Butler University Equipment Fund
Equipment Fund Policy Guidance and Application Process
Since 2003, Butler University has worked diligently to foster an institutional culture that supports research, scholarship, creative activity, and faculty-student collaborations. The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), under the purview of the Office of the Provost, ensures that resources are available to foster these activities. Through the generous support of the Lilly Endowment, OSP established the Equipment Fund to provide a university-wide support system to prevent the obsolescence of equipment and offset the costs incurred by the colleges/school for such purchases. The Equipment Fund ensures that the university can support research and creative activities and fosters faculty-student collaborations.
Funding Equipment Fund Purchases
Each year, Butler University allocates $25,000 to the Equipment Fund to support the purchase of new equipment or equipment upgrades for scholarly projects. The funds are shared across all six colleges/school and the library. The Equipment Fund will pay up to 50% of the equipment purchase, and the college/school will pay (or cost share) the remaining 50% of the total.
Eligible Equipment Purchases
The Equipment Fund is designated to support the purchase of new or updated equipment for scholarly projects among full- or part-time faculty. Equipment may be new or used, but must be in good working condition. A greater level of consideration may be given to equipment requests that demonstrate collaboration between two or more departments, interdisciplinary or collaborative research, or faculty-student research collaborations. Faculty may also use this fund to purchase equipment for research projects funded by the Butler Award or Holcomb Award committees.
Examples of equipment funded in previous years include the following:
- Upgrades to computer software, data storage or networking capabilities for projects with large data sets, increased storage capacity needs, or technology needs not currently provided by the university;
- Purchase of an additional cooling unit so that chemical or biological test items are not stored in the same area; and
- Purchase of licenses to online data systems for quantitative research projects.
Faculty will be required to demonstrate the connection between the equipment request and scholarly project supported as a part of the application process (see below). This information should be provided in the section titled, “Justification for the Equipment Purchase,” that is submitted for approval. Failure to effectively articulate the connection may result in denial of funding. If faculty wish to request a purchase for equipment that may be available on campus, they must demonstrate that the purchase cannot be obtained through other university resources.
The Equipment Fund will not support the following purchases:
- Equipment for externally funded projects or initiatives;
- General maintenance expenses;
- Equipment to support classroom, laboratory, or field teaching that is not tied to a faculty scholarly project;
- Library materials that are available through Butler or interlibrary loan;
- Computer hardware, software, or software packages that can be accessed through Butler’s IT department or have no direct connection to research or creative activities;
- General office supplies or equipment; and
- Buildings or automobiles.
Application Process to Request Equipment Funds
Applications for Equipment Fund requests are due by November 17, 2023. Faculty will complete the Equipment Fund Request Form. The form will detail the equipment purchase, a narrative or justification that explains its connection to a scholarly project, and a budget narrative with a copy of the vendor information regarding the purchase. The form will be signed by the applicant, department chair, and college dean. The college or the library will submit the signed form and copy of the vendor information to the OSP office via email to OSP@butler.edu in a single PDF file.
Requests will be initially reviewed by the OSP Director, followed by review and approval by the Provost and VP of Academic Affairs for final recommendations. This is a competitive application process and not all applicants may be funded. Applicants will be notified via email if their requests are approved or denied. Paperwork related to approved purchases must be submitted to the Business Office using the guidelines and timeframes set forth by the University. If final purchases are not made by the cutoff date set by the business office, then the approvals will be voided and considered ineligible for funding. Applicants may request a purchase extension only under special circumstances.
Timeline for Review and Approval
- November 17, 2023—Equipment Fund Request forms are due to OSP via email at OSP@butler.edu by 5pm/EST
- November 27–December 6, 2023—Review period for eligibility and funding recommendation to the Provost
- December 7–14, 2023—Provost review period
- Funding notifications will be sent to all applicants by December 20, 2023
- January to May 2023—All final purchase requests due to the Business Office. Deadlines for purchasing requests will vary based on the type of equipment being purchased. Applicants should consult the Business Office for direction on purchasing procedures if the equipment fund request is approved.