Research Administration Guidelines

RAG50 Documentation of Cost Sharing

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

John Hanold, 814-863-0768,

Policy Steward: 

Senior Vice President for Research and Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance


  • Purpose
  • Committed Cost Sharing
  • Uncommitted Cost Sharing
  • Further Information
  • Cross References

    Policy RA50 - Cost Sharing provides policy regarding cost sharing. This guideline provides detail on the accounting that must be followed to appropriately document cost sharing, both committed and uncommitted.


    Grants and contracts that have any component of committed cost sharing – mandatory or voluntary – must so indicate on the Internal Approval Form (IAF). All changes to committed cost sharing must be updated in the System for Integrated Management, Budgeting, and Accounting (SIMBA) on the grant's Additional Grant Master Data tab.

    To ensure compliance with the documentation requirements for committed cost sharing, all committed cost sharing from unrestricted funds for a specific agreement should be accounted for through a cost share sponsored program (internal order type 52).

    Other cost sharing should be accounted for as follows:

    • Fringe benefits: If the fringe rates are identical for the cost sharing account and the sponsored award, no additional documentation is required. If the rates differ, then the difference should be calculated manually and included in any reporting of itemized matching costs.
    • Tuition: Tuition for graduate assistants paid from the grant-in-aid (GIA) budget can be reallocated to the cost sharing sponsored program for the sponsored award – although budget dollars from the unrestricted funds GIA cost center cannot be reallocated without advance approval from the Assistant Controller. If the GIA is mandatory or voluntary committed, the cost share must be in an internal order/sponsored program under the grant. If the GIA is voluntary uncommitted, then the cost share is not permitted on the grant and must be tracked outside the Grants Management (GM) module in SIMBA.
    • F&A costs for cost sharing accounted for on unrestricted funds are to be calculated manually and separately in accordance with approved rates and included in any reporting of itemized matching costs.
    • Third Party Contributions to Cost Sharing (e.g., an industrial grant) must be entered on the grant Additional Master Data tab in SIMBA. Sample Third Party Cost Share Confirmation Letters can be found here. Completed confirmation letters should be uploaded as an attachment to the grant.


    Uncommitted cost sharing is not and must not be identified specifically in the proposal budget or award or any modification and must not be documented or accounted for as part of the award.

    Additionally, uncommitted cost sharing, per clarification in Memorandum M-01-06, dated January 5, 2001, "must be treated differently from committed effort and should not be included in the organized research base for computing the F&A rate or reflected in any allocation of F&A costs." Given this requirement, uncommitted cost share has specific requirements for documentation:

    • Must not be reported to the sponsor. Therefore, it is prohibited from being included with committed cost share in the same cost sharing internal orders or sponsored programs.
    • Must be specifically identified and charged to assure these costs are not inappropriately charged to another federal award. For example, if a PI spends 50% of their effort on an award, but only 40% of their effort may be charged to the award, then the additional 10% must be treated as uncommitted cost sharing. The 10% additional effort must be accounted for in a voluntary uncommitted cost share internal order in the Funds Management (FM) module in SIMBA for 100% of the PIs effort. It is not permitted to be documented under the grant.

    Please refer to Cost Sharing FAQs for more detail regarding cost sharing.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research or the Office of Budget and Finance.


    Other Policies should also be referenced, especially the following:

    RA10 - Costing Principles for Sponsored Awards

    RA50 - Cost Sharing

    Revision History:

    • July 10, 2023 - Updated Corporate Contoller to Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance or Office of Budget and Finance. 

    • June 1, 2021 - Updated to reflect changes due to implementation of the SIMBA financial system

    • September 18, 2019 - Changed Vice President for Research to Senior Vice President for Research

    • April 16, 2018 - Links added to sample Third Party Cost Share Commitment Letters and Confirmations
    • February 26, 2016 - This new guideline has been created as part of the policy reorganization brought about by implementation of the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200).


    Date Approved: 

    February 22, 2016

    Date Published: 

    June 1, 2021

    Effective Date: 

    July 1, 2023