual Payroll Distribution Certification is displayed by person rather than by sponsored project.  Your research or financial administrators will have reviewed the data for your accounts in advance and can be consulted about this task.  A green check in the record will indicate that your research or financial administrator has completed his or her review.

Information about this requirement has been added to the Research Policy Handbook 3.2 Fiscal Responsibilities of Principal Investigators: Management of Project Expenditures.

We appreciate your prompt attention to this federal requirement.  If you have questions our contact information is below.

Sara Bible: sbible@stanford.edu or 723.9050

Ken Schulz: kschulz@stanford.edu or 725.1733

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