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Proposal Elements: Cost Sharing

Cost sharing is that portion of the project or program costs that are not borne by the sponsor. There are two types of cost sharing that occur on sponsored projects, mandatory and voluntary. Most agencies will outline any required cost sharing or matching in the guidelines. The cost sharing section should be referenced for a full explanation.

IMPORTANT: Please note that for cost sharing to be committed to a project it must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must not be committed as cost sharing to any other project (for example, if the university is committed to buying a $100,000 piece of equipment for a NSF project, that commitment cannot be used as cost sharing for any other project).
  2. The cost sharing must be from non-Federal sources, unless authorized by a Federal Statute
  3. The cost sharing is necessary and reasonable to accomplish project or program activities.
  4. The proposed cost sharing is for allowable costs according to federal requirements and sponsor requirements. In other words, if the cost sharing is being used to fund expenses that are not allowable on the sponsor funds, then the costs would not allowable on the cost sharing funds. Once funds are committed as cost sharing, they are treated exactly like the sponsor funds.
  5. The costs/expenses must be incurred during the term of the agreement.

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