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Policies

Policy Title

University Full Cost Recovery on Sponsored Project Activities [Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities, and Discovery and Fee for Service] as Affecting Cost Share Commitments

Policy

  • Kansas State University will pursue full costs of sponsored project activities funded by extramural sponsors. The full costs include all allowable direct costs and Facilities and Administrative costs.
  • Cost share commitments on behalf of the University will not be allowed unless required by published policies of the sponsor.
  • Faculty time and commitment to sponsored projects must conform to the University Policy and Procedure Manual and, unless required by the sponsor, should not be monetized on the sponsored project budget, budget justification, or the Sponsored Project Transmittal Sheet unless the specific time commitment is being pledged to meet a specific published cost sharing requirement.

Rationale

Full Costs

Costs on sponsored projects are divided into two major categories: (1) direct costs and (2) facilities and administrative (F&A) costs [indirect costs or overhead]. 

  • Direct costs are those are attributed to the scope of work of a particular project.  Examples include project-specific salaries and fringe benefits for personnel, materials and supplies, travel, equipment, tuition, laboratory fees, shipping, and long distance telephone charges. 
    • To the extent allowed by the sponsor, the Principal Investigator efforts in these creative activities should be compensated as well.
    • Departments or administrative units wishing to provide mandatory cost resources to sponsored projects may not rely on voluntary waived or reduced F&A as a source of mandatory cost sharing.
Regulatory Requirements
  • The Kansas Board of Regents’ policy requires that sponsored projects be funded on a full cost recovery basis unless such recovery is restricted by law or other public policy. 
Limited Exceptions
  • Some sponsors limit the payment of full costs by statute and/or published program-specific policy.  If so, the differential between the sponsors’ maximum cost allowance and the full project costs will be a university cost share, and must be documented on the Sponsored Project Transmittal Sheet and approved through the normal routing chain for the submitting unit[s].
University Operational Procedures

Cost sharing, matching, and in-kind contributions are the commitment of university resources in support of a project beyond the funds provided by the sponsor. These funds must be required by the sponsor through published program-specific policies.

This commitment may be from the University's resources, from a third party, or from a combination of both. Regardless of the source, the University is responsible for maintaining records that satisfy state and federal audit requirements.

Cost sharing or matching funds include:

  • salary and associated fringe benefits
  • unrecovered facilities and administrative costs
  • university contributions for other expenses associated with the project, such as travel, equipment, supplies, etc. (i.e. "hard dollar match")

Of these, salaries and fringe benefits are the most effective means of cost sharing because they are recorded and certified in subsequent cost sharing reports. When there are "hard dollar" matches, those funds must be transferred to a "matching" account established by the Sponsored Projects Accounting Office at the time that a project is established.

The published requirement for and the identification of all sources of matching funds must be provided at the proposal stage. Space for approval and commitment is provided on the Sponsored Projects Transmittal Sheet to indicate source(s) and amount(s) of hard dollar commitments. Authorized signatures from all contributing units must be secured in advance of submission of the proposal, all signatures are binding if the award is made by the Sponsor.

Contributions by a third party may include actual monetary contributions for project expenses (matching) or non-cash contributions (in-kind) such as services or the loan or gift of equipment. For third party contributions to qualify for cost-sharing, those items must be necessary to accomplish the project and allowable by the sponsor (sponsor would allow the cost to be charged to the project if they were paying the entire project costs). Third party contributions, whether monetary or in-kind, must be documented in the proposal by a binding letter of commitment or via an existing agreement which includes details.