Cost sharing is a contractual obligation committing the university to share in the costs of a sponsored project. Cost sharing is normally in the form of direct costs that would be allowable and utilized to support the grant or contract, such as salary or other direct cost items. When cost sharing is met by in-kind contributions, the university will also claim as cost sharing the fringe benefits and F&A costs that it would have earned had the costs been charged as a direct cost to the grant. In certain circumstances, with the sponsor’s approval, cost sharing may also take the form of F&A costs (where the reimbursement of F&A costs is waived or reduced by the sponsor). The university's share of a cost-sharing commitment may come from several sources; however, the originating department is responsible for securing the required funds. A PI should NEVER commit to cost sharing until approved by the appropriate university authorities.
Some sponsors require institutional cost sharing/matching on their grants and contracts as a matter of statute, regulation, or policy. Individual solicitations may also indicate a cost-sharing/matching requirement. In these cases, UNLV follows its long-standing practice of meeting published cost-sharing/matching requirements for targeted programs.
It is UNLV’s policy not to cost share/match on a voluntary basis. Voluntary cost sharing occurs when a principal investigator includes cost sharing in a proposal when the sponsor does not require it. Voluntary cost sharing, including proposed faculty effort and other types of direct costs, is discouraged.
It is important to realize that whether cost sharing is required by the sponsor or is offered by UNLV or the PI voluntarily, once an award is made, all cost-sharing commitments are considered to be mandatory and, as such, represent binding obligations of UNLV.