Oregon State University

Research Equipment Reserve Fund (RERF)

Current Solicitation


Proposal Deadline: Friday, March 14, 2014 by 5:00 PM

Award Announcement: Approximately Friday, May 2, 2014

**Review Criteria Update: Proposals will be evaluated on their alignment with the OSU Research Agenda.

Future Projected Deadlines:

Fall 2014 Solicitation - Deadline: Approximately November10, 2014


Research Equipment Reserve Funds (RERF) may be used to acquire, repair, renovate, or improve equipment directly used for research. The equipment may be inventoried capital equipment (technically defined as =>$5,000 per unit), or fabricated capitalized equipment.

As a general guideline, the Research Council will not review RERF competitive proposals for less than $7,500, unless a safety issue is involved and the department Head/Dean can provide a compelling explanation as to why a central contribution is appropriate. Similarly, proposals requesting equipment acquisitions that exceed $100,000 must be able to demonstrate a multi-investigator and/or multi-college impact that will clearly promote the institutional strategic plan. These large dollar-value requests will also be evaluated on the uniqueness of the proposed capability within OSU.


Faculty with the rank of instructor and above are eligible to serve as Principal Investigator (PI). The Research Office does not restrict Research Associates from serving as PI; however, some colleges do. Therefore, approval by the Dean of the unit must be received prior to submission of a proposal to the program. Faculty with courtesy appointments may serve as Co-Investigator (Co-I) only.

The Research Council is interested in supporting new faculty. However, new faculty with uncommitted Research Office start-up funds are not eligible for consideration.

PIs and Co-Is may receive an award from the RERF program only one time in a 24-month period as the PI. PIs and Co-Is who apply after the 24-month period are only eligible if the required final report(s) from the previous Research Office, Incentive Programs (GRF, RERF, or FRT) award(s) has been submitted (see "Other Requirements").

Award Information

Award amounts vary, and the budget for each competition will depend upon available funds.

Applicants will be notified via email of award decisions.

Matching Funds

Each application must show at least 20% matching funds from the department, college, or other funds. Grant funds may be used for matching funds, but RERF money may not replace funds originally budgeted in the grant to purchase the requested piece of equipment.

Grant funds contracted through National Laboratories (i.e. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory or Lawrence Livermore) and some types of EPA Cooperative Agreements may not be used as matching funds. These organizations retain ownership of equipment purchased with their funds.

Use of Funds

The following provides common examples of eligible and ineligible items based on recent proposals submitted to this program:

Budget items ELIGIBLE for support

  • Research equipment may be:
    • Inventoried capital equipment (technically defined as =>$5,000 per unit)
    • Fabricated capitalized equipment
      • Signed OSU Fabricated Equipment Unit Pre-approval Form is required (if applicable)

Budget items NOT ELIGIBLE for support

  • New equipment that has been previously purchased, encumbered or already on-site.
  • Software (regardless of cost) that is not an integral component of an instrument. That is, if the software is invoiced separately from an instrument or appears on an invoice as a separate line item with a unit cost associated with it, RERF funds cannot be used to pay the invoice.
    (In most cases, software (excluding the operating system if it is included in the base price for the system) and peripherals, (i.e. printers, plotters, scanners) cannot be purchased using RERF funds unless the individual peripheral fits within the definition of “capital equipment”).
  • Personal computers/workstations (regardless of cost).
  • Construction and building renovations  (i.e. fume hoods, permanent lab benches)
  • Improvements Other Than Building (IOTB).
    (Examples of IOTB might include concrete pads to be used as storage or staging areas, installation of fencing {chain link enclosures}, and construction of flumes or similar experimental structures).
  • Labor costs to set up or build an instrument or piece of equipment.
    (If the investigator is proposing to build an instrument or piece of equipment, RERF funds cannot be used to cover labor costs, nor can labor costs be used to meet the matching requirement of the RERF program. The one exception to this rule occurs when an organizational unit has a billing mechanism that allows that unit to develop an audit trail identifying those hours and dollars spent specifically on the construction task. Most units at OSU do not have the accounting mechanisms set up to accomplish this).
  • Shipping costs
  • Training costs associated with learning how to operate or use the new equipment.

Application Procedure

The RERF application form is available in MS Word format. If you are unable to access this form, contact the Research Office, Incentive Programs at (541) 737-8390 to request a hard copy. Please allow one week for delivery.

Incomplete proposals or proposals NOT following the guidelines (including spacing, font size, margins, and page limits) will not be considered for funding.

  1. Complete all sections of the application form.
    • Complete items 1-5 within the space provided.
  2. Attach the following supporting documentation for a complete proposal packet (written for a general audience, avoiding jargon and unexplained acronyms).
    • Item 6, detailed budget for total cost (RERF request plus matching funds) of equipment. It is strongly recommended that you provide equipment specifications, descriptions and cost quotes for the proposed equipment (limit four pages). Annual budget for operation and maintenance (limit one page).
    • Items 7, within the space provided.
    • Items 8-12, limit three additional pages to provide the information requested (single-spaced, 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins, limit three pages).  
    • Item 13, signed OSU Fabricated Equipment Unit Pre-approval Form and basic schematic diagram which demonstrates how the parts work together (required, if applicable).
    • Item 14, biosketch for Principal Investivestigor (limit two pages, single-spaced, 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins).
    • Item 15, "letters of  endorsement" from individuals (non Co-Is) who are in unique positions to comment on the merit of the proposal (optional).
    • Item 16, list prior funding from the Research Office, Incentive Programs (GRF, RERF, or FRT) (last five years).
  3. Obtain  signatures (required on original paper copy).
    • Item 6, from the individuals authorizing matching funds.
    • Item 7, from the Principal Investigator, Department Head/Chair and College Dean.
  4. Submit the complete proposal packet.
    • Email the complete PDF file with supporting documentation (signatures not required) to debbie.delmore@oregonstate.edu by the deadline date.
    • Print one original paper copy of the complete proposal packet with required signatures (including signatures authorizing matching funds) and deliver to the Research Office, Incentive Programs, A312 Kerr Administration Building by the deadline date.


All application materials, electronic and original paper copy (including supporting documentation and all signatures), must be received at the Research Office, Incentive Programs, A312 Kerr Administration Building, by the deadline indicated at the top of this page.

Review Procedure

The Research Office, Incentive Programs reviews all proposals for eligibility. Requests, or eligible portions of requests, that qualify as capital equipment are then given to the Research Council for competitive review and evaluation. The Research Council provides a prioritized list of recommendations for funding to the Vice President for Research based on the quality of the proposals as reflected in the review criteria. The Vice President for Research will award equipment grants based on available funds.

Review Criteria

The Research Council is composed of faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee who represent the diversity of the University's research enterprise. Proposals must describe the science and equipment needs to this general audience, providing clear explanations of the purpose, importance and justification of the need for this equipment, and avoiding the use of jargon and unexplained acronyms. Historically, highly technical proposals have not fared well in these competitions.

The Research Council evaluates each proposal using the following criteria: (Not in order of importance)

Scientific Merit

  • Does the proposal provide a compelling argument for both the equipment and resulting research?
  • Is the requested equipment crucial?
  • Does the equipment provide a new/unique capability, previously unavailable at the University?
  • Does the equipment replace or upgrade existing capabilities that are required for OSU investigators to be competitive for national/international funding?


  • Does the equipment support other opportunities for funding? If so, list the potential funding sources.
  • Does it improve chances for funding from existing sources?
  • Does it allow researchers to change directions towards work that is likely to be funded?
  • Does the PI have a track record of using OSU Research Office funding to obtain additional grants and contracts?
  • Does the equipment promote collaboration with industry?

Multiple Users

  • Will the equipment benefit more than one investigator, or more than one research group?


  • Does the equipment replace obsolete, but essential equipment?
  • Is the request for emergency repairs on high priority equipment?

Undergraduate Research

  • Does the equipment contribute to research involving undergraduates?

Alignment with OSU Research Agenda


  • If the PI has received previous funding from the Research Office, Incentive Programs (GRF, RERF or FRT) have all required reports been appropriately completed? (see "Other Requirements")

Final Reports Requirements

Award recipients (PIs and Co-Is) are required to submit a final report within six months of equipment procurement / repair / construction.

Award recipients (PIs and Co-Is) who fail to submit the required final report will be ineligible to receive future funding from the Research Office, Incentive Programs.

The final report should contain the following information:

  1. Header:  including Proposal Title/Instrument, PI, Co-Is, Department, College, Award Information (type, date of award, amount of award).
  2. Final budget statement describing how the RERF funds were expended.
  3. A brief summary of the scholarly work/activities made possible as a result of the RERF funding.
  4. A brief summary of any additional scholarly activities the RERF funding made possible for the investigator(s).
  5. List all external funding requests that have been developed and submitted as a result of the RERF funding (i.e. proposals).

Submit the final report electronically to Debbie Delmore, Research Office, Incentive Programs at debbie.delmore@oregonstate.edu.

This final report will be posted on the Research Office web site and will be archived such that future applicants and awardees will be able to access it as a source of reference.

For More Information

Contact Debbie Delmore, Research Office, Incentive Programs at: | debbie.delmore@oregonstate.edu | (541) 737-8390

Contact Info

Incentive Programs
Research Office
Oregon State University
A312 Kerr Administration
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone 541-737-8390
Fax 541-737-9041
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