Cost Sharing is the financial support contributed by universities to sponsored projects. Compliance with federal cost accounting standards requires that Cost Shared expenses be treated in a consistent and uniform manner in proposal preparation, award negotiation and the accounting of these expenses in the financial reports to sponsors.

Any Cost Sharing included in the award budget is a condition of the award and is subject to audit.

Under the OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Sections 2 CFR 215.23(a)(5), 200.29, & 200.306 state that Cost Sharing is not expected, nor can it be used in the review process, unless a Cost Sharing requirement is allowed under the awarding agency’s regulations and specified in a notice of funding opportunity.

There are two types of Cost Sharing which require both tracking and reporting:

  1. Mandatory Cost Sharing: Project costs that are not paid by the sponsor and are required as a condition of the award.
  2. Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing: Costs specifically pledged on a voluntary basis and specifically included in the award budget.

CUNY discourages Cost Sharing unless such a commitment is required by the sponsor. When there is documented evidence that a Voluntary Cost Sharing commitment is necessary to ensure the competitiveness of the CUNY proposal, approval must be obtained by the Vice Chancellor for Research at the time of the application/proposal.


See – VC Memorandum on Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing

See – Research Foundation Cost Sharing Policy

Note: Cost Sharing may not be explicitly stated in an Award Notice[1], but it is always recognized in the award document by virtue of language that states the award is based on the application/proposal submitted.

[1] Cost sharing offered to a sponsor in the proposal documents, must be specified and quantified, becomes a binding commitment upon the execution of the award document.