Equipment Transfer Policy

Policy on Transfer of Equipment


The purpose of this policy is to assist with determinations and procedures related to the transfer of equipment purchased with external (sponsored) funds for faculty and staff members who are relocating to another institution, campus, or department within the University, and to provide guidelines for making such requests for transfer.


Title to property purchased from sponsored funds vests in the University upon acquisition unless otherwise specified by the grant/contract terms. The University has an obligation to ensure that the equipment is used for the stated purpose of the project as long as the grant is active at this Institution. When a project terminates, the University must use the equipment properly to support other research projects or dispose of it according to specified procedures. This policy incorporates the following regulations, policies and procedures, with the same force and effect as if they were given in full text.

C. References 

2 CFR 200, Sections 310-316 (Property Standards), Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

Department of Health and Human Services, Uniform administrative requirements for awards and subawards to institutions of higher education, hospitals, other nonprofit organizations, and commercial organizations (45 CFR Part 74), Sections 30-37

COMAR, Title 21, State Procurement Regulation

Federal Acquisition Regulation

NIH Grants Policy Statement

NSF Award and Administration Guide

UMB policies on capital equipment

D. Definition 

For the purpose of this policy:

"non-capital equipment" shall be defined as any tangible property having a unit cost of less than $5000.

"capital equipment" shall be defined as any tangible property having a unit cost of $5000 or greater and a life expectancy of two years or more.

"sensitive equipment" shall be defined as equipment which has a special classification (e.g., firearms, equipment which could be used in the home or for other purposes) as set forth in the UMB Administration and Finance Policy on Sensitive Equipment.

E. Rules 

When a faculty member is transferring from one domestic institution to another, from a foreign institution to a domestic institution or from one department to another within the University, and wishes to transfer equipment, the following rules govern the transfer of equipment.

Equipment purchased from ongoing grants/contracts is usually moved along with the transfer of the grant(s)/contract(s) to the new institution, or new department within the University, if the equipment is needed for continuation of the project. (For the procedures to request approval for the transfer of grants to another institution, refer to faculty transfer procedures.)

Equipment which was purchased from a grant/contract that has terminated or will terminate by the time the investigator transfers, may be moved to the new institution provided that all of the following criteria are met:

a. the new institution is a non-profit school or laboratory, located in the U.S.A.,

b. the sponsor does not reassign the equipment during a 120-day period or any other period consistent with the sponsor's guidelines (e.g., Federal contracts are twelve (12) months) following termination of the project,

c. in the case of equipment funded by multiple sources, all funding is from transferable sources. Further, an item of equipment cannot be a component of equipment not eligible to be transferred,

d. equipment was obtained on a grant in which the researcher was primary investigator; the equipment is not shared with another researcher in performance of another grant,

e. the receiving institution or researcher agree to pay all costs of preparing, packing and transporting of the equipment,

f. the request to move equipment and/or grants is submitted at least 30 days in advance,

g. the Department Chair, Dean, Office of Financial Services and the Vice President for Research and Development or designee approve the request to relocate the equipment. For clarity, equipment costing $0-$4,999 per item is not subject to NIH/NSF reassignment, but still must have the approval of the Department Chair, Dean, Office of Financial Services and the Vice President for Research and Development or designee to be moved to another institution.

Should the relocation be to a for-profit company, equipment remaining at the University after 120 days following termination of the project period may be transferred if it will be used for non-profit research. Since it is difficult to guarantee that this requirement will be fulfilled, the University's general policy is to offer the equipment for sale to the company and apply the proceeds toward research in the same subject area or department within the University for which the grant was originally intended, provided that the approval of the Department Chair, Dean, Office of Financial Services, and the Vice President for Research and Development has been received. This sale must comply with the campus policy on disposal of assets and a valuation be placed on the property such that it represents "an arms-length transaction" under the law.

Equipment purchased from institutional funds regardless of cost will not be transferred to another institution. This policy applies to: equipment purchased from DRIF funds, state funds, Biomedical Research Support Grants, Capitation funds, institutional training grants, and institutional endowment funds, except when the terms of the endowment allow the endowment and the equipment to move with the faculty member.

In very rare instances an exception may be made to the above policy. In order to obtain an exception to the policy a request must be made in writing addressed to the Vice President for Research and Development, and approved by the Department Chair, Dean, Office of Financial Services and the Vice President for Research and Development.

F. Procedures 

The Office of Research and Development is responsible for assisting faculty in the coordination of all of the paperwork required for the transfer of equipment from the University. Because the process of obtaining verification, review, and approval of equipment transfers from various offices on campus is involved and time consuming, it is recommended that a faculty member allow at least four weeks prior to departure to obtain all of the approvals and complete the process.

In order to transfer equipment from one academic institution to another domestic academic institution the University must relinquish its interest in equipment acquired under grants or contracts. In order to transfer equipment from one department to another within the University, the current department must relinquish its interest in the equipment to the new department.

The investigator should prepare a separate list, by funding source of equipment to be relocated, and forward the list(s) to his/her Department Chair. Using an automated database, the University Inventory staff can assist you in generating the list(s).

The Dean will consider the recommendation of the Department Chair. If these approvals are granted, the information should be forwarded to the Office of Research and Development.

The faculty may request the transfer of equipment acquired from the following sources:

1. Equipment purchased from grants/contracts which are currently active and being transferred.

2. Equipment purchased from grants/contracts that have terminated (specify termination date) or will have terminated by the time the principal investigator transfers (specify date).

3. Equipment purchased from sources other than grants/contracts, e.g. gifts, etc.

4. Equipment transferred to the University at the time of faculty appointment.

Once all of the University approvals have been received, the Office of Research and Development will notify the receiving institution of the equipment transfer. The receiving institution must accept title to the equipment. A form and list, provided by the Office of Research and Development, requires the signature of an official authorized to accept title to the equipment.

To obtain assistance with the preparation of equipment transfer requests please contact your Office of Research and Development Sponsored Programs Administration Team Manager.

Prior to packing and shipping the equipment, contact the Inventory Department to have Equipment delete sheets prepared so that the transfer is properly recorded for Capital Equipment. It is the department's responsibility to reflect on their records the transfer of Sensitive and Non-Capital equipment. It is recommended that the department contact Environmental Health and Safety regarding any special packing and shipping requirements.

G. Equipment Transferred To UMB 

When a faculty member transfers to UMB and brings equipment from another institution the procedure to be followed to have the equipment entered into the UMB inventory is to provide a list of equipment to the Office of Research and Development. The Office of Research and Development will coordinate with the Inventory Department to have the equipment tagged and entered into the UMB Inventory System.

Once the process has been completed and UMB has accepted title to the equipment, notification of the acceptance of title will be forwarded to the institution that relinquished the equipment to UMB.

H. Effective Date 

This policy is effective on date of release.

I. Additional Information 

For further information on this policy contact Sponsored Programs Administration in the Office of Research and Development.