Cost Sharing on Sponsored Programs
Cost sharing (or cost matching) refers to the cost of a sponsored activity not paid by the sponsor (OMB A-110.C.23).
If proposals cite existing sponsored funds as quantifiable cost share, ORSP will request and document permission from current sponsor.
UM strongly discourages cost sharing unless required. Moreover, cost sharing commitments that are not mandatory are to be detailed in non-quantifiable language:
Non-quantified: “To accomplish the goals and objectives of this project, the institution will provide the resources and technical support as required for the successful completion of the activity."
Quantified: “To accomplish the goals and objectives of this project, the institution will purchase 15 laptop computers and pay the salary of a full-time technical support position.”
Mandatory vs voluntary
Mandatory Cost Share – Quantified resources are required by the sponsor as a published condition of funding; therefore, cost share is submitted, recorded, AND reported.
Voluntary Cost Share – Quantified resources offered in the proposal
- Voluntary Committed: The Uniform Guidance states that voluntary committed cost sharing is not expected for federal research proposals (2 CFR 200.306) and cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of applications or proposals. However, it may be considered if it is both in accordance with Federal awarding agency regulations and specified in a notice of funding opportunity. When an award budget incorporates voluntary cost share into total project costs, it becomes a binding commitment and the institution must include it in financial reporting to the sponsor. [ex: Non-federal equipment, supplies, etc.]
- It is submitted, recorded, and reported; ORSP staff will notify PI when reporting requirements are met, at which point documentation will cease.
- Note: If full F&A is allowed by the sponsor and the PI receives permission to waive recovery, the amount unrecovered becomes voluntary committed cost share.
- Voluntary Uncommitted: Faculty and employee effort (including senior researchers) that is over and above that which is budgeted.
- It is NOT submitted, recorded, NOR reported;
- "Federal voluntary uncommitted cost share should be treated differently from committed effort and should not be included in the organized research base for computing the F&A rate." (per OMB memo 1/5/01)
Submitting, recording, and reporting
Submitting – Done by the PI or department and given to ORSP ("submitted") on appropriate form (either Third Party Contribution or UM Matching Funds). To submit Time & Effort as cost share, use the T&E Report; cost share is reported on the right side of the page with the index and percentage and authorization initials are required.
Recording – Upon receipt by ORSP, information is added to the official project file and the cost share database (“recorded”).
Reporting – ORSP reports to the sponsor per requirements or request (“reported”).
Requesting Institutional Cost Share
UM distributes a significant portion of institutional F&A recovery to the academic deans. As a result, cost sharing requirements usually are met through the academic sector. Discuss with your Chair/Director and your academic Dean.
In rare circumstances, a follow-on request may be made to the Vice President for Research. Such requests must be in writing and detail amounts secured from the College/School.
In some circumstances, if allowed by the sponsor (OMB A110 C.23.(b)) and institutionally approved, unrecovered F&A costs - calculated at UM’s appropriate federally-negotiated rate - may be used for mandatory cost share. However, such cost share is calculated not to exceed the amount required.
Ex: If a project prohibits F&A, and the sponsor allows and University officials have approved use of unrecovered F&A, such cost share is calculated at the fully-negotiated federal rate, not to exceed the amount required by the sponsor.
Ex: If a project allows but restricts F&A, and the sponsor allows and University officials have approved use of unrecovered F&A, cost share is calculated at the fully-negotiated federal rate, less the dollar amount of F&A assessed, not to exceed the amount required by the sponsor.