Showing Cost Sharing in a Proposal Budget

Objective: Identify allowable/eligible cost sharing costs, describe costs in proposal budget, expect to track and document all cost sharing costs during award.

Important Points for DLC Administrators include:

  • Cost sharing should be limited to only situations where it is mandated by a sponsor or the Institute has determined that such a contribution is necessary to ensure the success of a competitive award or proposal.
  • Under the OMB Uniform Guidance, it is further specified that voluntary cost sharing is not expected in federal research proposals and cannot be used as a factor during merit review.
  • Cost sharing should not be included in federal research proposals unless it is explicitly described in the notice of funding opportunity, and for non-federal proposals it should be kept to a reasonable level because of the burden placed on Institute or departmental resources.
  • If the PI offers cost sharing on a project when there is no requirement for such cost sharing imposed by the sponsor, the PI or the DLC will be responsible for funding both the direct and the F&A costs associated with such a commitment. It is not possible to cost share direct costs without also cost sharing associated F&A costs.

Action Items for DLC Administrators include:

  • Examine proposal guidelines/program solicitation to determine whether cost sharing is Mandatory or Voluntary
  • PI must identify and provide resources for cost sharing of direct costs
  • Confirm that all identified cost sharing funds are allowable/eligible as cost sharing
  • Use MIT-preferred cost sharing
    • Graduate Student Research Assistant tuition subsidy
    • Equipment purchase
    • AY Faculty effort (discouraged unless cost sharing is mandatory), benefits, and F&A
  • Prepare cost sharing budget in same level of detail as sponsor-requested budget
  • Obtain letters of commitment from subrecipients and third parties
  • Confirm source of F&A funds associated with cost sharing
  • Do not include commitments of effort or other forms of cost sharing in text of proposal or in Current & Pending Support summaries
  • Identify MIT unit responsible for fulfilling MIT-funded cost sharing commitments
  • Please follow the instructions for entering cost sharing in the Kuali Coeus user guide.


How do I find out if the proposed cost sharing costs are allowable or eligible to be included?

Both in-kind and cash contributions by a recipient are acceptable as cost sharing when all of the following criteria are met:

  • Verifiable from recipient records,
  • Not included as contribution for any other federally assisted program,
  • Necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishment of project or program objectives,
  • Allowable as a direct cost under applicable cost principles,
  • Not paid by another federal award (except as authorized by statute),
  • Provided for in the approved budget when required by the federal awarding agency,
  • Conform to other provisions in OMB Uniform Guidance or A-110 as applicable.

How do I know what items are not eligible for cost sharing?

The following cannot be offered as cost sharing commitments in sponsored projects:

  • Other federal awards (if proposed project is federal funding)
  • Use of MIT-owned equipment
  • Institute facilities such as laboratory space
  • Salary dollars above a regulatory cap, such as the NIH salary cap

Can I use donated equipment or services from non-MIT sources as cost sharing?

Documentation from the third party describing the value of the donated materials, supplies, and effort should be provided to RAS and sponsored accounting to substantiate the cost sharing claim.

How do I know who is responsible for F&A costs related to cost sharing?

See Funding F&A Costs Related to Cost Sharing