NSF Policy Regarding Cost-Share

The National Science Foundation has issued a new policy statement regarding cost-share and budget negotiations. There is one change in the policy, which was last updated in June 1999: · In budget negotiations, any reduction of 10% or more from the amount proposed should be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in the scope of the project. In addition, NSF issued the following guidance related to cost-share:

  • Although the statutory 1% cost share requirement for NSF proposals is still in effect, it is not to be reflected in Line M of the proposed budget.
  • Unless a program solicitation specifically requires cost sharing, proposers should:
    • not include cost sharing amounts on Line M of the proposal budget; or 
    • not exceed the cost sharing level or amount specified in the solicitation.
  • To ensure that cost-share remains an eligibility criterion rather than a review criterion, FastLane will be modified to ensure that Line M is masked from peer reviewers during the review process.

The revised policy is available at http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dga/policy/start.htm, under Important Notice 128, Revision of NSF Cost Sharing Policy, dated January 24, 2003. This revised policy is effective for budget negotiations occurring on or after April 1, 2003.