Cost Sharing

No. 4-28     Rev. 05-25-16      Date 11-08-05      




To establish rules governing cost-sharing for sponsored projects.  This policy is in concert with 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance). 


2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance) 


Project costs are all allowable costs to accomplish the objectives of an externally sponsored program or project.  Cost-sharing may be in the form of University cash or in-kind contributions, third party goods or services, or charitable contributions, either existing or new.  These charitable contributions include, but are not limited to, cash, stock or in-kind.

Cost-sharing is an all-encompassing term for the portion of project costs not borne by the sponsor.  The sponsor may require cost-sharing by placing a limit on the percent or share of a program's cost it will pay.

Mandated cost-sharing is that which is required by the funding agency:  For example, the government may require a percentage of cost-sharing in the appropriation language.

Voluntary cost-sharing is that which is offered by the University in order to make a proposal more attractive, and increase the likelihood of funding.

In-kind cost-sharing is the value of allowable non-cash project costs provided by the University and/or eligible third parties which can be documented by supporting records.  This type of cost-sharing may be in the form of reassigned salaried time and benefits, volunteer time, travel expenses, non-routine supplies, specialized equipment, materials and contributed indirect costs.

Cash cost-sharing is actual cash from the University and/or eligible third parties which is dedicated to defray a portion of a particular sponsored project's costs.  Cash cost-sharing may be from Provost's cost-sharing fund, from deans' or department chairs' budgets, or from donations or cash participation of eligible third parties. 


A.  Any sharing of costs, whether it be in the form of actual cash or in-kind services, carries a hidden cost in time and effort to fulfill the monitoring and documenting requirements of the sponsor.  Proposals with full costs supported by the sponsor should be explored before any cost-sharing is contemplated.  All cost-sharing must be allowable, relevant and necessary for the successful completion of the project.

B.  Requests for cash or in-kind cost-sharing must be approved in writing prior to the OSP submission of the proposal to the sponsor.

C.  If the sponsor funds less than the proposal requested, the University will reduce its cost-sharing amount proportionately.

D.  The amount of University or third-party cash and/or in-kind cost-sharing should be limited to the specific amount or percent of program costs required by the program's authorizing legislation.  The University will consider and approve exceptions to this on a case-by-case basis only.

E.  Voluntary cash or in-kind cost-sharing will be approved only when the project is of exceptional interest and importance to the mission of the University, and the project will not be funded without such cost-sharing.

F.  Cash and in-kind cost-sharing, once claimed as University contribution to a sponsored project, cannot be claimed as cost-sharing on any other project.

G.  No federal funds can be claimed as cash or in-kind cost-sharing on any other federally funded project.

H.  Cash cost-sharing funds must be spent in accordance with the sponsor's approved budget for allowable expenditures, and must be available and used within the formally defined project period.

I.  At the end of a project, any unobligated funds remaining in the sponsor's account, or the University's cost-sharing fund, will be returned to its contributor (with the exception of donor funds), unless specified written prior approval to use the funds for other costs is requested and approved by the sponsor and/or the Provost's Office.  In the case of donor cost sharing, University Development will consult with the responsible department and the donor to agree on appropriate use.

J.  Should new donations be desired, the Vice President for University Relations will be notified, and all donor solicitations will be made by University Development.

In some instances, if consistent with donor intent, existing programs supported through donor funds may be used as part of the cost-sharing.  If a change in the use of donor funds is desired, or if questions regarding the use of donor funds arise, the Vice President for University Relations will be notified to determine if the donor should be contacted or, if the donor is deceased, to determine if the desired use is in keeping with the donor's original philanthropic intent.