Research and Sponsored Projects Manual (RSP)

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Effective: 8/2/1978

Revised: 11/1/2021

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RSP 506–03: Cost Sharing Documentation for Sponsored Projects

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To authorize, identify and document university cost sharing contributions

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Article 9, Section 7 of the Arizona Constitution
Knowledge Enterprise (KE)
Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration (ORSPA)

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Permissible Cost Sharing

ASU requires sponsored project costs to be funded, at the maximum extent possible, by external resources. The university’s decision to authorize the use of internal resources to supplement funding of a sponsored project is based on the availability of funds and the relative importance of the project in furthering the mission of Arizona State University.

Cost sharing may be required on a sponsored project if one of the following conditions is met:

  1. cost sharing is required by statute
  2. the sponsor’s program announcement, solicitation, by-laws, or other mechanism that invites proposals requires cost sharing as a condition of funding
  3. the sponsor explicitly cites in its charter or program description that cost sharing is expected and will be a proposal review criterion


  4. specific budget line items are capped in accordance with sponsoring agency guidelines, e.g. NIH salary limitations.

In general, the university does not approve cost sharing on contracts except under extraordinary circumstances.

Obtaining Cost Sharing Commitments

All committed cost sharing must be confirmed by individuals authorized to commit university resources. Cost sharing in the form of facilities & administrative (F&A) cost waivers is allowable if not prohibited by the sponsor and if approved by the Research Operations director. University funded cost sharing on for-profit sponsored projects is restricted by Arizona statute to Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) funding.

Tracking and Reporting Cost Sharing

The university’s cost sharing accounts, or other records supported by transaction reports from the university’s systems will be used to track authorized internal cost sharing commitments. Expenditures for cost sharing must be:

  1. allowable under federal authoritative guidance (see RSP 101, “General Research Policy”) and sponsor guidelines
  2. quantified in the sponsored project proposal budget and/or budget justification, and thus incorporated in the award notice


  3. incurred during the authorized period of performance.

Cost sharing accounts must be used to track cost sharing funds from state appropriations and unrestricted (local) sources. The cost sharing accounts may not be used to account for items not meeting the definition of cost sharing.

Cost Sharing Documentation

Cost sharing documentation includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • documentation of principal investigator (PI) effort on a sponsored project—the cost sharing account record is the documentation for the cost sharing of the PI’s time
  • departmental payment of expenses from a cost sharing account—the Workday FMS reports and expense receipts will constitute the documentation for the cost sharing account
  • departmental payment of expenses from a department state account—the Workday FMS reports and expense receipts will constitute the documentation for the expenses paid from a department state account
  • third-party provision of cash cost sharing to the university from a cost sharing account—the Workday FMS reports and expense receipts will constitute the documentation for the cost sharing account
  • third-party provision of in-kind cost sharing to ASU—the third party will provide a letter stating the value of the in-kind cost sharing based on applicable cost principles.

Responsibility for Cost Sharing

The PI is responsible for managing all cost sharing commitments specifically related to his or her sponsored project. This entails securing signatures from officials authorized to commit university resources, documenting allowable cost sharing, and ensuring all cost sharing obligations are fulfilled. Failure to fulfill cost sharing obligations may result in loss or reduction of sponsor funding and may adversely affect the university’s ability to obtain future funding from that sponsor.

For more information on how RSP policies are implemented during each phase of a project, see the ORSPA website.

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Additional Information

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See Article 9, Section 7 of the Arizona Constitution at

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For authoritative references, see RSP 101, “General Research Policy.”

For information about proposal budget development, see RSP 303, “Proposal Budget Preparation.”

For information about direct charging of indirect costs, see RSP 508–01,“Charging Direct and Facilities & Administrative Costs to Sponsored Projects.”

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