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Northwestern University

Cost Sharing

Updated 9-8-2020

Institutional Support (with Institutional Resources)

The Office for Sponsored Research (OSR) Cost Share Officer facilitates the process of obtaining institutional cost share support. The process is comprised of four steps:

  1. Notification to the Office for Sponsored Research (OSR) Cost Share Officer by PI
  2. Development of Cost Share Budget, Justification, and Letter of Support
  3. Negotiation and Formal Request of Cost Sharing Commitments
  4. Generation of Official Cost Share Letter of Support

Please refer to the Office for Research Cost Share Guidance for details.

Read more about institutional cost share support at OSR's website.

Weinberg Cost Share Guidance

Weinberg engages in cost sharing in accordance with the Office for Research Guidance on Cost Sharing (revised May 2020).  Cost sharing typically comprises contributed effort, graduate student support, space, and/or cash support.

The cash cost share commitments are typically split 25% departments, 25% schools, and 50% Office for Research.  Weinberg PIs need to recover 100% of the College’s cash commitment via academic year salary recovery.  The released funds generated, including the fringe benefits incentive, will be retained by the College.  For proposals where salary is not allowable (i.e., equipment grants), this requirement is waived.  The OSR Cost Share Officer and the departmental research administrator can assist with the calculations when the cost share budget is being developed using the cost share budget template (OSR-EZ).  Upon award, the Dean’s Office will work with the department to charge the academic year salary to the project.

 Cost Share of Faculty Effort

If voluntary committed cost share effort exceeds 5% in the proposal:

Institutional Letter of Support

To obtain an Institutional Letter of Support (with no measurable commitment of resources), contact the OSR Cost Share Officer. The process, including a template letter, is outlined on the OSR website.

Please note that the request needs to be received by the Office for Research at least one week before the sponsor deadline.

Northwestern University’s Institutional Stance on Cost Sharing

Some sponsors require institutional cost matching on their grants and contracts as a matter of statute, regulation, or policy. Individual solicitations may also indicate a cost matching requirement. In these cases, the University follows its long-standing practice of meeting published mandatory cost matching requirements for targeted programs.

Northwestern University does not typically cost share on a voluntary basis, consistent with its objective of maximizing sponsor cost reimbursement to support the continued growth of the research enterprise. A voluntary cost sharing commitment can be made where the competitive forces and perceived institutional benefit of receiving the award are deemed to be sufficiently strong to warrant the commitment.

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