Cost Sharing

Cost sharing represents the portion of a sponsored project/program cost not borne by the sponsor.  Most typically, it is the University's share in the cost of conducting research on the specific sponsored project/program. (See also, GIM 21, Cost Sharing Policy for Sponsored Agreements).

Cost sharing occurs either when a sponsor requires, or the University commits, funds beyond those awarded by the sponsoring agency to support a particular grant or contract.


  • If the total cost of a project is $150,000, the sponsor might award $100,000 and require that the University provide the additional $50,000 from non-federal funding sources.
  • Alternatively, the PI may have quantified a commitment of cost share either in dollars or percent effort, in the grant proposal even though it was not a sponsor requirement.

Cost sharing committed in a proposal becomes an obligation to the University if the proposal is awarded.

  • Committed cost sharing must be provided and documented.
  • Failure provide and document committed cost sharing could result in the sponsor retracting the award in its entirely or reducing it to compensate for the unmet cost sharing.
  • Expenditures exceeding the reduced award become a deficit for which the PI is responsible.

Effort that is cost shared is subject to the same allowability requirements as salary that is paid directly from the grant or contract meaning it must be certified either through the Faculty Effort Certification (FEC) report for faculty or via the Non-FEC Cost Share documentation process for non-faculty.

There are five types of cost sharing (for more detail see Types of Cost Sharing):

Mandatory Required by the sponsor as a condition of receiving the award.
Committed* Not required by the sponsor, but included (quantified) in the grant proposal.
Salary Cap The proportionate salary amount exceeding the DHHS or other sponsor specific salary cap.
K Award Salary related to the required K Award effort that exceeds the amount allowed to be, or is available to be, charged to the K Award project.
Shift in Funding Source Cost share that is created when funding of committed effort is shifted from the grant to non-grant sources, but effort is not reduced.

*Committed cost sharing (also called voluntary committed cost sharing) is not expected by the Federal agencies and will not be a factor in the merit review of applications or proposals. Voluntary cost sharing will only be considered if it is explicitly identified in the notice of funding opportunity for each specific sponsored project. See the Uniform Guidance Part 200.306 Cost Sharing or Matching.

Note: Any faculty effort performed that was not reflected on the budget page or budget justification of the proposal is considered "voluntary uncommitted cost share" and is not separately documented.

For additional information: