Cost Sharing/Grant Matching

Funding agencies may require cost sharing or matching in several different ways. This may involve shared faculty time or direct funding of portions of the work. Careful consideration of how to meet such requirements, to strengthen proposals, yet support the University of Kentucky in securing the full cost of research, is critical. Agencies and programs differ greatly in these procedures.

The Office of Sponsored Projects Administration, College Grants Officers or Research Administrators are the best contacts for questions concerning meeting cost sharing requirements. They welcome discussion on such matters well in advance of proposal submission. If the cost share does not involve waiver of indirect cost or funds from the VP for Research, no additional information aside from the Internal Approval Form and accompanying documentation is necessary.

Cost sharing is usually accomplished through either donated effort, in-kind contributions, or direct funds. In general, waiver of indirect costs will not be a favored method of meeting cost sharing requirements. The Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A) Policy is described separately.

There can be several ways to meet cost-sharing requirements, and time is needed to explore all options. Cost-sharing (including donated faculty effort) from chairs, directors, deans, or the Provost must be shown on the internal approval form and documented with memo or email attachment. Requests for grant-matching support from the VP for Research require a minimum of 10 working days submission prior to the sponsor's grant deadline.

Donated faculty effort must be approved by the department chair and dean due to the impact on salary reimbursement. In-kind contributions may include:  graduate assistant support, staff effort, equipment, research supplies, and other items. Acceptance of such contributions is usually described by the agency guidelines.

Cost sharing that involves direct funds from the Vice President for Research must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for Research. Departmental or college contributions are encouraged and will be considered in review of such requests. If the cost share involves waived indirect (F&A) costs, please consult the indirect cost waiver policy. All requests should be concise, but should contain at least the following information:

  • A link to, or copy of the program solicitation, ideally indicating the program requirement motivating the request.
  • A deadline for response by the VP for Research and date of proposal submission.
  • The proposal contact (usually the PI) for information and clarification.
  • An abstract or brief description of the proposal.
  • A complete copy of the proposed budget, which should include all contributions and requests. This budget should show sufficient detail that it is clear that the full cost of research has been calculated. Budgets should be fully vetted by the PI and by the relevant Research Administrator or College Grant Officer before submission.
  • A budget justification for the proposal that also explains the request from Research. This may be a more complete justification than required by the agency.
  • An e-mail or memo from the appropriate Associate Dean for Research or Dean indicating approval of the request. If the grant is collaborative, the request may be considered without all approvals if the PI’s Associate Dean or Dean has approved the request, but no agreement is complete in this case until the IAF has been completed.
  • It is helpful to have a very brief indication of the importance of the proposal or activity to long term plans of the investigator or unit to advance research in the area.

After receiving these items, you may be contacted for clarification by the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration staff or by the Vice President’s office for clarification or further information.

Additional information on Cost Sharing Accounts is available through University Financial Service's Accounts Receivable and Compliance page.