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Research Operations Office


Published on 13 May 2011

Research Councils UK - changes to requests for equipment from 1 May 2011

RCUK have issued guidance regarding applications for equipment funding  The guidance applies from 1 May. The greatest impact is on equipment valued over £10k because of the required contribution towards costs.  This issue is being considered and more information will follow along with any further guidance issued by RCUK. Key changes:

  • Minor equipment items up to £10k (incl. VAT).  Single capital items under £10k should be included in Other Directly Incurred costs, representing an increase from the previous £3k threshold.
  • Equipment items between £10k and £121,588 (incl. VAT).  Further justification is now required, including an evaluation of existing relevant equipment in the University or other accessible location.  A contribution towards the equipment is expected at around 50% of the cost.
  • Equipment items over £121,588 (incl. VAT). A two page business case outlining the strategic need for the equipment is required, which will be subject to separate peer review.  RCUK will decide on the strategic location of such equipment and will potentially fund at 100%.  The business case should be discussed with the relevant RC well in advance of submission.

Further points to note:

  1.  RCUK capital budgets will face high demand, therefore applicants are encouraged to minimise project dependency on capital funding. 
  2.  The previous position of 80% funding of equipment up to £50k and 100% funding of equipment over £50k no longer applies.
  3.  Je-S has not yet been updated to deal with the new guidance and the full guidance gives information on how to make the application.
  4.  The costs of leasing equipment should be treated as equipment purchase costs.
  5.  Thresholds apply to individually capitalisable assets, except where individual assets are to be used as a combined asset.
  6.  Apart from the £10k threshold, thresholds do not apply to the development of new instruments that form the core proposal of a grant.
  7.  Special advice is given about Social Survey costs.

If you have any queries, please contact your School Team at the Research Office