Date: January 21, 2002
From: Beth Burnside, Vice Chancellor for Research
To: Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, and Administrative Officers
Subject: New Procedures for Cost Sharing and Matching


In order to coordinate and facilitate the provision of central funds for cost sharing required in grant applications, Executive Vice Chancellor Gray and I have developed new policies and procedures for handling these requests. Cost sharing is defined as the portion of a project or program budget that is not borne by the sponsor or sponsors of the project. It is, of course, in the sponsors' interests to encourage cost sharing in order to spread their available funds to more projects and more institutions. We want to support as many proposals from Berkeley as possible but clearly our resources are not unlimited. For this reason we can consider providing central campus cash contributions to cost sharing only for proposals with mandatory cost sharing requirements, as indicated in a program announcement or Request for Proposal (RFP).

We cannot provide additional central funding for voluntary, unsolicited cost sharing or for extra cost sharing above the published mandated minimum; however, many other opportunities exist to demonstrate cost sharing in addition to cash contributions.

Cost sharing contributions can include but are not limited to:

  • Contributed effort and the fringe benefits associated with that effort;
  • Subsidized services offered by shops and cost centers if a service is provided to the project at less than actual costs. (e.g. departmental machine shops are one such service; animal care by OLAC is another);
  • Overhead not recovered for cost shared contributions (e.g. faculty or staff effort, benefits, shop costs, etc., contributed by the campus and thus not requested as direct costs);
  • Third party contributions, such as equipment donated by the third party or effort donated by that party (other than federal);
  • Non-federal or non-state grants or matching gifts raised specifically for the purpose of cost sharing project costs;
  • Unrestricted gifts;
  • University general funds used to pay for parts of the project such as travel specifically for project needs;
  • Approved waivers of overhead recovery.

These forms of cost sharing should be utilized to contribute to required/mandatory cost sharing along with cash contributions, and they may also be used for voluntary contributions. Only eligible sources of cost sharing can be counted in all the above examples, including shop time and faculty effort; i.e. no federal funds may be counted for cost sharing unless specially approved by the federal agency contributing to the cost sharing.

The Vice Chancellor for Research and the Executive Vice Chancellor will consider providing a cash commitment toward mandatory cost sharing for a proposal if the Principal Investigator's Department Chair or ORU Director and cognizant Dean have guaranteed that adequate space and infrastructure are available to conduct the project. The competitiveness of the request will depend on how well the application meets at least some of the following criteria:

  • The proposed project is significant in scope and vital to the campus mission;
  • The proposed project includes principal investigators from more than one department or ORU;
  • The Department, ORU, and/or School have already pledged a significant portion of the required cost sharing;
  • The proposed project is from a department or unit on campus that has limited access to extramural funding by nature of the research discipline;
  • The proposed project is pioneering in nature and is expected to lead the campus into desired new fields of research endeavor;
  • The request is for seed money and thus has the potential of fostering new research initiatives on campus and/or opening up new avenues of enhanced future funding;
  • The proposed project has been selected to represent the campus in a limited submission competition.

Waivers or Reductions of Indirect Cost Recovery:
In the past the campus has often used waivers or reductions of indirect cost recovery as part of the campus contribution toward mandatory cost sharing. However, the new policies for returning overhead to the campus from UCOP in effect since 2000 make the cost to the campus of waivers or reductions in indirect cost recovery comparable to direct cash contributions. Furthermore, overhead waivers are strictly regulated by UCOP, and are granted only for vital programs as described below. Therefore, the campus policy will be to provide central campus contributions to cost sharing by cash contribution rather than by waiver or reduction of indirect cost recovery.

The University may consider waiving or reducing indirect cost recovery in special cases if the project rigorously meets the criteria used by the Office of the President to define vital programs:

  • Small seed grants which may attract future larger awards;
  • Cases of hardship for a new investigator;
  • Awards which include contributions of equipment or building renovation funds;
  • Awards for a community relations interest vital to the campus;
  • Supplements for a student services activity which the campus must provide;
  • Supplements for library holdings or public exhibits.

If granted a vital program waiver, the reduction in overhead maybe used as costing sharing, however, in no circumstances will a vital program waiver be approved for the sole purpose of meeting cost sharing requirements.

The campus also automatically grants waivers or reductions of indirect costs for most individual agencies that have formal policies dictating an indirect cost rate different from the federally negotiated campus rates. These waivers are handled automatically by the Sponsored Projects Office.

Procedures for Handling Requests for Campus Support of Cost Sharing:

Together the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost have the authority to commit campus funds for cost sharing on sponsored projects. All requests for campus funds to help defray mandatory cost sharing requirements must be submitted in writing to the Vice Chancellor for Research at least three weeks prior to the proposal due date at the agency. This request should include the following information which is to be provided on the attached Request for Central Campus Cost Sharing form:

  • One-page summary of the proposed research;
  • Statement of how the proposed research meets the criteria described in the campus policy on grant-matching and cost sharing;
  • Amount of mandatory cost sharing required by the program as a percentage of total costs and the amount required in dollars;
  • Dollar amount requested from central campus funds;
  • Statement of how campus cost-sharing funds are proposed to be spent; and
  • Summary of all other contributions toward cost sharing for the proposal, including non-cash forms of cost sharing and cash contributions from Departments, Deans, or Directors.

The Vice Chancellor for Research and the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost will review requests and make decisions on the allocation of matching funds.

The Vice Chancellor for Research will notify units of the decision and maintain a database to track matching fund commitments and actual allocations.

If University funds are committed, units will be asked to prepare and to provide a draft letter of commitment from the Vice Chancellor for Research to the granting agency in support of the research project.

Beth Burnside
Vice Chancellor for Research


source: 1/21/2002 CALmessages: New Procedures for Cost Sharing and Matching

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