Research Topic

Cost Sharing


Cost sharing may include only expenses that are allowable on and allocable to the project and incurred during the project period. It is the department’s responsibility to provide documentation which supports cost sharing commitments. Documentation and support of cost sharing commitments must accompany the proposal documents submitted to SPA for review.

Policy and Procedures

Campus Administrative Manual Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation FAQs Uniform Guidance—§ CFR.306

The Essentials

Cost sharing is the portion of the total project costs not borne by the sponsor. The university will normally commit to cost sharing only

  • when required by the sponsor,
  • to the extent necessary to meet the specific requirements of the particular solicitation,
  • if all cost sharing commitments are included in the proposal budget,
  • if the unit executive officer responsible for the committed funds provides approval prior to proposal submission,
  • where permitted by university and sponsor policies, and
  • 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.

Per Uniform Guidance §200.306, voluntary committed cost sharing is not expected. It cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of applications or proposals, but may be considered if it is both in accordance with federal awarding agency regulations and specified in a notice of funding opportunity. Any cost share contributions must

  • be verifiable from the non-federal entity's records,
  • not be included as contributions for any other federal award,
  • be necessary and reasonable for accomplishment of project or program objectives,
  • be allowable under the Cost Principles,
  • not be paid by the federal government under another federal award, except where the federal statute authorizing a program specifically provides that federal funds made available for such program can be applied to matching or cost sharing requirements of other federal programs, and
  • be in the approved budget when required by the federal awarding agency.

Cost Share

Contributed Effort

Salaries/benefits paid by the university in support of activities provided to the project by the principal investigator/faculty member or other academic personnel. Reviewed and verified by the PI via the Semi-Annual Confirmation process.

Hard Match

Cost sharing other than contributed effort of PI/faculty and other academic personnel that is provided in direct support of the sponsored project.

Unrecovered F&A

Difference between the indirect costs that the university actually recovered and the amount that could have been recovered if applying the full negotiated rate. ​Prior approval from the sponsor is required to claim unrecovered F&A. The cost share must be comprised of costs that are in direct support of the project and subject to the same allowability criteria as direct costs on the award. If it is unallowable as a direct cost, it is unallowable as cost share.

Job Aids

Types of Cost Share Description Requirements
Mandatory Required by sponsor terms and conditions Documented/tracked
Voluntary—Committed Proposed by the university Documented/tracked
Voluntary—Uncommitted Not proposed Not required to document or track

Quick Tips

 PIs should not include cost sharing language or quantifiable cost sharing amounts in a proposal or proposal budget/budget justification, unless the cost share is explicitly required by the sponsor.

 PIs are 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.

  • The PI shall include all cost sharing in the proposal budget.
  • The PI shall properly identify and note the cost sharing commitment on the appropriate internal proposal approval forms.

 PIs are required to certify all Contributed Effort cost share on their sponsored projects through the Semi-Annual Confirmation process.

Related Documents and Resources

Related Policies