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AHS Guidelines Regarding Proposals with Cost Sharing

The cost share must be comprised of costs that are in direct support of the project and subject to the same allowability criteria as direct costs on the award. If it is unallowable as a direct cost, it is unallowable as cost share.

The cost share examples below are ranked in order of management ease:

-    Faculty (tenure-track, tenured, specialized) effort. For example, a faculty member proposes to spend 30% research effort on a sponsored project, but charges only 10% of salary to the project. The remaining 20% effort would be cost shared because the effort is quantified, but would not be charged to the sponsor. Note: the faculty must have research effort as part of their job description and effort in their appointment (check with department/college administration if in doubt). This cost shared effort must be approved by faculty member’s department head or supervisor. When cost sharing effort on salary, fringe benefits must also be cost shared. Costs above the NIH maximum salary cannot be cost shared on NIH grants.

-    Third Party (in-kind) Cost Sharing Contribution. The value of non-cash contributions that third parties provide to the project. Third parties must provide documentation to support the use of the funds as university Cost Sharing and a certification of the fair market value of the non-cash contribution provided.

-    Equipment. If a project requires the acquisition of new equipment as a condition of an award, it is acceptable to purchase the equipment and cost share all or part it, if the grant allows as a direct cost.

-    Graduate student tuition, fees, or stipends. Graduate student stipends, tuition, or fees may be used as cost share if they will be working on the project, and if the grant allows these as a direct cost.

-    Travel. Must be related to the project and allowable as a direct cost.

-    Research and laboratory supplies. Must be related to the project and allowable as a direct cost.

-    Fee-for-services. Must be related to the project. Examples include imaging services (e.g. MRI), biostatistical services, sample processing and analysis etc.

-    PI ICR share or negotiable 1/3 ICR.  A unique fund will be set up to capture the costs paid for with the ICR.  Any costs captured as cost share must be costs that could have directly been charged to the award.  For example, if the RFP does not allow travel, you are not able to charge travel to the unique fund.

-    Unrecovered facilities and administration costs. If the F & A costs associated with the grant are less than the maximum UIUC facilities and administration costs (58.6% of the direct costs), they may be available for cost sharing.  Prior approval from the sponsor is required to claim unrecovered F&A.

-    Internal pilot research grant awards. CHAD has a pilot grant mechanism that may qualify as cost share under certain conditions.   The research must support the original grant awarded. With regard to data ownership from these pilot awards, it would be in accordance with the sponsor awarded terms and conditions, and the research must be in line and support the project.

Examples of items that CANNOT be cost shared

-    Any costs not allowed by the sponsor.

-    Fees for space and facilities. It is not appropriate to claim the value of existing space or facilities as cost sharing. Rather, project space and facility use is reimbursed thru the application of the F&A rate. The investigator may want to offer the use of a research lab or facility for the project. In such a case, the proposal should state the “facility or lab will be available for the performance of the sponsor agreement at no direct cost to the project”.

-    Academic Professional or Civil Service Effort. These staff are full-time employees with dedicated effort to support administrative, clerical, professional or technical functions. These appointments do not carry a research component.  Rather, AP or CS effort is built into the F&A rate.

-    Services normally provided to you in support of research or teaching by the Department or College.

Where should cost sharing be discussed in the proposal?

It should be described and quantified in the budget justification and budget (and otherwise specified by the funding announcement). Letters of support from Deans, Department Heads, others can include general statements about cost sharing without quantification. 

University cost share links:

  1. OCVR Cost Sharing Guidelines
  2. Sponsored Program Administration