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Cost Sharing for Developing a Proposal

Occasionally, sponsors may require that Georgia Southern share part of the costs of the proposed research. The University strictly discourages unnecessary or voluntary cost sharing and will only provide cost sharing in cases where the sponsor’s written guidelines state that cost sharing is required of all applicants.

  • Cost sharing or matching means that portion of project or program costs not borne by the sponsor.
  • Cost sharing is used to describe a commitment of any size. Even very small commitments (down to 1 percent of project costs) are described as cost sharing.
  • Use of the term “matching” generally describes a larger commitment. Matching is often referred to as a dollar-for-dollar, 2-for-1, or 3-for-1 match of non-federal funds to sponsor funds.
  • If your project includes cost share, the costs that are counted as cost share must meet the same criteria as direct costs: allowable, allocable, equitable and reasonable.

Required Approval

Any instances of voluntary cost sharing must be approved in advance by the Vice Provost for Research through Research Services before applying for funding. In such cases, in-kind faculty salary time, unrecovered F&A costs and/or tuition waivers for graduate assistants working on the project will be applied toward the cost sharing requirement. Please contact your grant coordinator for the appropriate form.

Allowable Costs for Sharing

For expenses to be eligible for cost sharing, costs must be all of the following:

  • Costs that could otherwise be charged as a direct cost to the grant, and allowable and allocable under federal cost principles (OMB circulars A-21 and A-110) and the terms of the sponsored agreement;
  • Necessary and directly related to the project objectives;
  • Represent costs incurred during the project period of performance;
  • Be verifiable from GS’s records; and
  • For labor costs, certifiable in the effort planning and certification process.

The costs must not be any of the following (unless approved by the sponsor):

  • Included as cost sharing for any other sponsored project;
  • Payable by the same sponsoring agency under another award;
  • Payable by a different sponsoring agency within the same governmental jurisdiction under another award (e.g., federal funds must not be used for cost sharing on another federal project);
  • Otherwise unfunded salary for the effort that is outside of the contractual appointment (e.g., unfunded summer months for faculty with nine-month academic appointments).

Funding agencies routinely label budgeted cost sharing amounts as being required (guaranteed) terms of the award. Thus, all proposals and award documents must be carefully reviewed and written to avoid non-essential cost sharing and any unnecessary financial repercussion to your department and the University.

Be careful to include cost sharing in a proposal as the University’s contribution toward a project only when required to do so by the sponsor.

Last updated: 9/2/2020