Cost Sharing on Sponsored Projects

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Policy Code: 
Approval Authority: 
Policy Type: 
University Policy
Policy Owner: 
Administration and Finance
Responsible Office: 
Administration and Finance - 828.251.6742

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to minimize cost sharing on sponsored projects, and to set forth consistent criteria for costs to qualify as cost sharing on sponsored agreements in accordance with federal requirements set forth in 2 CFR 220.

II. Scope

This document sets forth the University’s policy on cost sharing and in-kind/matching on all externally funded sponsored projects.

III. Definitions

Cost Sharing – The portion of the cost of a sponsored project borne by the University rather than by the external sponsor.  

Committed Cost Sharing – Specifically identified and described in the proposal budget and made a condition of the award. Sponsors require the committed cost sharing be documented, tracked, and in some cases certified and reported.

A. Mandatory Cost Sharing – Required by the sponsor as a condition of an award. Mandatory cost sharing results either from statutory requirements or from sponsor policy requirements.  

B. Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing – Not required by the sponsor, but is offered by the grantee institution as a demonstration of its commitment to the project. When voluntary cost sharing is included in the proposal budget, it is considered committed cost share once an award has been made.

Third Party Contributions – “Third party” refers to an organization other than UNC Asheville that is contributing to the costs of the project, such as funding commitments from sub-recipient institutions. Third party contributions may also include supplies/materials, equipment, and volunteer services, so long as the items meet the sponsor’s requirements for cost sharing. These items are referred to as in-kind contributions.

IV. Policy

It is the general policy of UNC Asheville that only mandatory cost sharing from UNC Asheville shall be permitted on proposals to sponsoring agencies. Voluntary cost sharing is allowable, given appropriate authorization and resource availability, and if the related proposal is deemed significant to advancing UNC Asheville's mission.

The University’s share of costs committed for externally funded research, teaching/training, or community service projects is represented by items whose cost will be absorbed typically by departmental budgets. This policy applies to all sponsored agreements, federal and non-federal.

V. Procedure

A.  Costs Acceptable for Cost Sharing

Costs and in-kind contributions, like other costs to a project, must be allowable, allocable, reasonable, and treated consistently.  In addition, according to OMB Circular A-110, cost sharing on sponsored awards must meet the following criteria to be acceptable.

  • The costs are allowable in accordance with OMB Circular A-21;
  • Are verifiable from the recipients records;
  • Are not included as contributions for any other federally-assisted project or program;
  • Are not paid by the Federal Government under another award, except where authorized by federal statute to be used for cost sharing or matching; and
  • Are provided in the approved budget when required by the federal awarding agency.

B. Cost Sharing in Proposal Development, Accounting and Reporting

All cost-sharing must be treated in a consistent and uniform manner in proposal preparation and in the financial accounting and reporting of these expenses to sponsors.

C. Identifying Cost Sharing

The source of funding for mandatory or voluntary committed cost sharing or required in-kind matching must be approved by the department chair or other appropriate university administrator and must be clearly indicated on the proposal budget summary.

D. Monitoring Cost Sharing

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD) to initiate transactions identified as cost sharing on sponsored projects. Monitoring of cost sharing on sponsored projects is the responsibility of the PI/PD.

E. Responsibility for Accounting for Cost Sharing

The PI/PD is responsible for maintaining records of all project related costs, including mandatory and voluntary committed cost sharing.

F. Treatment of Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing

Voluntary uncommitted cost sharing need not be identified or reported to sponsor.