According to NC State’s Research Administration and Compliance:
Equipment is defined as a non-expendable capital item of movable or personal property with the following characteristics:
- Costs $5,000 or more per unit
- Has a useful life expectancy of one year or more
- Is complete in itself and will retain its identity as a separate item, and
- Will not be expended or consumed in research.
Cost estimates should include shipping charges and identify each piece of equipment with a corresponding cost.
Fabricated equipment is defined as an item of equipment that:
- Is built or assembled in its original form from individual parts by sponsored project personnel, an internal shop, or an external shop
- Has an aggregate cost of $5,000 or more
- Has a service life of longer than one year
- Must be recorded as capital equipment in the university’s capital asset management system
- Is not a deliverable to the sponsor where title to the finished product will be transferred to the sponsor.
The individual component costs associated with the fabricated equipment — regardless of the individual amounts — will be budgeted as equipment and will be excluded from the modified total direct costs (MTDC) base. However, fabricated equipment costs do not include routine maintenance and repair costs associated with a piece of fabricated equipment.
Costs that should be budgeted and charged as fabricated equipment include materials and supplies necessary for the fabrication, as well as any internal- or external-shop service fees.
Per 2 CFR 200
Equipment means tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000.
General purpose equipment means equipment which is not limited to research, medical, scientific or other technical activities. Examples include office equipment and furnishings, modular offices, telephone networks, information technology equipment and systems, air conditioning equipment, reproduction and printing equipment, and motor vehicles. See also the definitions of equipment and special purpose equipment in this section.
Special purpose equipment means equipment which is used only for research, medical, scientific, or other technical activities. Examples of special purpose equipment include microscopes, x-ray machines, surgical instruments, and spectrometers. See also the definitions of equipment and general purpose equipment in this section.