For Grant Applicants—A Focus on Facilities and Equipment

Funding News Edition: October 20, 2021
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Workbench in NIAID intramural laboratory, with supplies and equipment

Convey how the scientific environment in which you will conduct your research contributes to the probability of success (e.g., institutional support, physical resources, and intellectual rapport).

Credit: NIAID

What do you picture when someone says the word “equipment” or “facilities”? If you’re an athlete, you might imagine a helmet and places to hold practice, respectively. However, if you are a scientist seeking funding for your research project, you likely relate both terms to a grant application, which is our focus here.

In Good “Form”

As you read through the NIH Application Guide, you’ll come across instructions for the R&R Other Project Information Form, which includes details on two required attachments: 1) Facilities and Other Resources and 2) Equipment.

Facilities and Other Resources

For this section, describe the resources you need and those that are available to you. Work with your department chair or colleagues to identify the resources and level of support your institution can provide and external resources you can leverage. If you have collaborators, indicate what they can offer. 

Also convey how the scientific environment in which you will conduct your research contributes to the probability of success (e.g., institutional support, physical resources, and intellectual rapport).

Peer reviewers will consider environment as part of their evaluation and overall impact score, so be sure to give as much detail as possible. To see what reviewers will consider, go to our Review Criteria SOP. Be sure to note also any additional opportunity-specific criteria listed in Section V. Application Review Information of a given funding opportunity announcement (FOA).


In this attachment, list major items of equipment already available for your project. Check if your institution has a catalog of core facilities (most universities do) to help you find equipment. Where appropriate, identify the equipment's location and pertinent capabilities.

If you need expensive equipment, e.g., costing over $10,000, you have options, including sharing it with other investigators at your institution and thereby sharing the cost of buying it. For more information, go to our Determine Institutional Resources webpage.

This Example of Equipment Listing may help you as you complete the Equipment section:

Equipment: The following is a list of key equipment already in place in the lab or in facilities that are shared and are essential to the success of the project.

Important for the Microinjection:

Eppendorf FemtoJet microinjector (3), Leica DM1000 compound microscope (3), Leica micromanipulator and base plate (3), Leica MZ6 dissecting microscopes (7). Sutter K.T. Brown Type micropipette beveler model BV-10 (2), Sutter laser micropipette puller model P-2000.

Important for Cell Culture and Virus Infection Assays:

Six-foot Labconco A2 Biosafety cabinet, Sorvall Legend Mach 1.6R centrifuge with bioseal, 2 Fisher isotemp CO2 incubators, inverted microscope, BTX ECM 630 electroporator, -80C, -20C, 4C refrigerators/freezers. Hemotek 5W1 membrane feeding system for the delivery of infectious bloodmeals.

Request What You Require

In the R&R Budget section of your application, you must give an accurate account of the expenses required to carry out your research. Through your budget request, reviewers will gauge your understanding of your project’s cost and what is needed to accomplish your Specific Aims.

Given that, do not significantly under- or over-budget since reviewers might view this as your being naïve or unreasonable. Make sure to provide an adequate description of expenses as well as the justification for why those expenses are needed in each project period of the grant.

Learn more about why it’s important to be On the Mark on our Create a Budget webpage.

Awards for Expensive Equipment

NIH’s Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) routinely issues FOAs to support purchases of state-of-the-art commercially available instruments to enhance research of NIH-funded investigators. Instruments that are awarded are typically too expensive to be obtained by an individual investigator with a research project grant. Examples include biomedical imagers, mass spectrometers, and high-throughput sequencers or flow cytometry instruments.

ORIP’s FOA Modern Equipment for Shared-Use Biomedical Research Facilities: Advancing Research-Related Operations (R24, Clinical Trials Not Allowed) invites applications to strengthen core facilities, animal research facilities, and other similar shared-use facilities. Attend Pre-Application Webinar for PAR-21-326, Modern Equipment for Shared-Use Biomedical Research Facilities this Friday, October 22 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time to learn more.

On a related note, our FOA Limited Competition Emergency Awards: Shared Personal Protective Equipment Resources for COVID-19 Related Vaccine and Treatment Clinical Trials and Clinical Studies (S10, Clinical Trial Not Allowed) allows for the purchase of personal protective equipment totaling more than $500,000 in direct costs in a budget period. Read our August 4, 2021 article “NIAID Funding Opportunity for COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment” for eligibility and application requirements.

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