Cost Sharing on Sponsored Projects


To establish the conditions in which the university will commit to Cost Sharing; the process for including Cost Sharing in a Sponsored Project; and the core principles that Cost Sharing must meet.


This policy applies to all Sponsored Projects regardless of funding source.


Vice Chancellor for Research


The university will normally commit to Cost Sharing only:

  1. when required by the sponsor;
  2. to the extent necessary to meet the specific requirements of the particular solicitation;
  3. if all Cost Sharing commitments are included in the proposal budget;
  4. if the unit executive officer responsible for the committed funds provides approval prior to proposal submission;
  5. where permitted by university and sponsor policies; and
  6. where the proposed Cost Sharing is allocable to and directly benefiting the Sponsored Project and reasonable and necessary for the performance of the Sponsored Project.

The university is required to track all Committed Cost Sharing, both Mandatory Committed Cost Sharing and Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing, and make available documentation to the sponsor upon request to verify the Cost Sharing amounts claimed.

All proposed or committed Cost Sharing should meet the following core principles.

  • Cost Sharing cannot include contributions from Federally Funded Sponsored Projects unless authorized by the federal sponsor that the funds can be applied to Matching or Cost Sharing requirements of other federal programs or other Federally Funded sources.
  • Cost Sharing on any Sponsored Project cannot include contributions from any other Sponsored Project, unless each sponsor specifically authorizes the Cost Sharing in writing.
  • An expense cannot be used as Cost Sharing on more than one Sponsored Project. For example, a cost on a gift fund designated as a match on one Sponsored Project cannot also be used as a match on a second Sponsored Project.
  • Costs used to satisfy Cost Sharing commitments are subject to the same agreed upon terms and conditions under the approved project budget.
  • For a Federally Funded Sponsored Project, Unrecovered Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs may be included as part of cost sharing only with the prior approval of the federal awarding agency.


Cost Sharing
The portion of the total project costs not borne by the sponsor.
Cost Sharing in which the sponsor requires the university to match the level of grant funding in a specified proportion, such as a 50% match or a “1 to 1” match.
Committed Cost Sharing
A binding commitment by the university in the proposal or executed award document to provide resources in support of the project, whether the Cost Sharing is Mandatory Committed Cost Sharing or Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing.
Mandatory Committed Cost Sharing
Cost Sharing that the sponsor requires as a condition of obtaining an award.
Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing
Cost Sharing that the sponsor does not require as a condition of obtaining an award, but is quantified in the proposal budget or narrative; some sponsors forbid the use of Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing.
Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing
Cost Sharing that the university provides where not required or quantified in the proposal or referenced in the award. Examples include faculty-effort or other direct costs provided above and beyond the amount of Committed Cost Sharing as part of the proposed award costs. Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing does not constitute a binding agreement, is not tracked or reported as Cost Sharing, is not certified as project effort or costs, and is not included for audit purposes.
Third Party (In-kind) Cost Sharing Contribution
The value of non-cash contributions that third parties provide to the project. Third parties must provide documentation to support the use of the funds as university Cost Sharing and a certification of the fair market value of the non-cash contribution provided.
Unrecovered Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs
The difference between the federally negotiated F&A rate applicable to the award and the actual F&A rate approved by the sponsor and used in assessing indirect costs.
Federally Funded
Funding received directly from federal agencies as well as federal pass-through funds received indirectly from non-federal sponsors.
Sponsored Project
Activities supported by entities outside the university that are consistent with and enhance the teaching, research, and public service missions of the university and that include a defined scope or objective and reporting and compliance requirements. Sponsored Projects include grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and other types of agreements.


The university is required to state in a proposal whether resources that are committed as Cost Sharing and, whether the commitment of resources is Mandatory Committed Cost Sharing or Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing. The procedure for processing all Cost Sharing commitments requires the following.

  1. The Principal Investigator shall include all Cost Sharing in the proposal budget.
  2. The Principal Investigator shall properly identify and note the Cost Sharing commitment on the appropriate internal proposal approval forms.
  3. The unit executive officer responsible for the committed funds must approve the Cost Sharing commitment prior to the submission of the proposal to the Office of Sponsored Programs.
  4. The Office of Sponsored Programs will review the Cost Sharing commitment to determine whether the commitment is consistent with this policy and reserves the right to seek confirmation of approval from all contributing units. This includes Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing offered to address the competitive nature of a proposal.

For more information regarding federal regulations on Cost Sharing, see 2 CFR §200.29 Cost Sharing or Matching.

For Frequently Asked Questions related to this policy, see


The Vice Chancellor for Research may approve exceptions to this policy.


David Richardson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, (217) 300-7191,