Only items costing $5,000 or more and having a useful service life of one year or more should be listed in the equipment line. Please keep in mind that the item must meet both criteria to be considered equipment. If both criteria are not met, the item will be budgeted as a material/supply. Cost estimates should include shipping charges and identify each piece of equipment with a corresponding cost. Provide a generalized specification and justify the need for the equipment in relationship to the statement of work (why do you need the equipment).

Note: The NC State DS-2 CAS Disclosure Statement, which sets forth the capitalization threshold and treatment of capitalized costs, supersedes sponsor guidance to the contrary. As such, it may be necessary to show items costing <$5,000 in the equipment section of a budget to meet a sponsor’s guidelines. These items will be treated as materials and supplies by NC State.

Fabricated Equipment

Fabricated equipment is defined as an item of equipment that:

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 MTDC base. However, fabricated equipment costs do not include routine maintenance and repair costs associated with a piece of fabricated equipment. An instance where components are simply connected together in a system, such as when individual computers and servers are joined to create a network, does not constitute a fabrication.

Fabricated equipment must be identified prior to acquisition of component parts. Please note the fabricated equipment deliverable in the statement of work.  In the budget justification, specific guidance concerning the fabricated equipment should include:

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. Although project personnel may participate in the fabrication, their salaries will not be exempt from the F&A rate assessment. Only labor costs that are implicit in the internal or external shop rates will be F&A exempt. Labor, travel, and other costs associated with the services of an outside party in a fabrication should be incorporated in the external shop service fees.

If a proposal anticipates that the total fabrication will cost more than $5,000, but the final product ends up aggregating to less than $5,000 then all component costs will then be subject to F&A.

If the total cost of the individual components required for the equipment assembly are less than $5000, then it does not meet the definition of fabricated or capitalized equipment. Therefore, F&A will be assessed on the cost of each individual component.

Once your project is funded and you begin procuring fabricated equipment components, you will charge those individual costs to the equipment account code series (5000 series) but you will need to make a special notation on invoices prior to sending them to accounts payable. You must consult with your college business office prior to incurring fabricated equipment component costs so as to avoid administrative errors.

Remember: If ownership of the final product is to transfer to the sponsor, the F&A rate applies to the individual fabrication components.

For specific guidance on this matter call SPARCS at 515.2444 or email