Process for Requesting “Required Matching or Cost Share” Support from the Research & Innovation Office (RIO)

Updated as of March 2021

Required matching or cost share support are funds the sponsor requires to be contributed to the project and are dictated by the sponsor’s program guidelines.  Required matching or cost sharing is committed in the proposal and is included as an obligation in the award.

Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for ensuring that cost share or matching commitments are fulfilled and documented.

Timing. Requests for required matching or cost share support from RIO should be received sufficiently early in the process for full consideration. Ideally, requests for matching or cost share support:

  • Less than $100K must be received at least 5 business days in advance of the proposal deadline.
  • Over $100K must be received at least 10 business days in advance of the proposal deadline.

Securing Commitment of Unit/College. Faculty/PIs should consult with Department Chairs and Associate Deans for Research or Institute Directors. The Associate Dean for Research or Institute Director escalates the request to the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation. If there is no commitment of matching or cost share support from the unit or college, it is unlikely matching or cost share funds from the campus will be obligated. Requests for funds are subject to approval and not guaranteed. If matching or cost share is required for an internal limited competition, the same procedure described herein must be done prior to submitting to the internal competition.  Submitting a limited submission proposal without cost share or matching confirmed with the Unit/College/RIO may result in the submission being deemed ineligible.  

Required Information. Requests from ADR or Institute Director must be accompanied by a summary of the matching or cost share support that will come from the unit and college. Please send requests by email directly to the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation or The summary should include the following:

  • Synopsis of the proposal
  • Name of PI and CO-PIs
  • Name of the unit
  • Total project cost (estimated or final budget)
  • Total project cost share or matching broken down by dollar amount and percentage
    • Split details (unit(s) or department(s); college or institute; RIO)
  • Number of years or timeline of project

Campus Split.  The defined split for required requests among the unit/college or institute/campus (RIO) is 25% from the unit; 25% from the college/institute; and 50% from the campus (RIO). If the match or cost share can be covered by the unit’s indirect cost recovery, then these funds should be the primary source of support. It is common for the formula to differ if the request is to cover personnel costs. Requests for equipment support that can be used by other faculty members or for other one-time expenses are preferred to requests for salary support.

OCG Addendum. All matching or cost share commitments must be documented though OCG’s Cost Share Addendum with signatures from all contributing parties PRIOR to proposal submission.

Waived Indirect Costs. Sponsors may allow for waived indirect costs (either as required by the program announcement or voluntarily by CU Boulder) to be included as matching or cost share funds. This can be verified with an Office Contracts and Grants (OCG) Proposal Analyst and, if available, should be a priority for matching or cost share funds. However, requests for voluntary waivers, following the campus and OCG policy and process, are rare and will result in reduced indirect cost recovery (ICR) return to the unit.

Subawards. The campus will only provide matching or cost share on the funds which are coming to CU Boulder. If some of the funding will go to another group (i.e., subaward to a university, business) then the matching or cost share support for that part of the funding should come from that group.  In rare instances, this requirement may not apply, such as a subaward to a federal lab, and justification for CU providing the entirety of the match or cost share is required. It is the responsibility of collaborators to know the policies and deadlines for negotiating matching or cost share support at their institutions.

Link to Campus Controller’s Office Cost Sharing Policy

Link to OCG Cost Share Information

Link to OCG Cost Share Addendum Form

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