Equipment is usually defined as nonexpendable, tangible property having a useful life of more than two years and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit. Some federal agencies view equipment in two categories:
General Purpose: Equipment not used exclusively for research, medical, or other technical activities. It is the potential use, not the actual use that must be considered. Examples include typewriters, refrigerators, freezers, computers, cameras, vehicles and office furniture.
Special Purpose: Equipment which can be used only for research, medical and other technical activities. When purchased with federal grant funds, the title to equipment normally is vested in the University. However, agencies do reserve the right to require transfer of equipment. All equipment purchased from grant or contract funds is subject to CCU inventory controls and property management policies. Equipment purchased with grant or contract funds only may be transferred by the PI to a new institution should he/she leave CCU. This can be a long process. Removal of equipment from inventory requires signed approval by several divisions within the University including the Office of the President.
ONE FINAL REMINDER: Do not make large expenditures for equipment in the last few months of the project; do request equipment purchases as early as possible because of the time necessary for state bidding procedures.