Equipment Purchased from Research Funds - Policy

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1.  Purpose and Objectives

This policy sets out the requirements for purchasing equipment from research funds.

2.  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

FMPM - Financial Management Practice Manual

Research funds - Funds in University accounts that are tied to a contract or agreement with an external funding body or organisation.

University funds - Funds in University accounts that are not tied to a contract or agreement with an external funding body or organisation.

3.  Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all staff and students purchasing equipment using research funds.

4.  Policy Statement

This policy builds on the procedures for plant and equipment purchases as outlined in the FMPM 6.1.5 (Property, Plant and Equipment) and applies to all research equipment purchases unless otherwise stated.

5.  Equipment

FMPM 6.1.5 (section 9.1) provides the University's general definition of equipment.

Additionally, a few granting bodies (including ARC and NHMRC) have their own definition, which must be used in applications to them for grants, and in administration of grants received from them. For other granting bodies, the University definition should be used.

6.  Ownership of Research Equipment

Equipment purchased from University funds is the property of the University.

Ownership of equipment purchased from research funds is determined by the funding agreement. If the funding agreement does not specify ownership of equipment purchased using their funds, then equipment purchased from those research funds will remain the property of the University.

7.  Purchase of Equipment - Split Charges

The cost of an item of equipment cannot be split between grants from two or more different sources unless the conditions tied to each source of funds allow the equipment to remain the property of the University.

8.  Use of Research Equipment

FMPM 6.1.5 (section 9.5.1) describes how research equipment is to be used.

In addition, when Joint Chief Investigators are involved from two or more organisational units:

  • Where equipment is to be shared by joint chief investigators from two or more organisational units, the first named Chief Investigator shall ensure all other Chief Investigators have priority access to the equipment for the purpose of their joint research. 
  • The equipment may be transferred between organisational units, but normally remains in the organisational unit of the first named Chief Investigator. If the equipment is to be transferred, this must have the approval of all University Chief Investigators and have the support of the relevant Heads of organisational units. The equipment transfer should also be noted on the Asset Register of the respective organisational units.

9.  Transfer of Research Equipment



a Chief Investigator:


  • has purchased equipment from a grant by an outside body; and 


  • during the currency of the grant, resigns to take up a position at another institution, with the intention of continuing the project there; and


the funding body has approved the transfer of the grant to the other institution; and


the Chief Investigator requests approval to move the equipment to the other institution;

the Organisational Unit Head or their appropriate financial delegate will determine, in accordance with University policy and the funding agreement, whether the equipment can be moved and if so, whether the ownership of the equipment is to be passed to the other institution or be retained by the University.

FMPM 6.1.5 (section 9.5.2) outlines other requirements for transfer of research equipment.

10.  Disposal of Research Equipment

FMPM 6.1.5 (section 9.5.3) describes how to dispose of research equipment.

Director, Research Strategy and Management
Miss Nicole Thompson