Cost Share and Institutional Support

Georgia Tech provides three different types of financial support for sponsored projects: cost share, institutional support, and waiving of F&A (Facilities and Administrative) cost reimbursement.  Our ability to provide this support is dependent on multiple factors including:  

  • Sponsor requirements 
  • Availability of funds 
  • Consistency with internal policies and procedures 
  • Potential for precedence-setting decisions 
  • Individual project details 

As a public institution we are required to be vigilant stewards of state funds.  Because any support we provide to a sponsored project is a subsidy of the sponsor’s work using state funds, we must vet requests thoroughly and retain detailed documentation of our processes around each decision.  Two types of support, cost share and institutional support, are detailed below.  The third, waiving of F&A costs (often referred to as overhead or indirect costs) is detailed here

 

Definitions 

Cost Share: The contribution of institutional funds or resources toward a sponsored project, as outlined in a proposal and reported to the sponsor throughout the life of the project.   

Institutional Support: The contribution of institutional funds or resources toward a sponsored project and/or toward initiatives led by a PI.  Institutional support is used towards sponsored research activities; however, it is not documented in the proposed budget and is not reported to the sponsor. 

New Investigator Support: One type of institutional support, provided to junior faculty who receive one or more federal new investigator awards such as NSF CAREER, ONR Young Investigator Award, or DARPA YFA. 

 

Criteria for Cost Share or Institutional Support Approvals 

Cost Share: 2 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 200, often referred to as the Uniform Requirements, dictates that unless cost share is mandatory, it may not be used as criteria by a federal agency for proposal review. In an effort to provide fair and equitable support to all units, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research will therefore typically provide cost share only: 

  • When it is mandated by the sponsor as a required element of a proposal and 
  • When the initiative is a demonstrated priority of the schools and colleges 

In some instances, federal agencies publish requests for proposals that do not require cost sharing but allow it voluntarily. When voluntary cost share is listed as a component of the sponsor’s review criteria, colleges and schools may choose to commit their funds to cost share, as long as the terms are compliant with the Uniform Requirements and approved by OSP.  

Institutional Support:  In an effort to provide fair and equitable support to all units, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research will typically provide institutional support only: 

  • When the initiative is a demonstrated priority of the schools and colleges or 
  • When a PI qualifies for New Investigator Support.   

New Investigator Support: Junior faculty who submit proposals for one or more federal new investigator awards such as NSF CAREER, ONR Young Investigator Award, or DARPA YFA may request up to $20,000 from Georgia Tech in support of their research. This support falls into the category of an Institutional Commitment, is not for the specific benefit of the award funded project(s), and is therefore not documented for the sponsor as cost share. As required, or otherwise appropriate, it should be documented as other support or resources, but should not be quantified in the proposal. The funds must be spent within two years of the award’s start date. $20,000 is the maximum for an individual investigator; Georgia Tech provides this support only once, regardless of the number of such awards received.   

 

Requesting Cost Sharing or Institutional Support Commitments 

Cost Share: 

Who should a PI approach about cost share? 

  • For PIs who are brand new to cost share discussions, we recommend a general conversation with your college’s Associate Dean for Research (ADR) early in the proposal process. 
  • For PIs who are leading large, collaborative proposals, please refer to Institutional Support Guidance for PIs Leading Major Center Efforts.
  • For specific projects, the PI initiates the request in conversation with the unit chair or the chair’s delegate. 
  • If multiple units are involved, the PI and co-PIs engage all relevant chairs. 
  • The chair brings the request to the dean or the dean’s delegate (often the ADR). 
  • If multiple colleges are involved, the chairs engage all relevant deans. 
  • The dean brings the request to the EVPR’s office, if appropriate. 

 

How is the cost share request documented and formally submitted? 

  • The PI (or delegate) breaks down the cost share request on the Cost Share Approval Form.  The EVPR’s office does not require signatures on the form itself, though local units might. 
  • The financial administrator of the lead PI uploads the following information into GT-TRACS, in the attachment section, in support of the cost share request: 
    • Cost share form 
    • RFP 
    • Budget 
    • Correspondence that may have taken place prior to the GT-TRACS entry creation 

Note that while fringe, F&A cost and tuition should be included on the cost share form, these items should be deducted from the totals ultimately entered on the “Commitments” tab in GT-TRACS, as they are not hard cash commitments for any unit.  However, because these costs must be paid at an institute level, they will be reported to the sponsor. 

  • All involved units approve their commitments in GT-TRACS. 
  • OSP submits the proposal 
  • The PI’s financial manager requests the funds if/when the proposal results in a sponsored award. 
  • Awards that include cost share are tracked in the Grants and Contracts Accounting system and are reported to the sponsor. 

Institutional Support: 

How does a PI request institutional support? 

  • For PIs who are brand new to institutional support discussions, we recommend a general conversation with your college’s Associate Dean for Research (ADR) early in the proposal process. 
  • For PIs who are leading large, collaborative proposals, please refer to Institutional Support Guidance for PIs Leading Major Center Efforts.
  • The PI initiates the request in conversation with the unit chair or the chair’s delegate. 
  • If multiple units are involved, the PI and co-PIs engage all relevant chairs. 
  • The chair brings the request to the dean or the dean’s delegate (often the Associate Dean for Research). 
  • If multiple colleges are involved, the chairs engage all relevant deans. 
  • The dean brings the request to the EVPR’s office, if appropriate. 

How does a PI request new investigator support? 

  • The PI does not need to engage in the same type of conversations that they would for other types of institutional support.  The EVPR’s office will provide $20,000 in funds for all faculty who receive a federal new investigator awards such as NSF CAREER, ONR Young Investigator Award, or DARPA YFA. 
  • If the PI has any questions as to the eligibility of a proposal for new investigator support, they should contact the EVPR office. 

What paperwork is required for an institutional support request? 

  • The PI (or delegate) breaks down the request on the Internal Institutional Support Form.  The EVPR’s office does not require signatures on the form itself, though local units might. 
  • The financial administrator of the lead PI uploads the following information into GT-TRACS, in the attachment section, in support of the institutional support request: 
    • RFP 
    • Budget 
    • Correspondence that may have taken place prior to the GT-TRACS entry creation 

Note that while fringe, F&A cost and tuition should be included on the internal support form, these items should be deducted from the totals ultimately entered on the “Commitments” tab in GT-TRACS, as they are not hard cash commitments for any unit.  However, because these costs must be paid at an institute level, they should be documented on the form. 

  • All involved units approve their commitments in GT-TRACS. 
  • OSP submits the proposal 
  • The PI’s financial manager requests the funds if/when the proposal results in a sponsored award. 

What paperwork is required for a new investigator support request? 

  • Follow the steps above for institutional support requests. 
  • The request should consist of $20,000 in the equipment category from the EVPR office. 
  • Note that any PI who has already received new investigator funds is not eligible for additional funds in this category. 

 

External Cost Share 

Funds to be provided by entities outside of Georgia Tech, typically referred to as third-party cost sharing, must be supported at the proposal stage by written documentation from the outside entity indicating the commitment to provide cost sharing and the value of the resources committed. The unit originating the proposal will be responsible for addressing and, if necessary, fulfilling any external commitments should there be any deficit in what is ultimately provided by the third party.  

 

Reporting Cost Share and Institutional Support Expenditures 

Upon receipt of a sponsored award, OSP obtains a project account number and a cost sharing account number from either Grants & Contracts Accounting or GTRI Accounting, as appropriate. This process opens chargeable accounts for the PD/PI and the responsible unit to use during the course of the project. The project and cost sharing account budgets, provided by OSP to the appropriate accounting office, will be valued at the funded amount of the sponsored award and at the associated amount of committed cost sharing, respectively. It is the responsibility of the PD/PI or the unit business officer to work with appropriate personnel in the Dean’s Office or the Office of the Executive Vice President of Research to make available committed cost sharing or institutional support funds from that authority's sources.  

It is important that the PD/PI and his/her unit business officer identify appropriate charges to be applied against cost sharing accounts as incurred throughout the life of a sponsored project. Certain expenses, such as salary, must be applied within the fiscal year incurred and all cost share expenses must be applied before the end of the project period. All required cost sharing obligations must be met and properly documented in the Institute accounting system before the project accounts can be financially closed out. Failure to meet cost sharing commitments will normally result in a return of at least a portion of the sponsored funds and the resulting deficit must be covered by the unit(s) responsible for the project.  

 

Review Georgia Tech's policy on cost sharing

 

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