What is a Person Month and How Do I Calculate it?

When a Principal Investigator (PI) submits a project proposal to a Sponsor, it often includes a description of their effort contributed to the project during the Academic Year. A PI budgets, proposes, and reports the work completed on sponsored project as a percent effort of their total institutional activities. A faculty member’s total institutional activities typically constitute Teaching + Research + Service + Scholarly Activities = 100% effort.  Since types of individual appointments can vary, percent effort is often converted into a metric “person month”. The following NIH blog article “What is a “Person Month” & How Do I Calculate It?”, explains the conversion of effort to person months in a straightforward manner. The article also contains a useful Excel-based Percent of Time & Effort to Person Months Calculator.


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