What is cost-share?
Cost-sharing (or “matching”) refers to a scenario in which the cost of a sponsored project is funded in part by a source other than the sponsor. Some sponsors or specific funding opportunities require cost-sharing while others may simply encourage it for an application to be competitive. In other cases, faculty and departments may opt voluntarily to cost-share a portion of a project if their budget exceeds the sponsor’s limit and they identify another source of available funds.
If cost-sharing is offered in any part of the proposal – whether required or voluntary – it is a binding commitment that must be met and documented. Cost-shared funds are to be treated the same way sponsor funds – they represent actual costs and require official accounting and financial reporting by the Office of Sponsored Pro grams (OSP).
The college’s general policy is avoid cost-sharing unless it is required or specifically requested by the sponsor. All forms of cost-sharing — whether in-kind salary contributions or other matching funds — require the prior approval of the college.
Sponsored project costs contributed by source(s) other than sponsor and represents real costs to the university.
- Direct costs & their associated facilities and administrative (F&A) costs
- Portion of F&A costs not paid by the sponsor (Unrecovered F&A costs)
Types of cost-sharing
- Required by statute, terms of the program, or other sponsor policy
- Required by sponsor to be provided at proposal submission and as a binding condition of the award
- Any Cost share offered or provided when there is no specific sponsor requirement
- Cost share is offered in proposal when not required and subsequently is made a condition of award
- Cost share is offered in proposal when not required, but is not made a condition of award
Sources of Cost-sharing
- College Funds — The purpose of the EHE Cost Share Funding Program is to bridge a gap between what the PI has already been able to secure and the minimum required amount. Requirements include:
- Have a completed budget proposal that has been reviewed by the EHE Office of Research.
- The request be made at least one month before the submission deadline.
- Include cost share support from the PI’s department.
- Departmental Funds such as release-time funds or graduate student support.
- University Funds — The OSU Graduate School has a Matching Tuition and Fee Award (MTFA) program that can sometimes be used as a source of cost share. If the sponsor doesn’t allow tuition/fees to be paid for by the grant, this program will cover those tuition/fees if approved by the graduate school. Requests need to be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the due date and require a statement of priority from the Associate Dean for Research and a complete budget. As of January 2020, the residual funds from this program will be used to support waiver requests that follow the priorities of the graduate school.
- 3rd Party: In form of services ( Professional, technical or consultant), supplies, volunteer hours, equipment or cash from a source outside the university
Best items to use as cost-share
Want to cost-share expenses that are easy to account for – OSP will provide official fiscal reporting to sponsor and will need to see cost-share requirements have been met, if applicable. Best to use:
- Unrecoverable F&A (if sponsor allows it)
- Effort for hard-money faculty & staff
- Grad student tuition (if applicable)
- Grad School fee Authorization requests
- Out-of-State portion
- Large dollar equipment, supplies or services