Cost Sharing and Match

Many private and public agencies encourage or require an institutional contribution to be a part of program proposals. These contributions can take two forms: hard match or soft match.

Hard Match. This type of contribution requires "new" money to be committed to the proposed project and involves a fund allocation that would not exist without the proposal.

Principal Investigators/Proposal Writers indicate the need for a hard match on the Transmittal Form. The source of "new" funds should also be identified and, if appropriate, letters of commitment provided from the proposed sources. Signatures on the orange Transmittal Form from a department chair, a dean, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs signify acceptance of cash match arrangements and a commitment to meet the described financial obligations if the proposal is funded.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs administers a University Matching Fund. Requests for matches, especially for equipment, can be made to the Associate Provost for Research.

Soft Match. Most proposals contain "soft" matches, often referred to as "in-kind" contributions. Such contributions indicate a willingness to dedicate existing resources to a program or proposed budget.

Appearance of in-kind contributions in a proposal indicates that a college or a department is willing to commit real time and resources to a program goal. Therefore, the Principal Investigator/Proposal Writer should take care to inform all potential signatories of the in-kind contributions intended to be included in the proposal.

Proposal writers should be careful not to include activities considered part of indirect costs as soft matches.