About equipment requests for your research
Requests to the University for financial contributions to the cost of your equipment are normally required if you are applying to some of the Research Councils for funding, where the budget includes equipment over £10k in value. There are different procedures depending on the amount of funding requested.
If you are requesting equipment between £10k and the OJEU threshold you will need to complete and submit an EQR1 form (this requires single sign-on).
If your request is for equipment above the OJEU threshold you will need to complete and submit a paper EQR2 form.
Equipment below £10k
Single items of capital equipment, below £10k, are treated as consumables and should be recorded under ‘Other Directly Incurred’ costs in Je-S.
Research Councils are now less likely to fund small items such as PCs, unless they are non-standard, ‘high spec’ items and justified as having specific need for the research.
Equipment between £10k and the OJEU threshold (EQR1)
Requests for single items of capital equipment between £10k and the OJEU Threshold (currently £189,330) require:
- Justification, including a check of existing asset registers (include in the Justification of Resources section in Je-S)
- commitment from the University or project partner to contribute 50% of the equipment cost
Equipment funded at 80%
In April 2021 some funders changed their rules and now fund equipment at 80%. The funders we are currently aware of are EPSRC and MRC but this list may change. You will need to read the scheme guidance if applying for equipment funding to check the correct funding level.
- it is the expectation that where the funder will contribute 80%, that this should be applied for in your PAM costing and an EQR1 is not required
- if there is a reason for making the request for a greater contribution from the University, you will need to complete the EQR1 form and note on there the reasons for this
Before submitting an EQR1 form check if existing equipment is available by:
- checking the University equipment list which is published via the GW4 Alliance database
- arranging to use, share or modify existing equipment
- including costs for equipment access or travel in your costing
- leasing the equipment if cheaper over the life of the project
If you are able to identify suitable existing equipment, contact the person responsible (or general enquiries) to discuss whether sharing/access is possible. For sharing equipment within the University, please use the following Inter Departmental Loan form.
If no suitable existing equipment can be identified:
- Complete the online EQR1 form (requires University login).
- Complete the Procurement Planning form (attached to the online EQR1 form).
Equipment above the OJEU Threshold (EQR2)
For Research Councils and other funders, requests for large items of equipment need to show that they are part of a University strategy of investment. This shows there is University investment in the proposed equipment.
Requests to Research Councils for equipment above the OJEU threshold need to be made separately, using a two page business case setting out the strategic need for the equipment. The Research Councils (except EPSRC) will fund such requests up to 100% but many of them expect a contribution from the University.
Usually business cases are attached to a research proposal. However, EPSRC have a separate process for managing requests for equipment over the OJEU threshold. A business case has to be submitted via email (separately to a research proposal). If EPSRC approve the business case, the University submits a full proposal with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) as PI which is assessed at interview panel.
The University has an internal process which must be completed prior to requesting large items of equipment. This is to comply with expectations from the funders and manage the need for large items of equipment more effectively.
To apply for an item of equipment over the OJEU threshold (except for EPSRC as their upper limit for a 50% contribution is £400k) you must:
- Fill out the EQR2 form.
- Send the EQR2 form to RIS at least 4 weeks before the call’s deadline.
You must also complete the Procurement Planning Form.
Preparing the business case
There is a Research Council guidance for equipment above the OJEU threshold and for other funders there will be individual call guidance.
You should also contact your Pre-Award Development Officer, your Research Development Manager, and Purchasing Services for guidance in preparing the business case and submitting it to the University and the funders.
- As well as the basic cost of the equipment, UKRI advises that 'Capital costs plus any maintenance and other related costs that are not included in the Research Organisation's estates costs should be included.'
- All grant bodies require equipment purchases over 10k to go through the correct University purchasing procedure and equipment purchases over the threshold must go through the purchasing procedure as stipulated in European law - see the Quick Guide to Procuring Equipment or contact Greg Derrick, Deputy Head of Procurement
- Orders cannot be split or broken down to avoid the thresholds
- UKRI states that 'For all equipment costing more than £25k (including VAT), professionally qualified procurement staff at the University of Bath must be consulted at the beginning of the procurement process and must approve the order before it is placed with the supplier. Additional documentary evidence for the estimated cost (e.g., supplier's written quote, specialist advice) should be included.'
- UKRI rules do not affect equipment over £10k for instrument development and will attract 100% funding
- Leasing equipment is counted as a capital cost and therefore the same rules and procedures apply
- The OJEU limit is reviewed biennially