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Cost Sharing in Research and Sponsored Programs

Cost sharing is not typically required. Each grant program is different, however, having the probability that cost sharing will be used to meet the goals of the project or leverage the funding capacity of different departments or other parites. In the even that cost sharing is part of the project budget, the following guidelines are helpful in planning, budgeting, and accounting for this special funding category. 

Mandatory Cost Sharing

Mandatory cost sharing is required by the agency and must be included and budgeted as part of the sponsored award. It is explicitly required by the funding notice and must be included in the proposal for consideration by the sponsor.

Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing

Voluntary cost sharing is not required by the agency but is included and budgeted as part of the award. It is not expected by the sponsor in the proposal and cannot be considered as a factor of merit review by the sponsor unless criteria for consideration are explicitly described in the notice of funding opportunity. These costs must be accounted for during execution of the project. 

Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing

Voluntary UNCOMMITTED cost sharing is not required by the agency and is not included or budgeted for as part of the sponsored program. It is neither proposed nor expected but may occur during program administration.

Sources of Sharing/Matching

The value of any service or resource provided by a university or a third party in support of a sponsored project. Third-party in-kind contributions may be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies, or other goods and services directly benefiting and specifically designated for APSU’s project or program. 2 CFR 200.306 dictates the terms by which in-kind contributions are valued for the purpose of fulfilling cost sharing obligations.
Cash contributions differ from in-kind contributions in that an actual cash transaction occurs and can be documented in the accounting system. This includes allocation of compensated faculty and staff time to projects. Although it is easy to mistake the allocation of compensated faculty/staff time as a donation or as in-kind because the faculty or staff member would be compensated regardless of the advent of the sponsored project, the value is the result of a cash transaction and should be treated as a cash contribution. Other examples of a cash contribution include the purchasing of equipment by the institution or other eligible sponsor for the benefit of the project requiring cost sharing.
Unrecovered indirect costs — aka facilities and administrative F&A costs — equates to the difference between the amount charged to the federal award and the amount which could have been charged to the federal award under the nonfederal entity’s approved negotiated indirect costs rate.