Research Equipment Reserve Fund (RERF)

**Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria Updated January 2019

2019 cycle is complete

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 (defined as =>$5,000 per unit), or fabricated capitalized equipment.

Due Date -  Friday, March 15, 2019, 5 pm (PST). Firm Deadline. - no extensions.  - Proposals are in review.


  • Week of April 22 - reviews complete
  • Last week of April and first week of May - Review sessions scheduled - completed
  • May 10 – recommendations forwarded to the Research Office - in process.
  • Week of June 3 - notifications go out. 



Faculty are allowed to be the PI or Co-I on only one submission per solicitation.

Faculty members with the rank of instructor and above are eligible to serve as Principal Investigator (PI). Faculty with courtesy, affiliate or adjunct appointments may serve as Co-Investigator (Co-I) only. Research Associates, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Postdoctoral Fellows are not eligible to serve as PI or Co-I.

For proposals listing multiple users including CO-Is, the PI must obtain a letter of support (limit one page) which consists of a signed acknowledgement from each of the individuals listed stating that they have agreed to be so recognized and certifying that they have a legitimate need for the equipment being sought in the proposal, preferably with commitment of matching funds.

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 that have received RERF funding as the PI in Spring 2017 and after are NOT eligible to apply. 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 has been submitted.

Award Information

  • Anticipated Total Budget for 2019-2020: $400,000
  • Maximum Award per application: $100,000
  • Applicants will be notified via email of award decisions.

Matching Funds

Matching funds must be provided according to the rate table outlined below. Note that funds originating from the Research Office (e.g. capital equipment start-up funding) cannot be used as a source of the required match. Also note that any maintenance costs beyond the warranty period identified in the purchase agreement, building modifications, and training are not eligible for support from the RERF funds nor should the matching funds be designated as supporting these activities.

Total Acquisition Cost of Equipment Required Minimum Percentage of Total from Departmental, College or External Sponsor Matching Funds
$5000 to $10,000 15%
$10,001 to $25,000 20%
$25,001 to $50,000 25%
$50,001 to $75,000 30%
over $75,000 40%

Grant funds contracted through DOE National Laboratories and some types of EPA Cooperative Agreements may not be used as matching funds. These organizations retain ownership of equipment purchased with their funds, even if their investment is only a minor contribution to the overall purchase price.


Resubmitted proposals must be accompanied by a letter, not to exceed one page, explaining how the reviewers’ comments from the previous submission have been addressed.

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 (defined as =>$5,000 per unit)
  • Fabricated capitalized equipment
  • Signed OSU Fabricated Equipment Unit Pre-Approval Form is required (if applicable)
  • Shipping and installation (IF those items are listed on the original invoice)

Below is the web link to previously funded equipment

Budget items NOT ELIGIBLE for support

  • New equipment that has been previously purchased, encumbered, ordered or is 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”).
  • 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).
  • Training costs associated with learning how to operate or use the new equipment.

Review Procedure

The Research Office Incentive Programs reviews all proposals for eligibility. Those requests that qualify are reviewed by up to three independent Research Council members. Proposals will be prioritized for discussion by the research council based on initial review scores. The PI and Co-Is may be contacted for further information. The proposals will be discussed and scored by the entire research council anonymously. The Research Council will then provide a prioritized list of recommendations for funding to the Vice President for Research, based on the quality of the proposals as reflected in the evaluation criteria. The Vice President for Research will make all final award decisions based on the recommendations and available funds.

Evaluation Criteria

Reviewers will be asked to provide a summary recommendation for each proposal consisting of:

  • High priority for funding
  • Support if funds are available, or
  • Not recommended for funding

In addition, reviewers will be asked to evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:

  1. The technical merit of the proposal: Is the justification for the requested equipment well developed? Is the research to be supported by the proposed equipment broad-based? Has the PI made the case that acquisition of the proposed equipment will generate or support truly high impact research? Will this capability build on an existing area of strength within OSU, or will this expand OSU capabilities into novel areas of investigation?
  2. Breadth of Use: Will the proposed equipment support multiple investigators and programs? Have OSU investigators listed as potential users provided independently prepared letters of support with a clear indication of matching funds?
  3. Ability to attract future support: Will the focus of the research to be conducted with the equipment attract diverse sponsors and provide leverage for future proposals; for example, does the research have a realistic potential to attract extramural support with full indirect costs?
  4. Has the investigator adequately documented the lack of available comparable or near-comparable capabilities on campus? In this case, “available” should be interpreted broadly to mean not only is the equipment physically present, but also has sufficient available user time to enable the PI to conduct the project? If comparable equipment is available, does the PI build a sufficiently strong case to justify the acquisition?
  5. Does the proposal align with SP4.0?

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) 737-1755 or email


  • Complete all sections of the application form and follow submission instructions on the application form.
  • Email the complete PDF file with supporting documentation (with required signatures) to by the deadline date Friday, March 15, 2019, 5 pm (PST). Firm Deadline.

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


The complete PDF document (including supporting documentation and all signatures), must be submitted electronically to  on the deadline date – Friday, March 15, 2019, 5 pm (PST). Firm Deadline.

Final Reports Requirements

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

This final report may be posted on the Research Office website and will be archived such that future applicants and awardees will be able to access it as a source of reference. If there is a valid reason for not wanting the final report posted on the website, submit the justification (limit one page).

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 summary of the scholarly work/activities made possible specifically as a result of the RERF funding.
  4. List all external funding proposals that have been submitted and new funding received as a result of the RERF funding.

Submit the final report electronically to Research Office Incentive Programs at

For More Information

Contact Research Office Incentive Programs at: ||