Cost sharing is that portion of a project or program cost that is not reimbursed by the sponsor. Cost-sharing represents a commitment by the university. It may be required by the sponsor as a condition of the award (mandatory) or may be offered by the university in excess of mandatory cost sharing requirements (voluntary).
It is important to realize that whether cost sharing is required by the sponsor or is offered by the university or PI voluntarily, it must be tracked and reported by the university. Once the award is made, all cost sharing commitments are considered to be mandatory and as such represent binding obligations of the university.
Cost sharing has a significant financial impact on the department providing the funds and on the university as a whole. A decision to cost share should therefore be carefully weighed. The university must provide a means of accumulating and documenting cost sharing incurred by the university, accounted for and reported in a manner consistent with requirements set forth by Texas A&M, federal regulations (Office of Management and Budget circular, 2 CFR 200 (formerly A-110 and A-21)) and sponsoring agencies.
Regardless of the source of funding, federal guidelines are used for cost sharing. (Any example using the federal government as a sponsor applies also to non-federal sponsors.)
Cost Share Policy: http://rules-saps.tamu.edu/PDFs/15.01.01.M1.03.pdf
Please contact Janet Killion, Director of Research Reporting, with any questions regarding cost sharing at email@example.com or 979.862.2841.