Cost sharing (also known as cost matching or in-kind), refers to a portion of project costs not paid by the sponsor or costs required by the program solicitation. Cost share is contributed either from university resources or external sources. Sponsors will indicate in their guidelines if cost share is required, and what may or may not qualify as cost share.
Cost share should not be included in a proposal budget unless it is required by the sponsor. All cost sharing commitments must be listed in the budget and identified on the cost share form in USCeRA (USC's central research administration system) for approvals by the chair, dean and SAM office. Contact your SAM representative for assistance determining possible cost share items.
If cost share is included with a proposal and the proposal is awarded by the sponsor, then the cost share becomes part of the award and is subject to audit. It must be tracked by the department and the Office of Contract & Grant Accounting. The federal Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200.306) outlines the requirements regarding costs share.
Incorporating Cost Sharing Into Your Budget
- Visit USC's Contract and Grant Accounting website for information on cost sharing, including sample calculations and FAQs.
- Policy FINA 3.03 [pdf] governs cost sharing at USC.
- Check with your college regarding its procedures/requirements regarding cost sharing.
- Cost share can only be used one time for one project.
- Cost share must only include costs that can be documented and that are allowable. Cost share items cannot be charges that would not be allowed by the sponsor's funding.
- Cost sharing commitments must be recorded in the sponsored project account in PeopleSoft.
- If allowable and available, academic year salaries and associated fringe benefits for faculty can be used as cost share. Faculty must ensure that they will not be more than 100% committed by teaching, research, cost share and any other commitments.
- Cost share can be supplied from outside sources (a subcontractor, another agency, etc.). A binding letter signed by an authorized official or legal documentation from that source must be part of the proposal package. This documentation should indicate the amount or type of cost share being provided. As a reminder, cost share for a federal award cannot under most circumstances be met with other federal funds.
- If cost sharing is mentioned in a quantifiable manner in the proposal even if it is not specifically identified in the budget, USC still has to account for the cost share if the proposal is awarded.