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Compliance protocols MUST be approved and linked in SeRA to a SPO project record prior to award acceptance. 

See ORA's Award Acceptance Resources for additional information.

eCertification System: Briefing for Overseers

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This briefing is for Administrators with Overseer Authority who will use the eCertification system quarterly to monitor the review and certification of sponsored project expenditures by PIs and their administrators. Please read this briefing before using this system for the first time.

eCertification Overseer Access

eCertification Overseer Access is granted in Authority Manager.  Each school and the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research (VPDoR) has designated at least one individual as a school level overseer.  School level overseers have grantable eCertification Overseer authority in Authority Manager and may grant department overseer authority where appropriate through Authority Manager.

The Principal Investigator's Responsibilities

Sponsored project and cost sharing account expenditures must be reviewed and certified by the PI quarterly in the eCertification system to confirm that they are reasonable, allowable and provide benefit (allocable) to the project. These responsibilities are detailed in The Research Policy Handbook (RPH 3.2.5).

The review and certification process must be completed within approximately 75 days after the end of each academic quarter.  Additional information about the Monthly Review and Quarterly PI Review and Certification Process can be found here.

Research administrators are expected to complete and document their review of project expenditures before the PI reviews and certifies. The eCertification system records this review for PIs to see.

Overseers are expected to monitor both administrator's review progress, and PI's review and certification progress.

The Data in the eCertification System

The data source is the same as for all other Stanford financial systems.  It is refreshed every two days until the close of each quarter.

The system displays confidential salary data. Stanford takes seriously its commitment to respect and protect the privacy of its faculty, students, alumni, and staff, as well as to protect the confidentiality of information important to the university's academic and research mission.

By certifying the principal investigator confirms: to the best of my knowledge, salary and wages charged to this project are appropriate in relation to work performed on this project. All other costs charged to this project are, to the best of my knowledge, appropriate. Where required, corrections have been or will be made through the accounting system.

How to Use the eCertification System

  • Use Firefox or Chrome as your browser. Do not use Internet Explorer (IE).
  • Use your SU Net ID and password to log in
  • Data is role specific. Roles: faculty, principal investigator, individuals with a principal investigator waiver, research administrator, school overseer. Review and certification status is available to PIs and their research administrators.
  • Progress is automatically saved and can be completed in multiple sessions.
  • Review and certification of project expenses is retained in the eCertification system.
  • The default view is data for the active Certification Quarter.  You can change the period to view quarter-to-date data or previous certification quarters from the left hand navigation menu.

Launch the eCertification System

What if I am assigned a Task Manager role AND am also an overseer?

You will need to “switch” views within eCertification between the two roles to perform each function.  You can find this on the left hand navigation screen in eCertification.

Switch View

Overseer Responsibilities

As an Overseer it is important that you become familiar with the eCertification system so you can monitor the progress of the Research Administrators and Principal Investigators for whom you are responsible.

As an Overseer you have the following responsibilities:

  • Review the list of Task Managers and update in PTA Maintenance as applicable. Ensure all Research Administrators have salary view authority in Authority Manager
  • Review the list of certifiers to make sure that they are valid PIs and they are not listed as Task Managers
  • Reassign a Task Manager permanently through SU PTA Maintenance  Please note, task manager reassignments made within PTA Maintenance will take 2 days to update in eCertification.
  • Reassign a Task Manager temporarily for the quarter as necessary within the system. Select "Reassign" from the top navigation. You can temporarily reassign a task manager for one or all PTAs for one quarter.  A temporary re-assignment should update in eCert in real time.  If you are unable to find a person you want to reassign as Task Manager, please go to SU PTA Maintenance and assign them as the permanent Task Manager. 
Temp task manager reassignment screen
  • If you are a School Overseer, grant department overseer authority where appropriate through Authority Manager.

  • Review all the other functionality that is available to you in the system such as left navigation, dashboard links, drill down functionality etc.

  • Maintain the correct Primary Task Managers for each PI and Self Certifier.

  • Monitor Task Manager Review progress and PI Certification the progress against the due date.

  • Assist with the escalation process as necessary.

The following award types will be marked as Review Not Tracked/Certification Not Required.  Stanford policy requires all PTAs, including non-sponsored PTAs, to be reviewed monthly. However, the policy does not require an administrator to document their review in the eCertification system for the following projects.

  • Joint Personnel Agreement (JPA)
  • Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreements (IPA)
  • Personnel Services Agreement (PSA)
  • Fellowship awards
  • Financial Aid Office Sponsored funded Student-Aid
  • University Research
  • Cost-Sharing Overdrafts
  • Non-Salary threshold +/- $100
  • Project with no transactions


To respect and protect privacy faculty can view their own 100% salary distribution.

Faculty who do NOT serve as a principal investigator on any sponsored projects and work on other PI’s project(s) must review and self-certify their own 100% salary distribution via the self-certification functionality within eCertification each quarter as per Stanford’s Research Policy Handbook 3.2.

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) - Research Administration Policy and Compliance (RAPC) team will send a dedicated email to Self-Certifiers each quarter to remind them of their responsibility to review and certify their payroll distribution.

Self-Certification User Guide

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Need further eCertification assistance?  Have questions, feedback, or are experiencing other issues?  Please submit a HelpSU ticket to the eCertification Support Team and an eCertification Support Analyst will contact you shortly.