Cost sharing is a commitment of New York University (NYU) resources (e.g., personnel costs, Other Than Personnel Costs, or OTPS) for a sponsored award. Cost sharing is that portion of a project or program not reimbursed by the sponsor. There are three forms of cost sharing:
- Mandatory - which may be required by the sponsor as a condition of the award and becomes an obligation once an award is made.
- Voluntary Committed - which may be offered by NYU and becomes an obligation once the award is made.
- Voluntary Uncommitted – Faculty effort over and above that level which is committed and budgeted for in a sponsored agreement. It need not be included in the time and effort system and is not separately tracked.
Since cost sharing is a commitment of institutional resources that would otherwise be devoted to other University purposes, NYU discourages unnecessary and unsupported cost sharing.
Mandatory and voluntary committed cost sharing becomes an obligation to NYU once an award is accepted. Uncommitted cost sharing does not have to be tracked, documented, or reported; it is strongly discouraged by NYU.
Personnel effort proposed on an award is considered a commitment of time to the project. Federal regulations require NYU to compare the level of commitment with the actual effort expended on a project. The portion of the committed effort not charged to the award is considered voluntary committed cost sharing and it must be tracked.
The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is responsible for determining whether proposed cost sharing complies with the requirements of the sponsor guidelines and determines whether it is mandatory or voluntary. The approval of all sources of the cost sharing contributions (e.g., Department Chair, Dean, Provost, third party collaborator) is required at the time of the proposal. Please see the ‘Cost Sharing' section of the SPA Handbook for complete guidance.
Cost sharing requests must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) using the Cost Share Form. This form must be submitted for approval at the time of the proposal.
As a general rule, the contribution of Principal Investigator (PI) effort (whether academic year or summer) as voluntary committed cost sharing on federal awards is subject to the following NYU restrictions:
- 1% of the academic year salary of the PI is an entitlement, per award, when no other salary is charged. It is the minimum required of all PIs for each project (mandatory for Federal grants only)
- When no summer salary may be requested (if the PI is already fully committed or the sponsor has prohibitions) or for 12-month appointments, up to 5% academic year salary may be cost shared with the approval of the Chair and the Dean
- Any voluntary cost sharing of PI effort above 5% on a single grant or 10% cumulatively (in the sum total of all awards) requires the written permission of the Chair, Dean and Senior Vice Provost for Research. Categorical or class exceptions of such limitations will be considered by the Senior Vice Provost for Research when sponsor practices can be documented which would make such ad hoc approvals unduly burdensome on the investigator
It is the responsibility of the PI and the department to document the fulfillment of cost sharing. Cost sharing is documented through the creation of a separate project in the University’s accounting system which parallels the project established with sponsor funds
Frequently Asked Questions
These are costs that were committed in the award budget, but not funded by the sponsor. Such costs cannot be billed to the sponsor and must be separately tracked in a cost share program linked to a department operating or discretionary chartfield. The same costs cannot be shared among multiple projects with cost share commitments. Please refer to the Cost Share Policy for a complete definition of the different types of Cost Share as well as University requirements associated with proposing cost share commitments.