Equipment Requests and Prior Approval

NIH expects investigators to consult with their program official for any rebudgeting or equipment requests that may result in a change of scope (changes in the methodology, approach, or other aspects of the project objectives). If it is determined that the purchase of equipment will result in a change of scope for the project, prior approval is required. Two potential change of scope scenarios are as follows: 1) significant rebudgeting, i.e. cumulative rebudgeting of 25% or more of the current budget period, and 2) equipment purchase of $25,000 or more. As a result organizations should consult with the sponsor’s grants management office to secure concurrence and determine whether a particular equipment purchase is a change of scope action requiring prior approval.

OSP’s goal is not to question whether equipment is needed or to determine whether a purchase changes the scope of the project; rather, by gaining sponsor buy-in up-front and before the purchase, OSP secures the necessary documentation to support the request and prevents any complications, delays, or concerns in the future.

For further information, please consult our updated equipment request checklist, available here.

For more information regarding changes in scope, please visit the NIH website.