Cost Sharing is a phrase used to indicate when more than one sponsor share in costs associated with a project.
The most common relationship is external sponsors providing most of the funds and for the University providing the remainder of the necessary funds to carry out a project. Matching is a form of cost sharing that generally defines a specific ratio of sponsor and University dollars. This type of cost share is usually an eligibility requirement stated in the RFP (request for proposals) and usually, but not always, provided from institutional resources. Cost sharing and matching are nearly synonymous and are often used interchangeably.
Cost sharing commitments are binding and must be documented just like any other expenditure. For this reason cost share should be included in a proposal ONLY when specifically required by the sponsor. Cost sharing in excess of the amount required is strongly discouraged and should be questioned at the departmental/college level. All proposed cost share must be listed on the Internal Approval Sheet (IAS) and approved by the departmental chair, college dean and sometimes vice president depending on who is committing the cost share.