Questions About Grant Cost Sharing

What is grant cost sharing (aka match)?

Institutions performing grants are sometimes required by the funding agency, as a condition of the grant, to participate in the costs of the grant. Costs of the grant that are paid by the performing institution are called match or cost sharing. Cost sharing must be specified in the Proposal Budget The formal cost share needs to be approved by NJIT and by the granting agency.

At NJIT, cost sharing commitments are approved by the Vice President for R&D through the Office of Sponsored Programs. The PI, the department chair, affected deans, and the Associate Provost for R&D should make cost-sharing decisions during proposal development. They are responsible to follow-through on approved cost sharing budgets.

Typical types of cost sharing at NJIT include the following: equipment, stipend or tuition paid and release-time.

Sponsoring agencies check for evidence that cost sharing has actually happened, before paying their final grant invoice. Equipment match and indirect cost recovery are recorded in FRS. Evidence of tuition match and departmental cost sharing is the responsibility of the Department or Center performing the grant. The Principal Investigator is responsible for performance of the grant, including implementation of the pre-approved NJIT cost sharing, as indicated in the budget provided by Office of Sponsored Programs.

Contact Grant and Contract Services if you have post-award questions about grant cost sharing.

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What if there is a need to modify my cost-share budget?

The National Science Foundation has recommended that NJIT use a system for institutional approval of any significant changes in the source or use of funds promised as cost sharing. NSF expects that NJIT will notify NSF of any institutionally approved changes to the cost-sharing budget.

All proposed cost-share modifications shall be requested in writing to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) by the Principal Investigator. The proposed change will be reviewed by the Associate Provost for R&D, and significant (e.g., more than 10%) changes may be subsequently communicated to the granting agency by OSP if approved at NJIT. No commitment can be made until NJIT approved and has cleared the change with the sponsor.

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Can I pay for earlier costs of my grant using NJIT match funds, and defer using grant funds until later in my grant?

Principal Investigators are encouraged to spend grant and matching funds in tandem so that approximately the same proportion of matching and grant funds are expended in the same period of time.

There are several reasons for this NJIT policy. For example, there is a time value of money such that near-term funds have greater value than funds in the future. NJIT is willing to match, but NJIT should not be asked to overmatch future grant funds with near-term NJIT funds. Similarly, granting agencies would not like to pay all the early expenses of a grant and to have NJIT pay its match at the finish. If the project is cancelled, the sponsor will have paid disproportionately for the project. It is best to use matching funds at a rate that matches grant-fund expenditure rates.

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