Cost sharing occurs when the University pledges to provide resources toward the completion of an externally funded project. It is the Academic Grants Office policy to offer a cost-share commitment to a sponsor only when the sponsor’s specific program guidelines require it.
Cost-share does not provide a competitive edge over other proposals, but does obligate the project team, the University, and the ORSP to a substantial responsibility of accurate cost-share accounting.
When faculty members commit to cost-share on a proposal, they are usually committing to obtain, spend, and document every penny of the cost-share amount that they propose during the sponsor specified project period (not before or after). If a PI does not obtain and spend the committed cost-share within the specific project period funded by the sponsor, then they are not meeting the grant requirements, and the sponsor may request that grant funds be returned to them. If the ORSP determines that the project team is not obtaining and spending cost-share as required, it may be necessary for the ORSP and the Controller’s Office to stop further expenditures of sponsored funds until cost sharing objectives are met.
Third party cost-sharing from organizations other than LMU (e.g., school districts, private industry) are subject to the same stringent cost sharing standards. Detailed records and documentation are required in order to verify the validity of any cost share claimed.
The definition of accurate cost-share documentation is detailed in the ORSP Cost-Share Policy. Such documentation includes, but is not limited to actual receipts for each cost-share dollar received and spent, time and effort accounting for in-kind match and contribution details from partner organizations on signed letterhead.