Cost-Sharing Guidelines


The OVCRI may contribute to cost-sharing for proposals to federal agencies and other sponsors. Requests should be submitted well in advance of proposal submission. Units expecting to request cost-sharing are encouraged to consult with the OVCRI staff as early as possible in the proposal process, but formal requests should be routed through the participating colleges as detailed below.

In cases where the proposal solicitation requires cost-sharing, the OVCRI will provide up to 30 percent of the cash component depending on the availability of funds, with the remainder to be provided by the college(s) and the home department(s) of the investigator(s). If the investigators do not have a home college but report to an interdisciplinary research institute that reports to the OVCRI, the OVCRI will provide up to 30 percent of the cash component of the cost-sharing, with the remainder to be provided by the institute. In cases where more than $50,000 of cost-sharing is required, the relevant academic units should assemble at least half of the cost-sharing as “in-kind” contributions to reduce the cash component. The OVCRI will not contribute to or match in-kind contributions to cost-sharing.

Training Grants

In the case of training grants, the OVCRI will limit cost-sharing contributions to no more than the cost of one research assistant per project per year, at the rate of pay of the home unit of the graduate student. 

Cost-Sharing Requests

The OVCRI will not normally provide voluntary cost-sharing. Requests may be considered for exceptional cases when a proposal is of major strategic importance to the campus and when either the campus or the academic units of the researchers is committed to the proposal’s strategic research area. 

Requests for cost-sharing must come from the PI’s college and be accompanied by:

  • A statement of the strategic importance of the research to the participating units and colleges.
  • A statement of the resource needs to be met by the requested funds.
  • An indication of whether the cost-sharing is required or voluntary.
  • A statement of the total proposal budget, the amounts of in-kind and cash cost-sharing, and the amounts committed to the cash cost-sharing by participating units and colleges.

In cases where more than one college is participating, the PI’s college should serve as the coordinating and submitting college.

Requests are submitted to the OVCRI only following approval by the units and colleges, documented by either scanned signatures or an email trail copied to the appropriate departmental or college officers (preferred). Requests should be submitted as a single PDF file by email at least five business days before the proposal due date.

If the VCR approves the cost-sharing request, the originating unit prepares a standard letter of agreement and obtains electronic signatures from all participating units and colleges with a final routing to the OVCRI. The OVCRI will provide copies of the approved document to all participants.

Download the standard letter of agreement

Cost-share funds may be audited by external authorities, and the funds must be treated as a formal commitment to be spent on the proposed work. Committed cost-share funds should be expended in concert with expenditures of sponsored funds, not banked or saved on a contingency basis. If a proposal is funded at a lower level than requested, the OVCRI share of cost-sharing is prorated accordingly. Unspent cost-share funds provided by the OVCRI should be returned to the OVCRI at the conclusion of either the grant or the proposed activities associated with the related grant.