From the 1st May 2011, the following changes in Equipment requests on Research Council grants came into effect.

1.      Increase in the threshold for individual items of minor research equipment from £3k to £10k (inclusive of VAT): From 1 May 2011, single capital items of equipment costing less than £10,000 should be included in Other Directly Incurred costs. If VAT and/or Import Duty do not apply, a value of zero should be entered in these fields.

2.      Further justification for all items of equipment costing between £10k and the OJEU threshold value (net of VAT £101,323, inclusive of VAT £121,588): From 1 May 2011, the research organisation will need to provide extra justification for these items, providing evidence of an evaluation of the use of existing relevant capital assets at their organisation, others in their locality or whom they have strong links with.They will be expected to make a contribution towards the cost of the equipment. Given that capital provision across councils has been reduced by about 50%, contributions of this order will be expected.

3.      Business case required for all items of equipment above the OJEU threshold value (net of VAT £101,323, inclusive of VAT £121,588): From 1 May 2011, all requests for single capital items of equipment should be accompanied by a 2 page business case outlining the strategic need for the equipment. RCUK will decide the strategic location for these items and will potentially fund them at 100%. Each Council will have flexibility in relation to the funding of equipment to negotiate with potential grant recipients to achieve best value from the limited funds at its disposal.

Please note that the above limits apply to the total value of the equipment, not to the value of the equipment once the research organisation contribution has been taken off (i.e. an item of equipment costing £12k in total with a £6k research organisation contribution would fall under the £10k to OJEU threshold category). In addition, the Je-S form currently automatically calculates FEC incorrectly using the old limits – the Research Councils are in the process of implementing changes to the Je-S System, and in the mean time will correct the values at the announcement stage.

All costings should be at current prices including VAT with no allowance for inflation.

Equipment over £10k to be used for instrument development is not affected by the new rules. Such items will normally be funded at 100% although Councils reserve the right to request institutional contributions where appropriate.

For further information see the following http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/publications/Equipment_Guidance.pdf

Please use the following links for Council specific guidance - AHRC EPSRC ESRC