Office of Research Search

Cost Share

Office of Management and Budget, A-110

Cost Sharing is defined as committed resources that are NOT funded in a research agreement. Common examples include salary costs in excess of the NIH salary cap and committed but unfunded effort. This cost share is funded by a departmental account. On all grants, no cost sharing commitments may be submitted unless specifically approved by the respective Dean.

Methods of cost sharing:

  • Cash: the recipient's cash outlay contributions under the direct control of the recipient
  • In-Kind: value of non-cash contributions provided by non-Federal third parties, not in control of the recipient
    • Volunteer services – based on rates paid for similar work; associated benefits; cannot include F&A
    • Donated equipment and supplies – at current fair market value

Since in-kind expenses are not expenditures made by the university, documentation must include the value of the donated equipment, supplies, and/or volunteer services.

Types of cost sharing:

  • Mandatory Cost Sharing: the portion of the university's contribution to a sponsored project which is required by the terms of the project. It must be included or a proposal will receive no consideration by the sponsor.
  • Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing: Those resources that are committed and budgeted for in a sponsored agreement.
    • i.e. Salary amounts in excess of sponsor salary cap and associated benefits
  • Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing: Expenses that are over and above that which is committed and budgeted.
    • i.e. Expenses incurred above the budgeted cost share


Specifically identify
in Effort Certification?
Lowers F&A recovery? Must be formally tracked
and documented?
Mandatory Yes Yes Yes
Voluntary committed Yes Yes Yes
Voluntary uncommitted No No No


Criteria for Cost Sharing

  • Verifiable from the recipients' records – must be documented
  • Not included as contributions for any other federally-assisted program
  • Necessary and allowable under cost principles for accomplishment of the project
  • Have not been paid by the federal government under another award
    • Cannot use other federal funds to meet cost share commitments
  • Provided for in the approved budget

Cost Sharing Cycle

  • Starts with a commitment in a proposal
    • Mandatory (eligibility requirement)
    • Voluntary committed – look for commitments made in proposal narrative that may be interpreted as a commitment to cost share
  • Once a proposal is awarded, ALL commitments become mandatory obligations
    • If sponsor reduces budget, make sure to clarify cost sharing commitment
  • Award stage
    • Must be documented, reported, certified and included in F&A rate

All cost share accounts in the grant's module of PeopleSoft much be cost share specific, and no new awards will be generated until associated cost share has been funded.

To create a cost share account, the department must complete a BAF to remove those funds from the OEA level. The BAF will be approved through the Finance and Budget Offices. Once the cost share cost center is created, those funds removed by the BAF are added to the project's budget at the PED level by OPM.

Allowable cost sharing must be necessary and reasonable for the performance of the project objectives, and cost shared expenses must be reasonable, allocable, and consistent with the terms of the award. These expenses must also be made during the effective dates of the project it is associated with.

Costs that are not allowable to be billed to the sponsor are not allowable on cost share accounts, i.e. alcoholic beverages

Expenses to this cost center will be monitored monthly to make sure the spending of the cost share is on track. The percentage of cost share expensed must match the percentage of sponsored funds expensed.