Title:  Important Notice: Implementation of the New NSF Cost Sharing Policy
Date:   June 11, 1999
National Science Foundation
Office of the Director
Arlington, VA 22230
 

Notice No. 124                                                                     June 11, 1999

 
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO
PRESIDENTS OF UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES
AND HEADS OF OTHER NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
GRANTEE ORGANIZATIONS
 
 

Subject: Implementation of the New NSF Cost Sharing Policy

Cost sharing can be a valuable mechanism for affirming the longstanding partnership between colleges and universities and the Federal government. NSF’s cost sharing policies and practices should follow a clear set of principles, implemented consistently, and seen as fair by the proposing community.

In May 1998, a Working Group, comprising staff from across the Foundation, was charged to re-examine NSF’s existing policies and practices on cost-sharing, and to recommend a strategy to address legitimate concerns raised by the community. Based on the Working Group’s recommendations, senior management developed the attached policy statement which the National Science Board approved on May 7, 1999 (NSB-99-92).

Significant aspects of the new policy statement are as follows:

 The full text of the policy statement is attached and is available electronically on the NSF website at <http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/cpo/policy/start.htm>. The new policy is effective immediately and will be incorporated as appropriate in the next revision of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide.

We plan to issue additional implementation guidance, possibly in the form of FAQs, in the near future. In the interim, any questions regarding the policy should be directed to <policy@nsf.gov>.
 

 

Rita R. Colwell
Director
Attachment

 

NSB 99-92
Revised, June 1, 1999
 
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
POLICY STATEMENT on COST SHARING

 
 DEFINITION

Cost sharing is defined in OMB Circular A-110. For NSF purposes, and consistent with A-110, it also includes and is synonymous with the term "matching." For NSF, cost sharing should be used with reference only to quantifiable and auditable contributions from non-NSF (and non-Federal) sources to NSF-supported activities. In the case of in-kind contributions, a quantifiable and auditable value must be established.

NSF has a variety of informal ways in which it partners and leverages resources from other sources. While necessary and important in many programs, these do not constitute "cost sharing" as NSF defines the term.

POLICY

In accordance with Congressional requirements, NSF requires that each grantee share in the cost of NSF research projects resulting from unsolicited proposals. These requirements may be met by the recipient through cost sharing a minimum of one percent on the project or by cost sharing a minimum of one percent on the aggregate costs of all NSF-supported projects subject to the statutory requirements. The Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)(Sec. II.D.7.l) and the Grant Policy Manual (Sec. 330) provide additional information as to these requirements.

In addition to the statutory requirements, NSF can require cost sharing when we believe there is tangible benefit to the award recipient(s) (normally beyond the immediate term or scope of the NSF-supported activity). Benefit is defined in terms of capacity building, potential dollar revenues, time frames, or third party users. NSF-funded activities that are characterized by such benefits are awards for infrastructure-building purposes (instrumentation/equipment/ centers/facilities) or for awards where there is clear potential to make profit or generate income (e.g. curriculum development).

PRINCIPLES

NSF-Required (Non-Statutory) Cost Sharing

Unsolicited Proposals  Budget Negotiations