Procuring & Maintaining Equipment

All non-expendable equipment purchases of $5,000 or above that are used for the purposes of sponsored award projects must be initiated by RFCUNY on behalf of the principal investigator (PI). Each PI is required to submit a completed Equipment Screening Certificate (RF-209) with a completed purchase requisition form, along with the vendor’s quote, for processing.  

Orders on equipment that cost $15,000 or above (on state or private sponsored projects) or $25,000 or above (federal sponsor or RFCUNY/Agency Funds), require that a PI submit a purchase requisition form along with three bids to RFCUNY. Bidding may not be applicable if: a) the price of the equipment is established by a New York State, New York City, or Federal GSA contract, or b) the purchase is a sole source transaction.

If the lowest bid is not accepted, a PI must submit a letter of justification indicating the rationale for selecting the vendor.


For accounting and reporting purposes, it is necessary to establish the value or cost of equipment purchased for sponsored projects. Value or cost may be determined by including:

  • The invoice cost, less any discount.
  • Duty, excise, and sales tax (if any). RFCUNY is exempt from sales tax in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.
  • In-transit, delivery, and other freight costs including insurance.
  • Installation charges.
  • Component and accessory costs (if they are part of the equipment).


The CUNY First property management system tracks all equipment purchased for sponsored projects.  Periodic review of physical inventories is required to verify the location of equipment items recorded in CUNY First.

RFCUNY and the college property manager maintain a record of all non-expendable equipment. The college Grants Office and the property manager receive a copy of the monthly Detail of Equipment report, which lists equipment charges under sponsored programs at the college. The college property manager is responsible for placing a University tag on non-expendable equipment and, when provided by the sponsor, additional decals. A PI must provide access to the property manager for equipment tagging.

If required by an award sponsor, RFCUNY will prepare a final property inventory report at project termination. The report is sent to the PI and college Grants Office for verification. A PI is responsible for sending the certified report to the award sponsor.


Care of equipment is the responsibility of a PI and includes:

  • Proper care, maintenance, storage, and safeguarding.
  • Reporting theft, damage, and loss or transfer to RFCUNY, CUNY’s Campus Security Office (in cases of theft), the college property manager, and the sponsor (if required).
  • Obtaining written sponsor approval for equipment modification.
  • Making equipment available to designated college staff for tagging and other administrative duties as required by the policies and procedures of the college.

Transfer and Disposal

Transfer or disposal occurs at the end of the equipment’s use or termination of the sponsored project. Disposal of equipment requires written approval by RFCUNY or a PI’s college if the title has been transferred. RFCUNY will obtain the title to equipment from the sponsor, where possible, and transfer the title to the PI’s college upon project termination. The college is required to comply with any sponsor restrictions.

Other Considerations

Equipment acquired through a PSC-CUNY award will be transferred to a PI’s college at project termination, or as otherwise determined by the University Committee on Research Awards.

Essential Forms

Contract & Agreement and Purchasing Forms


Purchasing and Payables
Purchasing and Payables

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