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Cost Sharing

Cost share (also known as Match) is that portion of the project or program costs that are not borne by the sponsor. This section, along with the University's Cost Sharing on Sponsored Projects (PDF) policy, provides guidance that will facilitate compliance with Federal Costing and Cost Sharing requirements as set forth in OMB Circular A-110 section 23.  This guidance applies to both federal and non-federal sponsored programs.

Approvals

Approval for cost sharing should be discussed with OSP prior to seeking formal approvals. Both mandatory and voluntary cost share require special approval, via eProposal, by the cognizant chair/chief, dean, OSP, and the Vice President for Research. 

Cost share approval is made on a case-by-case basis, but requests should only be made when specifically required by the sponsor.  Voluntary cost share and commitments in excess of the amount required is discouraged.

The University commitment and the cost associated with the commitment must be in accordance with the University's Cost Sharing on Sponsored Projects (PDF) policy.

Types of Cost Share

There are two types of cost sharing that occurs on sponsored projects:

  • Mandatory Committed - Required by the sponsor as an explicit condition of the award
  • Voluntary Committed - Not required but still offered 

The most common form of mandatory cost share is when a sponsor provides a portion of the total project funds and requires the University to provide the remainder of the project funds. With either type, when an award is received in which cost sharing was proposed, it becomes a binding commitment which the University must provide and document as part of the performance of the project.

Match is a form of cost share that generally defines a specific ratio between sponsor funds and additional dollars committed to a project (i.e. 80/20%).  The matching component may be provided by a 3rd party and/or the University. “Cost sharing” and “matching” are frequently used interchangeably.  

Cash cost share usually involves a University outlay of hard dollars or funds specifically allocated to the project. An example of cash cost share is the salaries and benefits paid to University employees who are working on the project. Total cash cost share (including tuition benefits provided for students on the project) should be less than the total F&A brought in to the University from the grant.

In-Kind contributions represent the value of non-cash contributions provided by the University or non-Federal third parties. When such contributions benefit a sponsored project, they generally may be counted as cost sharing. Typical examples of in-kind contributions are services provided by volunteers and contributed time.

Third Party cost share is that which is provided from an entity outside the University. See the 3rd Party compliance agreement (required when 3rd party cost share is proposed).

Cost Sharing and the Proposal

Any University commitment to share in the cost of a project should be requested at least 10 business days prior to the submission deadline and documented on the Cost Share Approval Form (XLS). Prior to the submission of the proposal, the department and PI share responsibility for ensuring that the following has occurred prior to the submission of the request:

  • The University commitment and the cost associated with the commitment are in accordance with University Policy on Cost Sharing (PDF).
  • The University commitment complies, in all ways, with the criteria for the acceptability of cost sharing.
  • The funding source(s) for the University commitment have been identified and authorized utilizing the Document Summary Sheet (DSS) and the Cost Share Approval Form (XLS). Your Sponsored Projects Officer will route the approval to the VPR for consideration. The determination, once received, should be attached to the DSS for your records.
  • Final version of the proposed budget with total direct, F&A, and requested mandatory or voluntary cost share amount.  Indicate the difference between the expected F&A collected in comparison to the cost share amount.  

Funding University Cost Sharing Commitments

In general, the responsibility for funding the cost sharing commitment lies with the department/college. However, the VP of Research may provide funding to meet mandatory cost share, upon approval. 

Resources contributed by a PI, department, college or third party that may be applied toward cost share request can include:

  • Salaries & benefits for investigators and staff (excluding grant salary) for committed effort on the project where the project doesn’t pay for that effort
    1. You may include up to 10% of a state line salary and benefits for unreimbursed effort (cumulative for all projects) (check with the OSP for questions)
    2. Salary support (not from state or grant funding including 2500, 6000, or other discretionary funds, etc.)
    3. Non-committed effort
  • Volunteered time beyond salary cap (if applicable)
  • Tuition paid by the University but not paid directly by grant
  • Donated non-institutional space
  • Donated equipment or time
  • Recharge center credits or discounts
  • Philanthropic contributions dedicated to the project
  • Industry donations including discounts below market rate
  • Imputed F&A that would have been charged on the above

Budgeting for approximate tuition benefit:

Estimate the cost of tuition per semester by going to this link: http://fbs.admin.utah.edu/income/tuition/college-of-engineering/ and selecting the “detailed tuition and fee schedule”. Average resident & non-resident tuition, unless you know in advance if the students will be resident or non-resident students. Plan for 9 credits/ fall and spring semester and up to 3 for summer, for up to the number of credits required for graduation from your program. For NIH grants, budget 60% of the cost of this tuition. If students are working less than full-time on this project (which is considered 20 hours/week for graduate students), reduce the amount of tuition benefit accordingly.

Student health insurance annual premium rates should be budgeted based on what is listed here: http://gradschool.utah.edu/tbp/subsidized-graduate-student-insurance-rates/   

Proposed Mandatory & Voluntary Cost Share Distribution:

All cost sharing requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Upon receipt of the notice of award, OSP will implement cost share distribution as described below:

Mandatory Cost Share:

  • Institutional contribution resources (see above for inclusion and exclusion criteria) will first be deducted from the total cost share request.
  • The college/institute will contribute 15% of the remaining total cash cost share request. At the request of the dean, this commitment can be financed from the project’s expected F&A distribution to the college. The remaining balance of the distribution will be received as normal.
  • The VPR will pay the remaining difference of the cost share.

Calculation Example: 

 

 Amount

Notes:

Mandatory Cost Share Amount:

 $     100,000

 

Pre-existing Institutional Contributions**

 $        50,000

E.g.: Salary Support, Philanthropy, etc.

Balance to be covered with cash

 $       50,000

 

College/Institute Contribution (15% of Balance)

 $          7,500

Taken from future F&A distribution from project

VPR

 $        42,500

Covers remaining balance

Total Cost Share Supported:

 $     100,000

 

 

Voluntary Cost Share:

  • Institutional contribution resources (see above for inclusion and exclusion criteria) will first be deducted from the total cost share request
  • The college/department will contribute 1/2 the new balance of the total cost share request. If the PI is in an institute, the institute will pay 1/3 and the college/department may pay 1/3 of the remaining balance.
  • The VPR will pay the remaining difference of the cost share

Voluntary Cost Share:

 $     100,000

 

Pre-existing Institutional Contributions**

 $        50,000

E.g.: Salary Support, Philanthropy, etc.

Balance to be covered with cash

 $       50,000

 

College/Dept (1/2)

 $        25,000

 

VPR (1/2)

 $        25,000

 

Total Cost Share Supported:

 $     100,000

 

     
 

 Amount

Notes:

Voluntary Cost Share (for INSTITUTES):

 $     100,000

 

Pre-existing Institutional Contributions**

 $        50,000

E.g.: Salary Support, Philanthropy, etc.

Balance to be covered with cash

 $       50,000

 

Institute (1/3)

 $        16,667

 

College/Dept (1/3)

 $        16,667

 

VPR (1/3)

 $        16,667

 

Total Cost Share Supported:

 $     100,000

 

 

Total cost share “cash” is often reduced if institutional contribution resources are maximized.  Units are encouraged to maximize pre-existing institutional contribution resources, which will have the net effect of reducing the unit(s)’s cash contribution to the cost share.

Last Updated: 5/13/18