Laboratory and University Core Facility Research Equipment Program
2016-17 Laboratory and University Core Facility Research Equipment Program
A Request for Applications to Advance Purdue’s Research Enterprise
Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships
Researchers at Purdue University require access to equipment (instruments, apparatus, software and databases) and facilities in order to conduct the world-class research expected at a major research university. Funding to support acquisition of high-cost equipment may be obtained through proposals to external public (federal and state) or private sponsors. Purdue augments these sources with internal funds delivered through this Program because the requirements of many external funding opportunities are poorly matched to specific, often lower-cost, needs.
Applications – due November 9, 2016
Funds available – mid January of 2017
Key Changes to the Program or Application for the 2016-17 Program
Application and Submission Process
Applications SHOULD NOT pass through SPS Pre-Award prior to submission. Successful applicants will receive explicit budget and procurement instructions with the notice of award.
A signed statement from an appropriate unit head (or designee) is required to assure space, utilities, etc., are or will be available.
Matching Funding (funding not provided by EVPRP)
Matching funding above the $100,000 limit is now allowed if applied to space or utility improvements necessary for installation and operation of the equipment. Responsibility for costs above the $100,000 limit must be accepted in advance by the head/director of the unit/center, but the actual costs need not be quantified and will not be a factor in the review.
Matching funding is also allowed regardless of the total budget if used to purchase extended warranties or service contracts if coincident purchase will achieve long term cost savings.
Review Criteria and Process: Consideration of External Equipment Program Opportunities
Eligibility for funding by federal (or other) equipment programs as well as the history of applications to these programs may be considered during the review.
The application template was updated to reflect these changes, specify the order and titles for sections in the main body of the application, and clarify the expected content of the application.
This Program intends to remedy needs affecting individual laboratories, multi-investigator user groups, or University-level Core Research Facilities. All applications must target capital assets as defined by Purdue policies. In the case of Core Facility applications, certain additional costs supporting the establishment of new services also are allowed. Support from this Program may be used to foster the initiation of a new University Core Facility if all other conditions of the Program are met.
Each application must identify a corresponding Principal Investigator who is either a Purdue-WL faculty member (tenured/tenure-track or research) or a Purdue-WL staff member serving as the Director/Technical Leader of a University Core Facility. Faculty PIs not applying for equipment to be placed in a University Core Facility must have depleted a majority of start-up funds to be eligible (see FAQs for additional information). An individual may be a Principal Investigator for only one application, but may participate in others as a major or minor user. Individual faculty members cannot receive as PIs more than two awards from this program within a five year period.
Definitions and Award Specifications
Equipment: The item(s) targeted for acquisition, repair, or upgrade in support of Purdue's research activities. An allowed equipment item may be an apparatus, instrument, database, or software. Please inquire about the eligibility of any item that may not clearly fall into one of these categories. Office or instructional computing equipment is not allowed. Please see the FAQs for additional information regarding eligible research computing equipment.
Capital Equipment: "Capital Equipment is any tangible item costing $5,000 or more with an expected useful life of more than a one year that will not lose its identity through use." (As defined by Purdue Sponsored Program Services.)
Core Research Facility: See explanation here: http://www.purdue.edu/research/cores/
Nature of the Award: An award from this Program is not a grant; it is an agreement to pay for specified and approved expenses, as quoted/invoiced by the vendor(s), up to the value of the award. If actual expenses are less than the award, funds remaining will be reclaimed.
Maximum Award: The total costs of purchasing and deploying the equipment are limited to $100,000.
Application Content and Submission Process
The deadline for receipt of applications is 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, November 9, 2016.
Applications must be submitted as a single pdf file attached to an e-mail message addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please DO NOT engage pre-award services or establish a COEUS record during preparation of your application.
The main body of the application must not exceed five (5) pages, must use Arial 11 point font with 1.0 inch margins and single line spacing, and must include all sections defined in the application template, which is available from a link on the following page: https://www.purdue.edu/research/funding-and-grant-writing/funding/overview.php.
As described in the application template, additional information is required or permitted but excluded the five (5) page limit.
Incomplete applications or applications that do not meet these requirements may be returned without review.
Project Period, Allowed Costs and Budget
- Projects will have a start date of January 15, 2017 and funds must be spent or encumbered by May 31, 2017.
- Standard costs associated with the acquisition, repair, or upgrade of the equipment, including but not limited to purchase price, import costs, shipping, installation, and limited training, are allowed. All necessary allowed costs should be included in the submitted budget. When preparing the budget, the PI should pay careful attention to unquoted costs that may be associated with vendor terms and conditions.
- Eligible instruments are single, commercially available instruments or the essential components of an integrated system. In the latter case, all components should be largely dedicated to the identified need. The Program is not intended to support the acquisition of multiple, stand-alone items with independent functions. See FAQs for more information.
- Costs to acquire a research-enabling information resource or technology, including but not limited to database(s) and software, are allowed.
- In the case of University Core Facilities, short term, one-time funding of new personnel costs necessary to establish/provide a new service can be requested. In this case, the budget justification must address future personnel costs and revenue to support those costs.
- The costs of minor facility/utility upgrades necessary to support the equipment are allowed within the $100,000 limit but must not exceed $10,000 (see also Matching Funding).
- Supplies, spare parts, or other items not necessary to install and commission the equipment are not allowed.
- Extended maintenance/warranty, additional training or service contracts, and costs of consumables are not allowed from EVPRP funds (see also Matching Funding).
Matching funding is not generally allowed. Two exceptions are recognized. (1) Coincident purchase of extended maintenance/warranty and training or service contracts from non-EVPRP funds is allowed if a financial benefit can be realized (for example, through discounts). (2) Matching funding above the $100,000 limit is allowed if applied to space or utility improvements necessary for installation and operation of the equipment. These costs must be approved in advance by the head/director of the unit responsible for them.
Review Criteria and Process
The fundamental criteria are impact and need.
Impact. For single or multi-investigator applications, the impact is defined relative to advancement of the investigators' research program(s). For Core Facilities, impact is defined relative to the overall enhancement of the Purdue research enterprise including, but not limited to, the size and breadth of the existing user base across campus and/or opportunities to realize new or enhanced services or serve additional users.
Need. As appropriate for the project, the need will be assessed relative to reduction or removal of research barriers, including barriers to external funding, enhancement of the pace or quality of research, the extent of projected use relative to potential use, and the availability of similar equipment/functions on campus. Applications that could result in duplication of existing equipment/functions, especially those in recharge facilities, must include strong scientific and/or practical justification.
All applications will be reviewed by a faculty panel with representatives from the various Colleges. Funding recommendations will be submitted to the EVPRP for budgetary review and final selection.
Eligibility for funding by federal programs as well the history and results of applications to these programs may be considered during the review. (see FAQs).
Award Procedures and Reporting Requirements
Successful applicants will receive a notice of award for an amount derived from the submitted budget and any amendments resulting from the review. Thereafter, the PI will work through procurement to obtain approved quote(s) for purchase. An account will be established by the EVPRP business office after review and approval of the quote(s) by EVPRP staff. Purchase(s) will occur thereafter.
The corresponding Principal Investigator or an approved faculty or staff designee must submit a final written report describing the impact of the equipment on Purdue research programs highlighting any funding assisted by the project. Deadlines for reporting are likely to be project specific and will be discussed with awardees. A general rule of thumb is one year after the assets are available for use.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions follow below. Other questions should be directed to program staff via e-mail to email@example.com.
- What is the goal of this program and who does it target?
- The program targets individual PIs, a group of PIs, or a University Core Facility needing equipment repairs or replacement/new equipment with costs too high to be practical for typical sponsored grant support.
- What is the total investment in this program?
- Up to $1.5M has been committed to this program in recent years.
- Will this program be repeated in the future?
- There is no guarantee of future funding, but our goal is to be able to offer the program in the future.
- Are requests for multi-user equipment favored?
- No, the program treats individual laboratory, limited multiple-laboratory, and core facility requests equally.
- Must applications go through the Pre-award/COEUS process prior to submission?
- No, pre-award services SHOULD NOT be involved. After funding decisions are made, successful applicants will receive explicit procurement instructions with the notice of award.
- Is the acquisition of equipment that costs more than $100,000 eligible, if matching funding to make up the difference is available?
- In general, acquisition of equipment with necessary costs exceeding $100,000 is not supported by this program because these cases are considered eligible for external (federal) equipment programs. Matching funding from non-EVPRP sources is allowed for two exceptions: (1) costs borne by a unit to establish necessary space and utilities; (2) the coincident purchase of extended maintenance/warranty and training or service contracts if long term cost savings can be achieved.
- Can funds from the award be used to pay installation costs?
- Yes, as long as the total costs do not exceed the limits established for the program. If installation or use of the equipment requires space improvements that push the total cost above $100,000, the awards may be supplemented by other funding if the infrastructure upgrades are approved in advance by the head/director of the unit responsible for the costs.
- What is meant by, "Eligibility for funding by federal programs as well the history of applications to these programs may be considered during the review."
- Several current external federal equipment programs (NIH SIG-S10, DoD DURIP, and NSF-EAR/IF) accept applications for equipment costing less than $100,000. Moreover, lower cost equipment (e.g., refurbished or demo instruments) may be specified for the EVPRP program in lieu of alternative equipment costing more than $100,000 specified for an external proposal. In these or other circumstances, a prior or concurrent submission to a federal program may be considered as a positive factor during review and should be described briefly in the application.
- What is meant by, “Eligible equipment includes single, commercially available instruments or the essential components of an integrated system?"
- The program is intended to support the purchase or integration of a single piece of equipment or instrument. It is not intended for the purchase of separate pieces of equipment that together increase the capabilities of a research laboratory. However, it is recognized that some components of an instrument are sold separately (e.g., a computer to run the instrument) and these are allowed.
- Are computers, nodes/servers eligible for this program?
- Office and instructional computers/equipment are not eligible for this program. Funds from the program, may, however, be expended to access Purdue’s shared cluster computing infrastructure through ITAP’s “Community Cluster” program. The amount requested for this purpose must be specified in the budget and justified in the budget justification and will be available in an account established in the “Community Cluster” program.
- What if ITAP does not offer the research computing resources I need?
- If, after consultation with ITAP’s central research computing resources (RCAC) staff, it is determined that the research need cannot be met by RCAC, then equipment to meet the need will be eligible for the OVPR Laboratory Equipment program. A memo from RCAC stating that the need cannot be met with existing ITAP resources must be included in the application. Applicants should contact Preston Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the RCAC.
- What is meant by “must have depleted a majority of start-up funds” in establishing the eligibility of the PI (not applicable to core facility applications)?
- For applications targeting equipment that will not be shared, the program is intended for individuals who have depleted all start-up funds. In some instances, however, a small amount of residual start-up funds (generally less than 25% of the cost of the requested equipment) may remain and the eligibility of the PI in these cases will be decided on an individual basis.
- Does the Justification of Need section require individual statements of benefit if the benefits are similar?
- If the benefits are highly similar for all projects, a collective statement is acceptable. If some features/benefits are specifically or critically important to particular projects, this information is helpful to reviewers and brief individual statements may be beneficial.
- Why is an infrastructure statement from the unit head now required?
- To protect the unit from unexpected costs and to insure the availability of the infrastructure needed to deploy and effectively operate the equipment.