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General Campus Matching Funds Program Guidelines

Recommendations to PIs for submitting cost-sharing requests on grants and proposals.

Requests submitted by PIs through their General Campus departments or ORUs to the Executive Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs (EVC) for cost-sharing on proposals that are both large proposals or center grants and interdisciplinary proposals are made through and with the endorsement of the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR). Support in the form of graduate student fellowships should be requested directly from the Dean, Graduate Division at the same time that the VCR is contacted. “In-kind" support is also often appropriate and should be considered. Communications to initiate a request for cost-sharing should occur ideally one month and at a minimum two weeks prior to the submission deadline. Requests will not be considered after a proposal has been submitted

Eligibility requirements

  • Match explicitly required by the agency in the RFP.
  • Match explicitly required by the agency in the solicitation. Proposals must be submitted through and managed by an Academic Affairs department or General Campus Organized Research Unit (ORU).
  • Proposals deemed large will exceed $800K per year in total funding [direct cost (DC) & indirect cost (IDC)].
  • Proposals deemed interdisciplinary should involve at least three faculty from at least two UC San Diego divisions.

Please note the matching funds policy is currently under review. Please contact Kyle Nakanishi for additional guidance and questions.

Cost-sharing commitment

For all proposals that meet the eligibility requirements, generate normal IDC, and for which a match is explicitly required by the agency, the EVC will provide a maximum of 5% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). MTDC is the total direct costs minus the amount of funding in budget categories that do not provide indirect costs, which includes equipment, the amount of sub­ awards in excess of $25,000, fellowships, and tuition remission.

For all proposals that meet the eligibility requirements, generate normal IDC, and where a match is not required by the agency but where the granting agency guidelines indicate that a match would increase the chances of landing the grant, the PI can request a match amounting to 2.5% of MTDC, provided the Dean's office will also provide an equivalent cash or in-kind match.

Proposals that do not meet the eligibility requirements are unlikely to receive matching support from the EVC.  Note that many proposals do not require a match nor is there any evidence there is decreased likelihood of receiving an award if a match is not provided. Such grants are excluded from this matching funds program.  Faculty may consult with ORA to discuss options after first discussing with their cognizant Dean’s office.

Equipment grants that do not generate IDC will generally continue to rely on funds provided by the EVC to the Deans for matching contributions. Only exceptional requests will be considered by the EVC's office.  

If the final award is reduced from that proposed in the budget, the EVC's match will be reduced proportionately. Any match requests for grants that deviate from the normal IDC rate will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis in consultation with ORA and the EVC's office.

Uniform Guidance (UG) regulations that went into effect in December 2014 specified that “Unrecovered indirect costs, including indirect costs on cost sharing or matching may be included as part of cost sharing or matching only with the prior approval of the Federal awarding agency. Unrecovered indirect cost means the difference between the amount charged to the Federal award and the amount which could have been charged to the Federal award under the non-Federal entity's approved negotiated indirect cost rate.” If mandatory cost sharing is included in the solicitation and unrecovered IDC is not listed as appropriate, you can still ask permission of the agency to use it. PIs may wish to include the amount as part of the proposal with an explicit request to use the unrecovered IDC as part of the match.

Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited in NSF proposals, unless specifically required by the program solicitation.

Information needed from proposers at the time a request for cost-sharing is made

Once the principal investigator (PI) has reviewed the Matching Funds Guidelines and confirmed that the proposal satisfies the Eligibility requirements, please email a completed Internal Research Funding Program Application form (Word file) to

Other cost-sharing strategies

When required cost sharing exceeds an amount equal to 5% MTDC, and/or the EVC guidelines are not met, then it will be necessary for Investigators to seek additional support from their dean(s) and department(s), and to utilize available forms of "in kind" matching that can be identified as project specific and are otherwise allowable under UCSD and sponsor policies. Examples of the latter might be staffing support from departments or ORUs, use of participating faculty "startup" funding, use of departmental shared facilities, or use of available campus core facilities. Campus cost sharing should include estimates of IDC costs that would have otherwise been provided by the Agency. Other non-UC San Diego commitments can include funds or donated equipment from external, non-federal partners or donors.

The Dean of The Graduate Division may provide matching graduate fellowships, depending on the potential for the award/project to enrich the diversity of the graduate student population. In general, requests for matching fellowships will only be considered if the extramural grant proposal includes provision for the support of at least four UC San Diego graduate students. Matching commitments for training grants and other similar proposals will also be considered. Learn more and request support.

For more information, contact the Client Experience team at