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: (a) when required by the sponsor; (b) to the extent necessary to meet the specific requirements of the particular solicitation; (c) if all Cost Sharing commitments are included in the proposal budget; (d) if the unit executive officer responsible for the committed funds provides approval prior to proposal submission; (e) where permitted by university and sponsor policies; and (f) 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 and committed Cost Sharing should meet the following core principles:

  • Cost Sharing cannot include contributions from Federally Funded Sponsored Projects unless the federal sponsor authorizes the university to apply such funds to Matching or Cost Sharing requirements of the 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 terms that apply to the approved Sponsored Project budget.
  • For a Federally Funded Sponsored Project, Unrecovered Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs may be included as part of the university’s Cost Sharing only with the prior approval of the federal awarding agency.


Cost Sharing: The portion of the total Sponsored Project costs not borne by the sponsor.Matching: 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 Sponsored 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 that can become a binding commitment if 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 though not required or quantified in the proposal or in the award.  Examples include faculty effort provided or other direct costs assumed above and beyond the amount of Committed Cost Sharing. Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing does not a constitute a binding commitment, 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 Sponsored 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 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. The funding terms and conditions for Sponsored Projects are contained in grants, contracts, cooperative agreements and other similar legal documents.


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

  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 prior to the submission of the proposal to Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA).
  4. SPA will review the proposed Cost Sharing to determine if the commitment is consistent with this policy. SPA may confirm whether all contributing units approve. SPA’s review includes Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing offered to address the competitive nature of a proposal.

See federal regulations on Cost Sharing or Matching at 2 CFR §200.306.


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

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