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Equipment Matching

Section: C3.3.1

Date: 12/19/03


To clarify the process by which the University will make commitments to match sponsored funds for the purchase of equipment.


  • Cost-sharing: The portion of project or program costs that are not borne by the sponsor; that is, the costs that are supported by the university or other third parties.
  • Equipment match: The portion of the cost of an equipment purchase that the University must fund. This may be a requirement to be eligible for a grant, or it may be a condition of the award, in which case it becomes mandatory cost-sharing.
  • Principal Investigator: The DU employee (usually a faculty member) who is responsible for the proper conduct of research or other activity described in a proposal for an award. Used interchangeably with Program Director.
  • Sponsored Programs: Programs or projects that are funded by an external entity through an award (grant, contract, etc.) to the University. Sponsored programs include research, instruction, and other sponsored activities.


Commitments to match funds from external sponsors for the purpose of purchasing equipment may be made by the Department Chair, the Dean, the Vice Provost for Research, or a university employee who has fiscal responsibility for university non-restricted funds. Such commitments are considered cost-sharing. Authorization from these individuals is required prior to proposing any commitments, and these individuals will need to consider such commitments in their budget planning processes.


  • When a proposal is prepared, the PI shall work with OSP to identify cost-shared expenses.
  • If a match for equipment is required, the PI shall obtain commitments from the Department Chair, Dean, and/or the Vice Provost for Research. Commitments shall be indicated on the OSP Proposal Review & Approval (PRA) Form by noting the amount, fund/org, expected fiscal year of expense, and signature.
  • The Director of OSP shall track and report such commitments to the Vice Provost for Research as requested.
  • Upon award of grant, OSP shall communicate to the PI and Department Administrator the amount that is reserved for match and the fiscal year. The PI/Department Administrator shall confirm expected purchase(s) by indicating the DU purchase order number(s) and returning to OSP.
  • The equipment shall be purchased from departmental funds.
  • The department shall submit invoice(s) that have been paid to the OSP Director for reimbursement to their department fund/org.
  • The OSP Director shall notify the Controller’s Office to make the appropriate budget transfer, and shall report on equipment matching transaction activity to the Vice Provost for Research.


  • Principal Investigator is responsible for:
    • obtaining approval for matching commitments from the persons responsible for providing the funds;
    • making the equipment purchase through his/her Department Administrator.
  • Dean / Department Chair / Vice Provost for Research shall approve/disapprove the use of their departmental/division non-restricted funds for equipment match purposes. Such decisions need to be considered in budget planning processes.
  • Department Administrator shall:
    • process requests for equipment purchases as approved by PI / Department Chair / Dean;
    • submit invoice(s) that have been paid against departmental funds to the OSP Director for reimbursement of matching funds committed by the Vice Provost for Research.
  • Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) shall:
    • Work with PI to identify matching commitments needed for grant proposal.
    • Assure that each commitment is approved by the appropriate person (ie, Department Chair, Dean, and/or Vice Provost for Research)
    • Communicate instructions to PI and Department Administrator when award is received.
  • OSP Director shall:
    • Track and report cost-sharing commitments to the Vice Provost for Research
    • Obtain VPR authorization for budget transfers to cover reimbursements to departments.
    • Communicate authorizations to Controller’s Office.
  • Controller’s Office shall input budget transfers for reimbursement of equipment purchases as authorized by the Vice Provost for Research.