Cost Sharing and Matching Funds
Cost sharing and matching represent costs that are contributed by the University or third parties to projects that are externally funded. For the purpose of this policy, cost sharing and matching are synonymous, and will be called cost sharing. External sponsors may require the University (and/or third parties) to provide and document cost sharing in order to be eligible for the funding of research, training and public service programs. Cash contributions can be documented by the financial records of the University. In-kind cost sharing is usually for volunteer services or the valuation determined by third parties for personal services, materials, equipment, buildings, and land. Cost sharing provided by the University is considered to be cash rather than in-kind.
The University encourages faculty members to pursue funding for research, training and public service projects because these activities are part of the University's mission, but the University does not generally have funds available for these activities. As a result, faculty are encouraged to pursue programs that offer full recovery of project costs with a minimum of cost sharing. When the terms and conditions of a grant require cost sharing or matching, the Principal Investigator on that grant is responsible for documenting compliance with those requirements.
The level and sources of cost sharing in proposal budgets and budget justifications must be clearly labeled. The sources must also be outlined on the Cost Sharing Request form and approved by the Chair, and Dean providing the funds and the Associate Provost for Research. This form should be submitted with the PTAP at the time of the proposal. If voluntary cost sharing is included in a proposal the sponsor has the right to require that level of support when an award results from the proposal.
Third party in-kind cost sharing in a proposal requires a commitment letter on behalf of the individual or organization indicating the program they are supporting and the value of their commitment. PIs/PDs need to secure commitment letters, signed by authorized representatives of organizations. These letters should be included in proposals. Third parties will usually be asked to confirm their contributions after-the-fact.
Regardless of source, cost sharing and matching funds must be verifiable by the University or donor in accordance with their records. They must also be reasonable, necessary, allowable, and not paid by the sponsor.
With respect to documenting cost share, such documentation is to be submitted to SPA allowing enough time for SPA to confirm and certify those costs. Please allow at least five business days for that review process!