Equipment Purchase Policy

Equipment Purchase Policy (December 27, 2005)

Effective immediately, all major equipment purchases will require the approval of the Vice President for Research.  The Vice President will be advised by the Scientific Equipment Advisory Committee.  The purpose of this approval process is to ensure that the University uses its limited resources efficiently and effectively, that the equipment purchased can be maintained and operated properly, that all major equipment is accessible to all members of our scientific community, and that core facilities are not duplicated on campus. 

Major scientific equipment is an instrument with a value over $100,000.

Which equipment purchases must be reviewed? 

Major scientific equipment purchased from centralized University (State or Indirect Cost Return) funds.  

Grant funded equipment that requires centralized University funds for purchase or operation. 

Which equipment purchases are exempt from review?

Equipment gifts or equipment solely funded through grants that do not require match or new University resources for operation and servicing.

Scientific Equipment Advisory Committee members:

3 from CAS
1 from Atmospheric Sciences Research Center
2 from CNSE
2 from SPH 
Committee Chair: Associate Vice President for Research
Committee Charge: To review submitted requests and to advise the VPR about the purchase request.

Materials needed for review:   

  • Equipment description (specific model) and vendor cost quote
  • Funding source
  • Plan for maintenance and operation of equipment (including budget and source)
  • Anticipated use (users, expected volume, special needs)
  • Specific justification for purchase if equipment is owned elsewhere on campus
  • Description of how the equipment is to be made accessible to the all UAlbany scientists and students 

Rationale: The University has greatly expanded its research facilities in the past few years.  These expanded scientific facilities include millions of dollars in state funds for equipment purchases.  In addition, investigators often apply for equipment grants that require significant University matching funds.  It is in the University’s interest to ensure the best and most up-to-date scientific infrastructure possible by avoiding duplication of and to ensuring access to expensive equipment.  Peer review committees are used to ensure that the best scientific judgment is brought to bear in making these decisions.