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Cost Share and Matching


This policy governs cost sharing and PI effort on sponsored projects, the participation of KUCR in cost sharing/matching, and the appropriate Facilities and Administration (F&A) rates to charge sponsors. This policy supersedes any previous policies dealing with these subjects.

Applies to: 

Principal investigators, faculty, deans, directors, department chairs, administrative staff

Policy Statement: 
  1. Introduction

    The University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc. (KUCR) is committed to fostering excellence in research and other scholarly activities at the University of Kansas. External funding for sponsored activities is essential in those areas requiring significant equipment, supplies, travel, and the support of specialized facilities. External funds provide support for students and for faculty. In addition, success in an external peer-reviewed proposal process serves as an objective measure of the quality of the research, training, and scholarly activities being conducted.

    As the sponsored research administration arm of the Lawrence campus, KUCR provides research leadership, support for proposal preparation, an organization-wide focus on grants management, general support of funded research efforts on the campus, and investment in the research effort. It also manages technology transfer.

    Often, it is appropriate for the institution to share in the cost of conducting an externally funded grant or contract or to provide matching funds. In addition, it is important for Principal Investigators (PIs) to commit some percent of direct effort to each project. This policy governs cost sharing and PI time on sponsored projects, the participation of KUCR in cost sharing/matching, and the appropriate Facilities and Administration (F&A) rates to charge sponsors. For purposes of this policy, cost sharing and matching are considered synonymous.

  2. Conditions of the cost share/match
    1. Required cost share/match

      If the sponsor requires cost sharing/matching as part of the published announcement, then KUCR is strongly committed to providing a portion of the required match/cost share on proposals. The PI for the proposal should request the support by writing (letter or email) the appropriate Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, who is also a Vice President of KUCR. The requirement for cost sharing/matching from the program announcement should be referenced. As long as funds are available and the proposed effort is consistent with normal university sponsored activities, KUCR will provide cash to support a portion of the cost share/match with other units on campus providing the remainder. The total cost share/match should not exceed the required cost share level or amount specified in the solicitation (see Amount of cost share/match).

    2. Suggested cost share/match

      Often, project/program announcements suggest that cost sharing/matching will be important in the selection process. If an amount or a percentage is specifically suggested in the solicitation or program announcement, KUCR will participate in providing support under the same guidelines and procedures as those outlined in Section 2(a) for mandatory cost sharing/matching. This includes referencing the section of the announcement specifying the amount or percentage of cost sharing/matching. Verbal suggestions by sponsor program managers will not be considered as evidence of the need for cost sharing/matching.

      If no level or amount is specified in the announcement, the suggested cost sharing/matching can be considered "institutional support." KUCR will document institutional support in letter format rather than by including specific, quantifiable items in the proposal budget. Institutional support letters will include descriptions of specialized core laboratories, facility enhancements, and additional faculty positions, as appropriate. If a support letter is desired from KUCR, sufficient information and notice should be given to the appropriate Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.

      In some cases, an institutional support letter may not be deemed sufficient to meet suggested, but unspecified, cost sharing/matching. The general guideline of providing cost share/match at 10% of the agency request will apply in these cases, but KUCR will not contribute funding toward such matches.

      Large program projects and center grant proposals may require additional cost sharing that should be discussed early in the process with the appropriate Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.

    3. Voluntary cost share/match

      Voluntary cost sharing/matching on proposals is generally not allowed, regardless of the KU source of the funds, regardless of whether it is cash or in-kind, and regardless of the sponsor.

    4. After-the-fact cost sharing/matching

      Requests for cost sharing/matching must be made and approved prior to submission of proposals (see Section 3(a)). The purpose of providing cost sharing/matching funds is to enhance the competitive potential of a proposal. Because these funds are scarce, KUCR will not participate in cost sharing/matching, for example, to restore funds to an award that the sponsor has reduced in value from the proposed amount.

  3. Amount of cost share/match

    Cost share/matching funds are scarce, and their availability may limit the amount that KUCR can contribute. Therefore, KUCR requires that any cost sharing/matching be done in collaboration with campus partners, e.g. deans, directors, chairs, etc.

    1. Securing cost share/matching funds

      It is the responsibility of the PI to obtain cost sharing/matching funds from all participants. An efficient way to do this is to contact the appropriate dean/associate dean/chair/director in writing (email preferred) and propose the match. Once that portion of the match is secured, the dean/associate dean/chair/director should send the request to the appropriate Associate Vice Chancellor for Research to request KUCR's share. This process takes time; therefore, requests should be submitted to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at least two weeks prior to grant submission. Failure to do so may preclude obtaining the necessary approvals.

    2. Required cost share/matching

      KUCR will provide up to a maximum of 1/2 of the total of any required cash cost share/matching funds for approved proposals.

    3. Suggested cost share/matching

      KUCR will provide up to a maximum of 1/2 the total sponsor-suggested cash cost share/match for approved proposals as described in Section 2(b).

    4. In-kind cost share/matching

      If in-kind cost sharing is allowed in a program announcement that either requires or suggests a cost sharing/matching amount, then the maximum amount of in-kind cost sharing allowed should be built into the budget. The remaining cost share/match will be in cash, of which KUCR will provide 1/2, as described in sections 3(b) and 3(c), above.

    5. Amount of cost share/matching for reduced awards

      If KUCR has committed cost sharing/matching for a proposal that is awarded but reduced in value from the proposed amount, the KUCR cost share/match will be reduced proportionally.

    6. For-profit sponsors and cost share/matching

      KUCR will not provide cost share/matching funds for proposals to for-profit sponsors.

  4. Lead Principal Investigator (PI) time on projects

    Federal regulations require the lead PI to commit some percent of direct effort to each project. This effort is directly charged to the project unless the sponsor requires cost sharing and in-kind cost sharing is allowed to meet the requirement. KUCR has determined a reasonable, minimum effort to be 1% annually. Therefore, all proposal budgets to federal agencies or federal flow through entities must include at least 1% of PI time that will be charged directly to the project. In addition, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has included all key personnel in the requirement for committed effort. Therefore, on NIH proposals, all listed key personnel must commit at least 1% direct effort. In many cases, this is accomplished by the direct effort charged by the PI or key personnel in the summer months. Exceptions to the direct charging of PI effort may include equipment and instrumentation programs, doctoral dissertation projects, and student augmentation projects. The time listed in the budget for key personnel must be consistent with the budget justification and the current and pending report.

  5. Facilities and administration allocation
    1. University policy on collecting F&A

      KUCR abides by the university policy of collecting the maximum allowable amount of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) expense (overhead) guided by federal negotiated agreements and sponsors' regulations. Thus, KUCR generally will not reduce the federally negotiated F&A rate applied to a proposal as a way to provide cost sharing/matching or to restore funds to an award that the sponsor has reduced in value from the proposed amount.

    2. Sponsor reduction of F&A rate

      If a government sponsor has an official written policy dictating a lower F&A rate, then KUCR will abide by that sponsor's policy. For example, the State of Kansas will not pay F&A expense on state appropriated funds. Federal flow-through funds to the state, however, should carry applicable F&A.

    3. Foundations

      Foundations often do not allow F&A expense. Some will allow a small administrative fee, which KUCR will accept in lieu of F&A. Some foundations will allow direct charging of some administrative items as well, and this is also acceptable to KUCR. KUCR does encourage pursuing grants from foundations and will collect as much of the appropriate F&A costs as the particular foundation will allow.

    4. Subcontracts

      Regardless of the F&A rate charged by a prime recipient, when KUCR is a subrecipient, KUCR will charge the applicable F&A rate, if allowable under state or federal regulations.

    5. For-profit sponsors

      For-profit sponsors will be charged the Industrial F&A rate which is higher than the federally negotiated F&A rate. This rate has been established by KU in accordance with the federal negotiated rates to capture administrative costs that are capped under the federal rates.

  6. Communication

    Questions about this policy should be directed to the appropriate Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. Timely communication is important in regard to each of these issues (cost sharing/matching, PI effort, F&A rates). For example, with cost sharing/matching, it is important to let KUCR and other sources of the cost share/match know of the need as soon as possible so that proposal deadlines can be met. It is also important to inform KUCR and other sources if a pending proposal is not funded so that any committed cost sharing/matching funds can be released for other proposals.


Rodolfo H. Torres
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Joseph A. Heppert
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Approved by: 
Vice Chancellor for Research
Approved on: 
Monday, January 31, 2005
Effective on: 
Monday, January 31, 2005
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

Cost share and matching: For purposes of this policy, cost sharing and matching are considered synonymous.

Cost share, cost sharing, matching, PI effort, facilities & administrative costs, F&A, overhead
Review, Approval & Change History: 

11/25/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).

07/02/2014: Updated references to 'Vice Chancellor of Research' to reflect accurate title; updated formatting of Policy Statement, Related Policies, Definitions; selected 'Lawrence' for required Campus field.

01/31/2005: Revision

Financial Categories: 
Financial Oversight
Research and Sponsored Projects Category: 
Research and Sponsored Projects

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