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 only be used 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 specifically authorized by that sponsor. Thus, to qualify for cost sharing all charges must be:
- allowable under University and sponsor policies and the terms of the Notice of Grant/Contract Award (NOGA);
- allocable as a cost to the project;
- reasonable and necessary for performance of the project; and
- allowed as a direct cost on the project.
- All effort on the project should be included as a direct cost in the proposal budget unless specifically authorized on a Proposal Routing Form (PRF) as committed cost sharing and all effort commitments must be met.
Because cost sharing often involves use of departmental or collegiate funds, department heads or deans must approve the commitment via the PRF and may impose limits on the amount of cost sharing volunteered 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 tracked through EFS.
Reason for Policy
The University encourages, supports, and values the efforts of faculty to obtain external funding for their research endeavors. Faculty must therefore be given substantial latitude in developing the scientific and financial aspects of their proposals to increase their success in the highly competitive arena of sponsored projects. However, it is essential that the use of cost sharing does not overburden departmental and /or other University resources and facilities and administrative (indirect) recoveries. Excessive or unnecessary cost sharing can also have the effect of reducing the facilities and administrative (indirect) cost rate.
Sponsors and auditors must be able to verify that funds committed to cost sharing have been provided. Therefore, this policy and its procedures have been developed to help faculty properly include and report cost sharing, and to indicate when the approval of the department head, dean or other administrators is required.