Shared credit is an internal university tracking mechanism that defines and quantifies an individual investigator’s intellectual contributions to a sponsored project. Interdisciplinary work is critical to our research enterprise. By measuring shared credit, MU can demonstrate investigator and departmental contributions to team research.

Why capture shared credit?

  • Shared credit allows MU to showcase an investigator’s contributions on sponsored projects, independent of or in conjunction with, sponsored expenditures. § Shared credit allocations are used in research productivity dashboards, research and teaching department overviews and for allocating awards in the MU Faculty Scholars search tool. These allocations are not shared with external sponsors.
  • Tracking activities by administering unit helps determine the volume of proposals and awards prepared and managed through a given department or center.
  • An investigator’s productivity and contributions can also be captured for tenure/promotion evaluation.

Who shares credit?

To the extent possible, researchers should determine shared credit while developing their proposals. Define the project’s scope and establish clear roles, then allocate shared credit among investigators. In most circumstances, any named personnel on a project should receive a portion of shared credit.

Shared credit is typically allocated to the principal investigator and others who would advance the project’s creative/scientific/scholarly goals through intellectual contributions, including:

  • Generating ideas.
  • Designing the project.
  • Conducting research or scholarly activities.
  • Preparing manuscripts/reports/articles.
  • Preparing funding applications.
  • Mentoring students.

How to determine shared credit

  • Shared credit should be based on the intellectual contributions of each person named on a project; therefore, the principal investigator does not always receive the largest percentage of credit for a project.
  • Shared credit and investigator effort are not related. An investigator may be budgeted for 25% effort on a large, multi-investigator project, but receive 10% shared credit for the overall project.
  • Investigators may use the project budget as one factor in determining shared credit allocations; however, the two are unrelated.

How to report shared credit

  • Shared credit is initially recorded in the PeopleSoft grants module at the time of the proposal.
  • Shared credit for all contributing investigators on a sponsored project must total 100%.
  • Percentages do not have to be in whole or rounded numbers. PeopleSoft allows two decimal places in the shared credit panel.
  • If all affected parties agree, shared credit allocations can be updated by submitting an Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA) Personnel Change Request Form.
  • Shared credit for MU research centers should be 0% in the PeopleSoft shared credit panel. The investigator’s percentage share is then allocated to his or her academic home.


Dr. Smith is a principal investigator on a grant. She works in the Bond Life Sciences Center, but her home department is Plant Sciences. She is collaborating with Dr. Thomas, who also is an investigator at Bond, but his home department is Biological Sciences. They have determined that Dr. Smith will receive 75% shared credit and Dr. Thomas will receive 25%. Shared credit should be entered in PeopleSoft as follows:

  • Dr. Smith — LSC DeptID – 0%
  • Dr. Smith — Plant Sciences DeptID – 75%
  • Dr. Thomas — LSC DeptID – 0%
  • Dr. Thomas — Biological Sciences DeptID – 25%

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