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New Practices for Cost Sharing and Matching

In order to coordinate and facilitate the provision of central funds for cost sharing in grant and contract applications, the University of Utah has developed new policies and procedures for handling these requests, effective August 1, 2020. Cost sharing is defined as the portion of a project budget that is not borne by the sponsor.

The University wants to support as many proposals as possible, but resources are limited. For this reason, the responsibility for funding the cost share commitment lies with the department/college. However, after maximizing department and/or college resources, the University may provide funding for the remaining difference (“Institutional Cash Contribution”) to meet the cost share requirements.

The Institutional Cash Contribution provided by the University may alter the F&A distribution to a department/college. The University anticipates the cost share amount will be less than or equal to the anticipated F&A collected from the project. If the Institutional Cash Contribution is more than the anticipated F&A collected, approval is unlikely. Please also note that if the anticipated F&A is less than 5% of the Institutional Cash Contribution, the department/college will support the administrative burden of tracking commitments and actual allocations by providing a chartfield to pay the difference.

Units are encouraged to maximize pre-existing allowable resources, which will have the net effect of reducing the Institutional Cash Contribution and increasing the amount of returned F&A.

The University will also prioritize Institutional Cash Contributions for proposals with mandatory cost sharing requirements, as indicated in a Request for Proposal (RFP). Institutional Cash Contributions for voluntary, unsolicited cost sharing or for extra cost sharing above the sponsor required minimum will be considered on a case-by-case basis but are heavily discouraged. However, many other opportunities exist to demonstrate cost sharing in addition to cash contributions.

Per Office of Sponsored Projects cost share guidelines, contributions can include but are not limited to:

  • Salary Support
  • Unrecovered F&A
  • Faculty Start-Up Funds
  • Equipment
  • Other Sponsored Non-Federal Projects
  • Tuition
  • 3rd Party Cash Contributions
  • 3rd Party In-Kind Contributions
  • Recharge Center Credits or Discounts
  • Industry Donations

These forms of cost sharing should be utilized to contribute to required/mandatory cost sharing along with cash contributions, and they may also be used for voluntary contributions when allowed by the sponsor. Only eligible sources of cost sharing can be counted in all the above examples, including faculty effort; i.e. no federal funds may be counted for cost sharing unless specially approved by the federal agency contributing to the cost sharing.

Procedures for Handling Requests for Campus Support of Cost Sharing:

The Vice President for Research (VPR) has the authority to commit Institutional Cash Contributions to help defray mandatory cost sharing. Requests must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Projects, at least 10 business days prior the submission deadline, using the Cost Share Approval Form.

The department and PI share responsibility for ensuring that the following has occurred prior to the submission of the request:

  • The cost share request is in accordance with University Policy on Cost Sharing (PDF)
  • The cost share request is in compliance with 2 CFR Section 200.306 - Cost sharing and matching
  • The funding source(s) for the cost share request have been identified and authorized by the PI/co-PI and by the department/college approvers as designated in eProposal

OSP will review and either approve or return the cost share request for revision and/or reconsideration. Once OSP approval occurs in eProposal, the Document Summary Sheet (DSS) – along with the Cost Share Approval Form - is then automatically routed to the VPR for final consideration. 

For additional information, please visit OSP's Cost Sharing information and view the updated Cost Share Approval Form

Last Updated: 8/7/20