Using Faculty Effort for Cost Sharing

Objective: Limit explicit commitments of cost-shared effort to sponsored projects to those instances where contributed effort is required by the sponsor or is a significant portion of the total effort of the Principal Investigator (PI).

  • Proposals should accurately represent the amount of direct research effort that key personnel are committing to the project, whether that effort is paid for by the sponsor or by MIT

Tips About Cost-Shared Faculty Effort

  • To qualify as cost sharing, the effort must be necessary and reasonable for the performance of the project objectives
  • Cost sharing effort must be directly related to the project’s objectives, and must not include time spent on administrative or instructional activities
  • When contributed effort is expected to be 10 percent or greater, or the funding agency insists on a specified level of cost sharing, this effort must be explicitly stated in the proposal; after the award, actual effort on the project must be identified on the eSDS/eDACCA reports and certified
  • Contributed effort of less than 10 percent over the academic year (AY) is not considered to be significant, and should not be included in a proposal unless it is a requirement of the sponsor, such as the NIH, to include an explicit statement of committed effort or to provide and document cost sharing
  • During faculty sabbatical, MIT employee benefit cost object 1698000 will fund salary associated with cost-shared effort. The DLC must fund employee benefit costs associated with cost-shared effort

BOTTOM LINE: Whether mandated by the sponsor or volunteered by the PI, effort commitments are a condition of the award and must be:

  • Properly documented
  • Captured in the accounting system
  • Captured in the payroll distribution and/or effort distribution system

Key References


Why should my PI limit contributed effort to <10 percent?

Limiting contributed effort in this manner minimizes Institute cost-sharing commitments, and the PI will not have to monitor and report cost-shared effort.