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Cost Sharing

Cost Sharing is a term that denotes any situation where the granting agency does not fully reimburse the grantee for all allowable costs associated with a specific project. In order to qualify as cost sharing, a cost must meet the following criteria:

  1. Cost Sharing and matching funds must be verifiable in the University’s records.
  2. In-kind, third party contributions offered as cost sharing require a commitment letter on company letterhead signed by an individual who is in a position to commit the in-kind contribution. After the fact reporting to the University will be necessary.
  3. Commitments must not be included as contributions for any other project or program.
  4. Commitments must be necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishments of project or program objectives.
  5. Commitments are allowable under the principle OMB Circular A-21 (i.e., it must qualify as a direct cost).
  6. Cost sharing commitments may not be from funds provided by the Federal Government under another award, except where authorized by Federal statute to be used for cost sharing or matching.
  7. Costs are described in the approved budget and/or terms of the sponsored agreement when required by the awarding agency.
  8. Commitments are allowable and allocable under the applicable cost principles.

Three Categories of Cost Sharing

  1. Mandatory – is either required by statute or the agency states that mandatory cost sharing is a requirement of the applicant.
  2. Voluntary Committed – is created if a proposal included cost sharing when none was required by the agency. Note: Treat Mandatory and Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing the same. Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing must be met and tracked the same as Mandatory Cost Sharing.
  3. Voluntary Uncommitted – is cost sharing that is neither mandatory nor voluntary committed. It represents contributions to a sponsored project that do not come from the awarding agency, were not required by the awarding agency, and were not volunteered in the proposal to the agency. Note: Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing is not reported back to the sponsoring agency.

Two Forms of Cost Sharing

  1. In Kind – this form of cost sharing involves the assignment of professional time, equipment use or space to a project that is already funded by UF. For example, a faculty member can project that they will participate in a project for 10% of their research effort during the 9 mo academic year. If their salary is $60,000 for 9 mo they can claim 10% of this total - $6000 - toward ‘in kind’ cost sharing.
  2. Monetary Funds - this form of cost sharing represents real dollars contributed by a budgetary unit on campus, a department, college, or university level administrative unit (e.g., VP Research office, Provost office). If this form of cost sharing is claimed, documentation in the form of a letter or signed cost sharing form is needed.


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