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!
If cost sharing is proposed in a grant application, the type, amount, and funding source must be entered into the PTAP and then routed to the appropriate approver for each funding source. If the total direct cost amount of the proposed cost share on a grant exceeds $25,000, the PTAP must be routed to the Provost's office for approval.
Valuing and Documenting Cost Share and Third Party Matching: Examples
Salary charges for LUC personnel are charged to Accounting Units (AUs) shown on the Cost Share form in the PTAP and documented through Effort Certification Reports.
Other cost share items are charged to AUs shown on the Cost Share form in the PTAP and confirmed after the fact by the PI (typically in an email to SPA).
Donated effort of employees at another organization can be documented using the method outlined here for LUC employees contributing effort during the summer. The rate would be equal to the person's salary at that other organization on a per-hour basis.
Other third party donations should be valued and documented in accordance with Section __.23 of OMB Circular A-110.