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Laboratory and University Core Facility Research Equipment Program

Past recipients

2017-18 Laboratory and University Core Facility Research Equipment Program

Offered by the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships and
the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity

Synopsis and Key Dates

Fall Call-Out, for equipment with allowed costs up to $100,000

  • No matching funds are required.
  • Applications are due November 6, 2017.
  • Awardees will be notified no later than December 2017.
  • Awards will have a start date of January 15, 2018 and funds should be spent or encumbered by May 31, 2018.

Spring Call-Out, for major equipment with allowed costs between $100,000 and $1,000,000

  • Matching funds required -- at least one-third (1/3) of the allowed costs
  • Applications are due January 26, 2018
  • Awardees will be notified in late February or early March 2018
  • Awards will have a start date of March 1, 2018 and funds should be spent or encumbered by May 31, 2018.

Background and Rationale

Researchers at Purdue University require access to and use of up-to-date and effective equipment (instruments, apparatus, software and databases) and facilities in order to conduct the world-class research expected at a major research university. The Research Equipment Program sponsored collaboratively by the Provost and the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships supports the purchase of capital research equipment in two cost categories. The goal is to address critical and strategic research equipment needs and thereby enhance the research programs of individual investigators and multiple investigators that rely on shared-use equipment.

This program is not intended to replace internal funds committed as matching for external equipment awards or internal/external funds already allocated for the equipment. This program is not intended to augment start-up or other incentive funds provided to individuals.

Fall Call-Out

Equipment with allowed costs up to $100,000

Gaps in the availability of external funding for capital equipment costing up to $100,000 are recognized. Grants to individual investigators and/or funds from academic units are often unable to support equipment acquisitions at the high end of this range, and few external mechanisms foster acquisitions of multi-user equipment with costs in the low end.

Spring Call-Out

Major equipment with allowed costs between $100,000 and $1,000,000

Funding for the acquisition of major equipment costing more than $100,000 may be obtained through competitive proposals to external sponsors, and this is the preferred route. Internal funds are offered through this Program because external funding opportunities are sometimes poorly matched in expediency or design to the needs of Purdue researchers.

Definitions and Award Mechanism

Equipment: Equipment means the item(s) targeted for acquisition, repair, or upgrade in support of Purdue's research activities. The equipment 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: The equipment must be Capital Equipment, which 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

Nature of the Award: An award from this Program is not a grant; it is an agreement to pay for specified and approved expenses up to the approximate value of the award. If actual expenses are less than the award, any funds remaining will be reclaimed.

PI Eligibility

The Principal Investigator must be a Purdue-WL faculty member (tenured/tenure-track, research, or clinical/professional) or a Purdue-WL staff member serving as the technical director/leader of a University Core Facility. An individual may be a Principal Investigator for only one application, but may participate in others as a projected major or minor user. Applications for single-investigator equipment are allowed only for established investigators without access to substantial start-up other incentive funds (see FAQs for additional information). An individual cannot receive (as PI) more than two awards for single-investigator equipment from this program or its precursors within a five year period. The history of single-investigator awards does not apply in any way to proposals for multi-user or core facility equipment.

Allowed Costs and Budget

  • Allowed costs include typical costs associated with the acquisition, repair, or upgrade of equipment, including purchase price, shipping and/or import costs, 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 associated with vendor terms and conditions, such as shipping costs.
  • Eligible equipment includes 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 or function. 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.
  • Minor facility/utility upgrades necessary to support the equipment (not to exceed $10,000) are allowed.
  • Program funds will not support personnel costs or costs for extended warranties or service contracts, software upgrade costs after the first year, recurring training, or costs of consumables beyond those needed to bring the equipment into service.
    (Exception: For proposals from University Core Facilities, new personnel costs necessary to establish a new service may be requested. In this case, the budget justification must address recurring personnel costs and a plan to support those costs.)

Matching Funds

Fall Call-Out: Augmentation of the award with non-program funds is not generally allowed; however, two exceptions are recognized.

  • Non-program funds above the $100,000 limit may be used to support minor space or utility improvements necessary for installation and operation of the equipment. These costs must be assessed and approved in advance by the head/director of the unit responsible for the space.
  • Coincident purchase of extended maintenance/warranty and training or service contracts using non-program funds is allowed if a financial benefit can be realized (through time-of-purchase discounts, for example).

Spring Call-Out: At least one-third (1/3) of the full cost must be supported by matching funds. Any combination of funds from Colleges, Schools, Departments, or individuals may be used to accumulate the match funding.

Application Content, Preparation, and Submission Process

When and how to submit, and who may submit

Applications must be submitted before 11:59 pm on the due date as a single pdf file attached to an e-mail message addressed to

Please DO NOT engage pre-award services or establish a COEUS record during the preparation of your application.

For Fall Call-Out proposals, a faculty PI/spokesperson or a staff member who serves as a technical leader of a Core facility may submit the proposal directly and independently.

For Spring Call-Out proposals, the College Deans and/or Associate Deans for Research and the Director of Discovery Park should consult with Heads of departments/schools and directors of University Core Facilities to identify strategic or critical equipment needs and appropriate principal investigators. Proposals and plans for cost-sharing must be vetted and endorsed by the College(s) or the Director. More than one College may endorse a proposal. Endorsed proposals may be submitted by the PI/spokesperson of the proposal, or on their behalf by a College or Discovery Park leader. Any number of proposals may be submitted.

Proposal format and content

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:

Incomplete applications or applications that do not meet these requirements may be returned without review.

The following attachments are required or permitted but not included in the five page limit.

  1. Required for both Call-Outs: A signed statement from the unit head or center director confirming that appropriate space and utilities are available or will be provided
  2. Required for Spring Call-Out: Endorsement of the proposal by at least one Dean or Associate Dean to confirm that the proposal addresses a strategic or critical need and to affirm that the plan for accumulating the matching funds is feasible
  3. Required for both Call-Outs: Current NIH- or NSF-format biosketches for the PI(s) and co-PI(s)
  4. Permitted and beneficial: A brief synopsis of prior or concurrent attempts to acquire external funding for the requested item(s).
  5. Permitted and beneficial: Informational quote(s) from vendor(s).

Review Criteria and Process

The fundamental criteria are impact and need.

Impact. For single or multi-investigator applications, the impact is defined as the advancement of the investigators' research program(s). For Core Facilities, impact is defined as 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 immediate or near-term 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 Provost and EVPRP for budgetary review and final selection.

Eligibility and suitability for funding by federal programs as well the history and outcomes of applications and awards from either external or internal equipment programs will be considered during the review and award processes. (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 must work through Procurement Services to obtain bids (if appropriate) and approved quote(s) for purchase. The quotes must be sent to for review and approval by EVPRP/Provost staff. Upon approval, an account will be established and the order(s) can be placed.

The corresponding Principal Investigator or an approved designee must submit a final report describing the impact of the equipment on Purdue research programs. The report should highlight any research funding facilitated by the equipment project. Deadlines for reporting are likely to be project specific and will be communicated to awardees, but, in general, the report should be submitted to one year after the assets were made available for use.

Frequently asked Questions

  • 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, upgrades, or replacement/new equipment with costs too high to be practical for typical sponsored grant support or ineligible for typical grant support.
  • 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?
  • Pre-award services SHOULD NOT be involved. After funding decisions are made, successful applicants will receive explicit procurement instructions with the notice of award.
  • For the Fall Call-Out, 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 and allowed costs exceeding $100,000 is not supported by the Fall Call-Out because these cases are eligible for the Spring Call-Out in the Purdue program as well as a broad spectrum of external (federal) equipment programs. Matching funding from non-program 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.
  • What is meant by, "Eligibility and suitability for funding by federal programs as well the history and outcomes of applications and awards from either external or internal equipment programs will be considered during the review and award processes."
  • Prior or concurrent submission to a suitable federal program may be considered as a positive factor affecting review and award decisions, and such submissions should be described briefly in the application. The absence of attempts to compete for funds from a suitable federal program may be an adverse factor, especially for investigators or cores that have received prior support from internal equipment programs on multiple occasions.
  • 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 or build a facility. Components of an instrument may be obtained from several vendors (e.g., a computer to run the instrument).
  • Are computers, nodes/servers eligible for this program?
  • Office and instructional computers/equipment are not eligible for this program. To support research computing, the EVPRP and ITaP recently collaborated in the purchase of multiple nodes for the Halstead cluster. A separate program will offer access to these nodes for specific purposes. For further information, inquire by e-mail to
  • What if ITAP does not offer the research computing resources I need?
  • If, after consultation with ITAP’s central research computing (RCAC) staff, it is determined that the research need cannot be met by RCAC, then equipment to meet the need will be eligible for this 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 ( at RCAC.
  • What is meant by “without access to substantial individual start-up other incentive funds” as it relates to eligibility to submit a proposal for single-laboratory equipment?
  • For applications seeking equipment that will not be shared, the program targets established investigators who have depleted university-provided start-up or incentive funds. If a small sum of start-up or incentive funds remain available (less than 25% of the cost of the requested equipment, say), eligibility will be decided on the circumstances of the case. Please inquire by e-mail to
  • Does the Justification of Need section of the proposal require individual statements of benefit from multiple users 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 included.
  • Why is an infrastructure statement from the unit head required?
  • To insure the availability of the infrastructure needed to deploy and effectively operate the equipment and to protect the unit from unexpected costs.

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