Cost Sharing Approval

Cost sharing is any project cost that is not reimbursed by the sponsor to support the scope of work defined by the federal or non-federal sponsored award. Cost sharing, also known as matching, is funded by Harvard or a third-party, which is generally a non-federal resource.

Harvard strongly discourages cost sharing, unless such a commitment is required by the federal or non-federal sponsor. All committed cost sharing must be tracked and may require reporting.

Failure to appropriately document cost sharing commitments from verifiable official University records could result in audit findings and require the return of funds to the sponsor.

Types of Cost Sharing

Mandatory Committed Cost Sharing

Costs required as a condition of the award which must be tracked and may require reporting. This type of cost sharing is required by the Sponsor and must be included in the proposal.

Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing

Cost sharing specifically pledged by Harvard on a voluntary basis which is quantified in either the proposal budget and/or narrative and becomes a binding requirement of the award, must be tracked, and may require reporting. Note: When a PI decides to use other funding source(s) to fulfill a proposed and budgeted effort commitment, that effort must be treated as voluntary committed cost sharing for both effort reporting and inclusion in Facilities and Administrative rate calculation purposes; however, reporting to the sponsor is not required.

Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing

Costs and effort that are not included as part of the submitted proposal or upon acceptance of the award. This does not need to be tracked or reported.

Over-the-Cap Salary

The portion of a faculty or staff member’s salary and associated fringe benefits that exceed regulatory maximum imposed by the sponsor (e.g., National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense salary cap). Over-the-cap salary cannot be used to meet a mandatory or voluntary committed cost sharing requirement, since it is considered an unallowable cost to the sponsor. This should be tracked via companion account for effort reporting.

In-Kind Cost Sharing

In-kind cost sharing are contributions wherein the value can be readily determined, verified, documented, and justified but where no actual cash is transacted in securing the good or service comprising the contribution. When applicable, an estimated value of the in-kind cost sharing must be identified and documented based on the fair market value determined at the time of accepting the award. In-kind cost sharing must be tracked manually by the department/local unit managing the award.

Refer to Appendix A of the Cost Sharing Policy for sources of cost sharing and types of expenditures which can be cost shared.

Refer to Appendix B of the Cost Sharing Policy for definition and applicable use of a companion account.

Cost Sharing in GMAS

Proposal Stage

  • Cost sharing form must be completed in the GMAS Initial or Competing Renewal proposal

Award Stage 

  • Cost sharing form must be updated in GMAS, if any changes since proposal submission

Management Stage

  • GMAS cost sharing request must be utilized if there are changes to the cost sharing commitment