Cost Sharing Defined

What is cost sharing?

Cost sharing is the portion of total project costs not borne by the sponsoring agency. It is the realization that all of the project costs may not be absorbed by a single funding source.

Cost sharing represents resources provided by other funding sources that directly benefit the sponsored projects. In most cases the cost sharing source will be from University Funding.

Cost shared effort is defined as work performed by employees on sponsored projects that are not paid by the sponsor. (In other words, cost sharing on sponsored projects for employees who work on the sponsored project, i.e. the salary is funded by the University or by some other funding source.) Cost shared effort should be included on the effort report as it is a component of the total effort that an employee works.

The following situations involving cost shared effort cannot and should not be documented on effort reports:

  1. Cost sharing funded by another sponsored project
  2. Cost sharing funded from federal appropriations.
  3. Cost sharing performed by bi-weekly paid employees.
  4. Cost sharing performed by 9-month EPA employees during the summer period May 16 through August 15.

In each of the above cases, an after-the-fact memo is required to document this type of cost sharing. See After-the-Fact Cost Sharing Guidelines for more information.

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After the Fact Cost Sharing


The After the Fact Cost Sharing Memo is the method that should be used to document cost sharing situations that cannot be documented within the University’s official effort reporting system (TEARS). The college/department/business unit is responsible for identifying the circumstance in which cost shared effort must be documented on the After the Fact Cost Sharing Memo and is responsible for completing the memo. Completed memos should then be sent to the Office of Contracts and Grants(C&G).

The Office of Contracts and Grants has two After The Fact Cost Sharing Memos:

  • The Regular Monthly After the Fact Cost Sharing Documentation memo (PDF) allows for reporting of cost shared effort for an employee after TEARS for a FY has been archived. If for any reason you come across cost shared effort that has not been entered on an employee with an existing effort report, you can still enter that cost shared effort up until the point in time that we archive the effort reports for that fiscal year – typically done the following January. If the effort report has already been certified, it will need to be re-certified after adding the Cost Sharing.
  • If you discover cost shared effort for the fiscal year and an effort report was not generated for that employee, please contact the University TEARS Coordinator immediately to have an effort report created for that employee. An effort report can only be created if the survey period has not been closed.This will record the cost sharing in our system rather than leaving a paper trail within our file. While the deadline for certification may have passed, it is still important that we make every effort to get these effort reports certified. If the survey period is closed and an employee needs to certify their report a hard copy should be printed, signed, kept in the college and a copy sent to C&G. In addition, if the effort reporting period is closed and a effort report needs to be corrected, print a hard copy, manually make the corrections, have the employee (or someone who has first hand knowledge of the employee’s effort) resign the hard copy, keep the hard copy in your file and send a copy to C&G. We believe this shows due diligence on our part and would be looked upon favorably in an audit situation.
  • The Non-TEARS After the Fact Cost Sharing Documentation memo (PDF) should be used for reporting:
    • Bi-Weekly Employees
    • Summer Effort
    • Supplemental Pay
    • Cost sharing from one Ledger 5 to another Ledger 5

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, your first point of contact is your College TEARS Coordinator. The College TEARS Coordinator will contact the University TEARS Coordinator as needed.

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