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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 2 CFR Section 200.306 - Cost sharing and matching.  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. Voluntary cost share (committed or not) on National Science Foundation (NSF) projects is always disallowed.

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, when allowable

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

Cost sharing approval must be requested at least 10 business days prior to the submission deadline. The request must be documented in eProposal, using the required 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

The assigned OSP Sponsored Projects Officer (SPO) 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) is then automatically routed to the VPR for final consideration. 

Funding University Cost Sharing Commitments

The responsibility for funding the cost sharing commitment lies with the department/college. However, after maximizing department and/or college resources, the University may provide funding to meet cost share requirements, upon approval. 

Eligible Cost Sharing Resources Include:

  • Salary Support. A chartfield must be provided for salary support on the Cost Share Approval Form
    • PI state line salary, benefits, and associated F&A up to 10% across all funded projects. While there is no requirement, the recommendation from Compliance is that use of 1001 funds (state funding) should be last resort.
    • Non-faculty salary, benefits, and associated F& paid by the University from non-state sources (i.e. Fund 2500, 6000, or other discretionary funds, etc.) & benefits for investigators and staff (excluding grant salary) for committed effort on the project where the project does not pay for that effort.
  • Unrecovered F&A. When the sponsor requires a lower F&A rate than our federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, the amount of the reduction from the full rate may be used to meet cost sharing requirements in accordance with sponsor policy. 
  • Faculty Start-Up Funds. A chartfield must be provided for cash contributions toward direct and indirect costs dedicated to the proposed project.
  • Equipment. A chartfield must be provided for equipment on the Cost Share Approval Form. Equipment must be purchased within the proposed grant period and must be used exclusively for the proposed project or pro-rated based on use for the project. If sponsor allows, associated F&A should be calculated on all equipment less than $5,000 per asset.
  • Other Sponsored Non-Federal Project. Utilizing the expended funds from a separate non-federal sponsored project with approval from both sponsors.
  • Tuition paid by the University but not paid directly by a grant.
  • 3rd Party Cash Contributions. An external entity contributes cash to pay for any of the direct costs associated with a sponsored project. 
  • 3rd Party In-Kind Contributions. An external entity contributed the computed value of external resources supported by auditable records. University F&A is not applicable to 3rd party contributions.
  • Recharge center credits or discounts
  • Industry donations including discounts below market rate

 

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 of resources (see above for inclusion and exclusion criteria) should be maximized and will first be deducted from the total cost share request.
  • The University of Utah will pay any remaining difference ("Institutional Cash Contribution").  Institutional Cash Contributions are supported through discretionary funds managed by the University.  The Institutional Cash Contributions provided by the University on a project may alter the F&A distribution to a College/Department from that project.  Institutional Cash Contributions are reduced if credit for other institutional contribution resources are maximized.  Units are encouraged to maximize pre-existing institutional contributions, which will have the net effect of reducing the University's Institutional Cash Contribution.
  • The University anticipates the cost share amount will be less than or equal to the anticipated F&A collected from participating in the project.  Exceptions will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  Please plan for additional time for OSP and the VPR to review project requirements in these cases.
  • If the anticipated F&A is less than 5% of the Institutional Cash Contribution, the department/college will provide the funds necessary to make up the difference to help support the cost share and administrative burden. 

 

CALCULATION EXAMPLE 1 - Institutional Cash Contribution Exceeds Anticipated F&A: 


REQUIRED MINIMUM COST SHARE PERCENTAGE

30%

 

 

 

 

Direct Costs

$820,000

$100,000,000

 

 

 

 

F&A (52.5%)

$180,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REQUIRED UNIVERSITY COST SHARE

$300,000

 

 

COST SHARE PROVIDED by 3rd PARTY

$0

 

 

TOTAL PROJECT COST

$1,300,000

 

 

 

Allowable Resources (credit)

$0

 

 

 

Remaining Cost Share Commitment

$300,000

 

 

 

FINANCIAL SUMMARY AND OBLIGATIONS OF UNIT

 

Box 1.

Sponsor F&A

$180,000

100%

 

Box 2.

Cash Cost Share Commitment

$197,721 ($300,000 - $103, 279 F&A credit)

109%

 

Box 3.

Box 1. (1) Box 2 (=) Net F&A

-$16,721

-9%

 

 

Amount to be paid by Unit

$25,721

14%

 

CALCULATION EXAMPLE 2 - Institutional Cash Contribution Does Not Exceed Anticipated F&A:


REQUIRED MINIMUM COST SHARE PERCENTAGE

20%

 

 

 

 

Direct Costs

$700,000

$100,000,000

 

 

 

 

F&A (52.5%)

$300,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REQUIRED UNIVERSITY COST SHARE

$200,000

 

 

COST SHARE PROVIDED by 3rd PARTY

$50,000

 

 

TOTAL PROJECT COST

$1,200,000

 

 

 

Allowable Resources (credit)     

$33,550

 

 

 

Remaining Cost Share Commitment

$116,450

 

 

 

FINANCIAL SUMMARY AND OBLIGATIONS OF UNIT

 

Box 1.

Sponsor F&A

$300,000

100%

 

Box 2.

Cash Cost Share Commitment

$88,410 ($116,450 - $28,040 F&A credit)

29%

 

Box 3.

Box 1. (1) Box 2 (=) Net F&A

$211,590

71%

 

 

Amount to be paid by Unit

$0

0%

 

Voluntary Cost Share:  

  • Voluntary cost share is discouraged and will only be considered under exceptional circumstances when the overall benefit to the University outweighs the costs of participating in the project.  Please allow additional time for OSP and the VPR to review project requirements in these cases. 
  • Under OMB Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200.306, voluntary committed cost sharing is not expected and it cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of proposals except when specifically disclosed in the program announcement.
  • NSF prohibits voluntary cost sharing on all solicited and unsolicited proposals. 

 

Last Updated: 5/10/21