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Cost Sharing Language

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to seek funding from sources external to the University of Michigan. In the graduate school context, cost sharing is the use of institutional funds to supplement graduate student support (stipend, tuition, GradCare, dental insurance, and/or summer support) that is covered by an external sponsor. Cost share requests are submitted to Rackham two ways, either via a Proposal Approval Form (PAF), if needed, or via the Rackham Cost Sharing Request Form. For questions regarding whether a proposal should be submitted via a PAF please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) at 734.764.5500 or orsp-info@umich.edu. The Rackham Finance and Fellowships office is not equipped with the appropriate expertise to advise programs on that matter. All cost share requests MUST be approved before expenses are incurred.

All awards (regardless of cost share group) approved via PAF, with the exception of NSF GRFP, are fully administered by programs and a request for reimbursement should be submitted to RackhamFF@umich.edu at the end of each project/fellowship award year.

In most cases, cost share groups 1 and 3 (not approved via PAF) are administered by Rackham and group 2 is administered by the program (meaning all costs are incurred by the program) followed by request reimbursement at the end of each project/fellowship award year.

Rackham PAF Approvals

  • Rackham cost share language should be entered in section 3.7 – Internal U-M Agreements. The department ID to use is 493000. Referencing this department ID will automatically route the PAF to Rackham for approval.
  • Our standard processing time for approving PAFs is three business days. However, if you have a PAF that urgently needs approval, please reach out to RackhamFF@umich.edu and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
  • Please also ensure that there is a budget (in Excel format) attached to the PAF. We just need something simple that shows estimated award, estimated expenses, and estimated shortfall. Below is a sample shortfall budget. You can also utilize the Estimated Shortfall Budget Tool.

Please refer to the Approved Cost Share list to determine which below script to enter into the PAF.

Group 1

Rackham will cover 100% of a funding shortfall between the awarded amount and the actual cost of tuition, health insurance, and dental insurance (Option 1). If needed, Rackham will also provide a supplement to the stipend provided by the award and any departmental/program contribution, to ensure that the student receives the equivalent of 0.5 FTE of a GSRA/GSI/GSSA appointment (as published by ORSP for that academic year) over a 12-month period or until they have defended their dissertation. Students in combined programs (e.g., Medical Science Training Program) are only eligible for cost sharing support during the terms that they are registered as a Rackham student. If an allowance is provided to defray a student’s tuition, fees, health insurance, and/or other educational expense, a portion of the allowance is to be applied towards tuition, fees, and health insurance costs when calculating the shortfall.

NIH Group 1

Rackham will cover 100% of a funding shortfall between the awarded amount and the actual cost of tuition, health insurance, and dental insurance (Option 1). If needed, Rackham will also provide a supplement to the stipend provided by the award and any departmental/program contribution, to ensure that the student receives the equivalent of 0.5 FTE of a GSRA/GSI/GSSA appointment (as published by ORSP for that academic year) over a 12-month period or until they have defended their dissertation. Students in combined programs (e.g., Medical Science Training Program) are only eligible for cost sharing support during the terms that they are registered as a Rackham student. Of the allowance provided to defray training-related expenses the maximum that may be budgeted for the program-related expenses is $2,200. The balance of the allowance is to be used for health insurance costs.

Group 2

Rackham will provide a 50% shortfall between the award allowance and the costs of actual tuition, health insurance, and dental (Option 1) for this award during terms that they are registered as a Rackham student. If an allowance is provided to defray a student’s tuition, fees, health insurance, and/or other educational expense, a portion of the allowance is to be applied towards tuition, fees, and health insurance costs when calculating the shortfall.

NIH Group 2

Rackham will provide a 50% shortfall between the award allowance and the costs of actual tuition, health insurance, and dental (Option 1) for this award during terms that they are registered as a Rackham student. When an allowance is provided to defray a student’s tuition, fees, health insurance, and/or other educational expense, a portion of the allowance is to be applied towards tuition, fees, and health insurance costs when calculating the shortfall. Of the allowance provided to defray training-related expenses the maximum that may be budgeted for the program-related expenses is $2,200. The balance of the allowance is to be used for health insurance costs.

Training Grants

  • Training grant cost share requests first need to be approved by a Rackham Dean. Please submit a condensed version of the abstract and budget to Assistant Dean John Godfrey for review. Dean Godfrey will provide wording and a cost share letter, if approved, that will need to be entered into the PAF. The Rackham Finance and Fellowships team will be unable to approve any PAF for a training grant that does not include this letter.
  • When routing a training grant PAF to Rackham for approval, please also ensure that a budget (in Excel file) is attached to the PAF showing the estimated shortfall costs. You can either create a budget using the guidelines above or attach the cost share shortfall calculations worksheet prepared for Dean Godfrey to the PAF.

Rackham Cost Sharing Approvals for Awards not Requiring a PAF

Rackham does not provide retro-active cost sharing. All cost sharing requests must be approved before actual costs are incurred. For cost sharing requests on awards that do not require a PAF, please submit a request using this Google Form. With your submission, please include an Excel version of the sample shortfall budget listed above and the award letter along with any other pertinent fellowship award information you may have.

Submitting a Cost Share Reimbursement Request

  • All the expenses should be charged to the sponsored project grant and a request should be submitted to Rackham for cost share reimbursement at the end of each project/fellowship award year. Departments should fill out the Rackham shortfall request form and email the form to RackhamFF@umich.edu. Please note this is a reimbursement request therefore all expenses need to be incurred, no encumbrances will be allowed. Do not submit the shortfall reimbursement until all activity for the project/fellowship award year has posted.
  • Rackham will validate the tuition, Gradcare, dental, and stipend (if applicable) costs along with the grant allowance. Once the form has been approved, we will transfer funds to the shortcode provided on the shortfall form. The standard processing time for shortfall reimbursements is one to two weeks.
  • If you prepare an MReports or Business Objects query to obtain the data needed to complete the Shortfall Reimbursement template, please feel free to include the query results with your email submission. This may help us process your request more efficiently.

Calculating GSRA/GSI/GSSA Stipend Level (Group 1 only)

Rackham has committed to ensuring that a student on a Group 1 Fellowship receives the equivalent of 0.5 FTE of a GSRA/GSI/GSSA appointment (as published by ORSP for that academic year) over a 12-month period. To calculate this rate, please use the full-time stipend rate for four months and first divide it in half and then multiple by 3. For example, the 2021-2022 rate for the Ann Arbor Campus is $23,196 per term. Since the stipend rate assumes a .5 FTE over three terms, the 21-22 rate would be $34,794 or ($23,196/2) x 3. More information can be found on the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects website.