The University encourages, supports, and values the efforts of faculty to obtain external funding for their research endeavors. The University wants to minimize its cost sharing on sponsored projects. The University will only offer cost sharing if it is mandated by the sponsor or needed to accurately reflect the resources required to conduct the project. Core cost sharing principles include:
- If cost sharing is mandatory, Principal Investigators (PIs) must include it in the proposal budget and are expected to meet that commitment.
- Cost sharing cannot include contributions from other sponsored projects, unless they are specifically authorized by both sponsors.
- An expense used as cost sharing may be used only once (e.g.; designated as a match on one award cannot also be used as a match on a second award).
- Costs used to satisfy cost sharing commitments are subject to the same policies as other costs under the approved budget, unless they are authorized specifically by that sponsor. Thus, to qualify for cost sharing all charges must be:
- allowable under University and sponsor policies and the terms of the award;
- allocable as a cost to the project;
- reasonable and necessary for performance of the project; and
- All effort commitments must be met regardless of funding source. If effort is committed as cost sharing, it must be approved by the department head at the time of the proposal. All effort on the project should be included as a direct cost in the proposal budget unless authorized specifically as committed cost sharing and all effort commitments must be met.
Because cost sharing typically involves use of departmental or collegiate funds, department heads or deans must approve the commitment at the time of proposal and may impose limits on the amount of cost sharing committed by faculty and staff in their units.
Units who have committed cost sharing (including matching and in-kind contributions) must conform to University and federal policies and the cost sharing must be verifiable through documentation that is retained according to the University's record retention obligations for the award. Committed cost sharing other than in-kind contributions must be recorded through EFS (PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial System).
Reason for Policy
Because faculty are given latitude in developing the scientific and financial aspects of their proposals, it is essential that the use of cost sharing does not overburden departmental and/or other University resources. Excessive or unnecessary cost sharing can impact the recovery of facilities and administrative (indirect) costs as well as the negotiated institutional facilities and administrative (indirect) cost rate.
Sponsors and auditors must be able to verify that funds committed as cost sharing have been provided. Therefore, this policy and its procedure have been developed to ensure that cost sharing is properly included in proposals and reported to sponsors.