Cost sharing/Matching/In-Kind support is all referenced in this guidance as cost share.
Some sponsors require cost share as evidence of the university's commitment to the project. Other sponsors do not allow cost share or only allow it for specific solicitations. It is important that primary investigators understand whether cost share is mandatory or voluntary and how it should be depicted to the sponsor. Cost sharing typically is not provided unless formally required by an agency in writing. Note that a sponsor may indicate no cost share is required but may also indicate that it is a review criterion or encouraged.
On occasion a sponsor may allow other grant funding to be used as a match with special permission.
Normally, if a sponsor does not allow a cost in their budget, that cost cannot be used as a cost share item (for example, if the sponsor says they will not pay for travel, then travel costs cannot be used as match unless the solicitation says it can be or the sponsor agrees to it).
If the university is a subcontract to another organization on a proposal that has mandatory cost share, then we anticipate providing match equivalent to our portion of funds unless the sponsor releases us from that expectation. If the proposal involves national laboratories, the university may approve providing additional cost share to contribute to the cost share gap caused by the national laboratory.
If the university has a subcontract on a proposal (OU is the lead), we expect the subcontracts to carry their share of the cost share commitment, with rare exceptions. If a national laboratory is involved in the proposal, subcontracts may also be expected to bear a portion of the cost share gap caused by the national lab. Third party cost share can be used to cover cost share by subcontracts through the primary investigator’s arrangements.
It is against state law to cost share university resources on a proposal to a for-profit organization. Therefore, no university match is included on proposals to for-profit companies unless the requirement is to meet a mandatory cost share requirement for a proposal submission to a federal agency. Projects funded by for-profit organizations must recover full indirect costs to the extent allowed by the primary funding source.
If your project involves cost sharing such as released time, the associated fringe benefits, equipment, travel, supplies, etc. or other commitments such as additional lab space or office space, approval is required by the University prior to submission of a preliminary or full submission. You should discuss, well in advance, your budget and commitments with Proposal Services, your department chair/director, college dean, and if applicable, the Vice President for Research and Partnerships.
Note that if the agency reduces the amount requested the proposed cost share package should also be reduced proportionally. It is not uncommon for federal sponsors to request additional cost share or to capture innocent statements by investigators in ways that increase cost share. OU wants to resist attempts to increase or over match on proposals/awards.
Requesting Cost Share from the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (VPRP)
Monies for a required cash match may be available from Vice President for Research and Partnerships funds (usually at least three weeks should be planned for the request to be reviewed). Cash match from the VPRP may affect internal incentive returns to involved departments.
Upon award, if the agency reduces the amount of the funding from the amount requested, the VPRP match is reduced proportionately.
To request cost sharing from the Vice President for Research and Partnerships, submit the Request Cost-Sharing along with your draft budget and budget justification.