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 DLCI 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 DLCI 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 DLCI 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 instructions for entering cost sharing in KC proposals as referenced in the KC eLearning module “KC Budget
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.