Approved by: President
History: Issued             -- March 14, 2002
Revised           -- July 30, 2015
Last Reviewed -- July 24, 2019
Related Policies: Capitalization and Depreciation Policy; Compensation from Sponsored Awards and Effort Certification Policy; Post-Award Principal Investigator Handbook; Sponsored Award Costing Policy; Sponsored Award Management Policy
Additional References:
Responsible Official: Vice Provost for Research tel. (202) 319-5218

I. Policy Statement


In its commitment to research as vital to the mission of the University, funds from University resources may be used to share costs with Sponsored Awards (defined below) the University may also be required, by the terms of an award, to participate in cost sharing. This policy establishes the types of cost sharing which may be used and the approval mechanism for cost sharing. This policy applies to all University faculty and staff proposing to enter into cost sharing arrangements.

II. Definitions

A. Cost Sharing means that the University bears a portion of the project costs not borne by the sponsoring entity. There are three types of cost sharing:

  1. Direct: The University may commit funds directly to costs of an award project.
  2. Indirect Cost Reduction:Indirect costs are real and tangible costs of conducting instruction and research. The University agrees to reduce or waive the indirect rate on particular award projects.
  3. Time and Effort: The University authorizes an individual to work on an award as part of their University paid duties. The approval process documents the direct cost of faculty and staff contributions of time and effort. Documentation is required when cost sharing (University funded time and effort) is contributed on an award project in accordance with the University's Compensation from Sponsored Awards and Effort Certification Policy.

B. Sponsored Award means a grant, contract or other methods of funding provided to the University by an external entity (such as the federal government or a private foundation or company) and for which there are actual or implied conditions or expectations that the University must meet. Such conditions and expectations often include, but are not limited to:

  • sponsor control of the scope of the project;
  • technical, financial, or progress reporting;
  • a cost sharing component;
  • recoveries for facilities and administrative (i.e. indirect) costs; and/or
  • re-granting or subcontracting of some of the funds to other entities. Sponsored Awards often involve activities such as research, teaching/training, or the provision of services by University personnel to other entities.

III. Requirements for Cost Sharing


All cost sharing must be approved in advance of the submission of the award proposal through the grant approval process. Any cost sharing arrangements which are proposed after the submission of the proposal require approval before grants or contracts are accepted by the University and signed. Approval processes will differ based on the funding source:

  • Cost sharing from funds budgeted and approved by the Provost for that purpose requires the approval of the Dean or organization manager.
  • Cost sharing from all other sources requires approval by the Provost with notification to the Vice Provost for Research.