Research & Cost Accounting

Cost Sharing

These procedures are issued in accordance with Research Policy 306, Cost Sharing.

They are intended for guidance on post-award administration of cost sharing expenditures.  Cost shared resources and costs must be proposed, tracked, expensed, and recorded per Rice policy and procedures and per sponsor guidelines.

General Information

The Principal Investigator (PI) bears primary responsibility for management of the sponsored programs that are awarded to him/her.  Management involves budgetary and cost compliance as well as technical compliance.  This includes not only staying within the total program budget and time period, but also staying within specific budget guidelines in the award.  While all providers of committed cost sharing are responsible for honoring their cost sharing commitments, the PI is expected to monitor and coordinate the funding and recording of cost sharing expenditures.  The PI should request assistance from the Chair and Dean as needed to resolve variances between agreed-upon cost sharing commitments and funding or expenditures.

Commitments of University resources, including academic year time, must be approved in accordance with the cost sharing policy and the cost sharing proposal procedures of the Office of Sponsored Research (SPARC) prior to proposal submission. Research and Cost Accounting (RCA) will assist the PIs and department administrators (DAs) in tracking cost shared costs.  


Cost sharing is that portion of total project costs not provided by the sponsoring agency.  Per Uniform Guidance, all costs that are reported as cost sharing must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable, incurred within the project period, derived from non-federal sources, used as cost sharing for only one project, and certifiable through university accounting records.

There are three types of cost sharing: mandatory, voluntary committed and voluntary uncommitted.

  • Mandatory Cost Sharing is required by the sponsor as a condition of funding. It is described in an agency's program announcement and noted in the award document of the approved budget. It must be included in the proposal as a condition of submission and receipt of the award. This type is also referred to as Committed Cost Sharing .
  • Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing is not required by the sponsor but has been included in the proposal in a quantifiable manner. See the SPARC proposal procedures for examples of quantified voluntary committed cost sharing. Some sponsors do not allow proposals to include voluntary committed cost sharing.
  • Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing is cost sharing that has been recorded in the accounting system but is neither mandatory or voluntary committed cost sharing. If a PI chooses to report voluntary uncommitted cost sharing on a project, it is recorded in the accounting system but is not reported to the sponsor.

Sources of Cost Sharing

The following terms are commonly used at Rice when describing the sources of cost sharing.

  • Cash: Funds expended from departmental (A1) funds used to fullfill cost sharing obligations for expenditures such as equipment, salaries, travel, supplies and other direct costs.
  • In-kind: Non-cash contributions contributed such as time, equipment, or facilities. Value is measured based on fair market value of goods and services received.
  • F&A:  Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs related to the direct costs. F&A is not charged in the accounting system; it is tracked by RCA in the cost sharing worksheets.
  • Third Party: Used for non-Rice cost sharing providers, both subcontractors and others, that commit cost sharing during the proposal process. SPARC reviews cost proposals from third parties to ensure they meet Uniform Guidance requirements for valuation. For subcontractors, SPARC includes such cost sharing commitments in award documents. For non-subcontractors, PIs are responsible for certifying that cost sharing commitments from them have been met. See Other Third Party Commitments of Cost Sharing below.

Departmental Administrator Responsibilities for Committed Cost Sharing

At the time of a new award with cash cost sharing, department requests that General Accounting set up a fund to be used for recording these cost sharing expenditures.

The PI/DA is notified of the new fund number, generally a designated (D) fund. The DA of the responsible organization is responsible for processing a Budget Transfer Memo within 90 days of the start of each project year to transfer funding from each provider to the cost sharing fund(s).

Large/Multi-Department Projects

Large/multi-department projects frequently have a number of cost sharing providers across departments and schools.  The sponsors of these projects also generally request annual revised budgets that may affect previously submitted cost sharing commitments. For such projects, the DA of the main/contact PI should have periodic meetings with the DAs of the other providers to ensure that cost sharing commitments are being met and appropriately recorded. Additionally, the DA of the main/contact PI is responsible for ensuring that SPARC has a copy of revisions to the cost sharing commitments.

SPARC Responsibilities for Committed Cost Sharing

SPARC is responsible for reviewing proposal cost sharing commitments for compliance with Rice policy and sponsor requirements and for ensuring that needed documentation of cost sharing commitments is available. If the proposal commits cost sharing by subcontractors, SPARC will ensure that subcontract award documents require the cost sharing to be certified to Rice. If there are changes in cost sharing commitments or providers, the PI should contact SPARC, who will then contact the sponsor as needed. 

RCA Responsibilities for Committed Cost Sharing

At the time of fund setup and budget action, RCA reviews all proposal and award documents for cost sharing commitments. When a commitment is identified, RCA activates a LOCN (location code) for the project. When RCA sends the budget action form to the department, the cost sharing comments section contains information on cost sharing commitments. RCA adds the project to its cost sharing summary database and creates a detail worksheet for the project.

 To assist the departments during the award period, RCA periodically updates the project detail and summary worksheets and sends reminders to the DAs and PIs if reported cost sharing is not “on track” with commitments. When significant variances are noted, RCA will request assistance as needed from PIs, DAs, Chairs, Deans, and VPR to ensure compliance with committed cost sharing expenditures.

Tracking Cost Sharing Expenditures

Rice-provided cost sharing is recorded in the accounting system using IDR2 as the PROG (program code) and the R fund # as the LOCN (location code). The LOCN identifies the specific sponsored project fund for which cost sharing is being recorded. It is the responsibility of the PI/ DA to ensure that cost shared expenditures are recorded properly. Samples of such coding are provided later in this document.

Subcontractor Commitments of Cost Sharing

If a cost sharing commitment from a subcontractor is required, SPARC includes the provision in the award document that invoices must include cost shared amounts. RCA periodically updates the cost sharing worksheets for the cost sharing amounts provided by the subcontractor.

Other Third Party Commitments of Cost Sharing

If there are other third party cost sharing commitments in the proposal, SPARC will obtain documentation from the provider that will support the value of the cost sharing. At the end of the project, RCA will request PI certification of fulfillment of the third party commitment. 


At the end of the project, RCA prepares a draft of the final cost sharing expenditures. In the event that documented cost sharing expenditures are less than the cost sharing commitments, the PI has the following options:

  • provide documentation and support for additional cost shared expenditures;
  • request sponsor approval through SPARC to reduce cost sharing commitments; and/or
  • reduce sponsored project fund expenditures to record them as cost sharing.

(From the SPARC proposal procedures: “If at any time the PI becomes aware that not all of the cost sharing commitments can be met, the PI must notify SPARC and RCA at once and provide a reason why the commitments cannot be met. If it is determined that a reduction is necessary, then SPARC will notify the sponsor and request a reduction of the commitments. Depending on the circumstances, the sponsor may approve the request or reduce the sponsor share of the project costs accordingly.”)

RCA prepares the final cost sharing expenditures report and submits it to the sponsor as required. A copy of the final report is retained in the RCA files.

Sample Coding

From Proposal Budget Narrative:

  • The PI will contribute 10% academic year effort to this project.
  • A graduate student will work on the project for the first year at no cost to the sponsor.
  • The university will provide the funds required to purchase the microscope necessary to conduct the research and provide $2,000 of supplies needed to operate it.

(1) Coding of cost shared academic year time

A1  -  700000  -  60110  -  IDR2  -  R12345  10.00%

This indicates that a professor (account 60110) in an academic department (organization 700000) is paid from departmental funds (fund A1) and 10.00% of his/her salary is cost shared (program IDR2) to location code R12345. Automatically in Banner, fringe benefits are calculated based on the account code used. Therefore, 10.00% of this professor’s salary and fringe benefit charges would be cost shared to R12345.

These expenses are documented via the Time Allocation Report and certified on the Effort Report.

(2) Coding of cost shared graduate research assistant

D98765  -  700000  -  60850  -  IDR2  -  R12345  10.00%

This indicates that a graduate research assistant (60850) in an academic department (700000) is paid with funds from D98765 and 10.00% of his/her salary is cost shared (IDR2) to R12345. Automatically in Banner, tuition remission will be calculated based on the account code used. Therefore, 10.00% of this graduate research assistant’s salary and tuition remission charges would be cost shared to R12345.

These expenses are documented via the Graduate Student Payroll Authorization form and certified on the Graduate Student Salary Confirmation.

(3a) Coding of cost shared equipment

A1  -  700000  -  75240  -  IDR2  -  R12345  $35,000.00

This indicates that laboratory equipment (75240) was purchased with departmental funds (A1) in an academic department (700000) in the amount of $35,000.00 and cost shared (IDR2) to R12345.

This expense is documented when the Purchase Order (PO) is issued.

If the cost sharing is not documented on the PO, cost sharing information must be added after the expense is recorded in Banner by submitting an Expense and Revenue Correction form to the Controller’s Office (MS-70) using IDR2 as the program code and the correct LOCN code.

(3b) Coding of cost shared supplies

D98765  -  700000  -  72180  -  IDR2  -  R12345  $150.00

This indicates that laboratory supplies (72180) were purchased with funds from D98765 in an academic department (700000) in the amount of $150.00 and cost shared (IDR2) to R12345.

This expense is documented when a purchase is made of when a vendor invoice is coded for payment.

If the cost sharing is not documented on the PO or invoice, cost sharing information must be added after the expense is recorded in Banner by submitting an Expense and Revenue Correction form to the Controller’s Office (MS-70) using IDR2 as the program code and the correct LOCN code.

This type of departmental fund (D98765) can be set up to default to IDR2 – R12345 so that all expenses charged to D98765 will be recorded as cost sharing on R12345.

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