Changes to equipment funding following the Wakeham review

  • The threshold for individual items of equipment has been increased from £3000 to £10,000 (inclusive of VAT). Single items of equipment costing less than £10,000 should be included in directly incurred other costs, not equipment.
  • Items of equipment costing from £10,000 up to the OJEU threshold (£113,000) require additional justification, concerning the availability of existing equipment, and will be funded at a level typically below 80 per cent (the expectation is around 50 per cent, but there is no fixed rule).
  • Requests for equipment items costing more than the OJEU threshold must be accompanied by a two-page business case outlining the strategic need for the equipment. The Research Council will decide the optimum strategic location for such items and this may not be at the institution making the application. These items may be funded at 100 per cent.
  • Requests for items of equipment over the OJEU threshold must be accompanied by three quotations.
  • The previous arrangement, where cumulative equipment costs above £50,000 were funded at 100 per cent, has been discontinued.
  • The proposal must state the total cost of each item of equipment (as estimated at time of application) and the contribution requested from the Research Council.
  • If the proposal is successful, the Council will determine the level of funding for each item of equipment for which funds are to be awarded and from this calculate the overall percentage contribution to the equipment fund heading. This will be shown in the offer letter.
  • At final reconciliation, the FES should show the amount spent on equipment (in the normal contribution to the equipment fund heading shown in the offer letter.
  • Equipment, over £10,000, for the purpose of instrument development is largely unaffected by the new rules, although it will now be funded as a directly incurred cost and not under exceptions.
  • Social surveys (for ESRC proposals) - when social surveys are commissioned via the sub contractor route and the work is done by third parties then these costs should be included as equipment and may be funded at 100 per cent. Costs for social surveys planned to be done using ‘in‐house’ resources should be included in directly incurred other costs and funded at the standard 80 per cent funding rate. Social surveys were previously funded as equipment and at a rate of 80 per cent for the first £50,000 and 100 per cent thereafter.

For more information on this and other aspects of the Wakeham review implementation, go to: