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Sample NIH Equipment section

A review of the NIH SF424 (R&R) Application Guide reminds us that the Equipment section for any NIH grant application is another opportunity to strengthen your application by providing details that don’t fit neatly into other sections of the proposal.  There is no page limit on this section as long as the content relates to equipment.  Experienced grant writers are often able to leverage content to optimize scoring potential.

All information referenced in this post is available in the NIH SF424 Application Guide or from the NIH website.cropped-cropped-toolkit-24157707-copy.jpg

Why should I pay attention to the Equipment section on the NIH grant application form?

Reviewers will assess the availability and capability of major equipment to perform the work you propose. Under the NIH scoring system, this section is aligned with the scoring criterion “Environment” and it contains information relevant to potential for success (the essence of the “Overall Impact” score).

Check out an NIH Equipment sample and the NIH SF424 Major Equipment Template.

Any suggestions for writing?

  • Customize information  (avoid just dropping in boilerplate language without revision…take the time to make it specific to your proposal)
  • Describe any institutional equipment (include shared and core) available to perform the specific work you are proposing to do

What is the definition of equipment?

Per 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92,  equipment “is an article of tangible nonexpendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. However, consistent with recipient organizational policy, lower limits may be established. (45 CFR Part 74.2 and 74.34 and NIHGPS)”

What information should be included in the Equipment section?

  • List the most important equipment items already available for your  project
  • Note location of each piece of equipment
  • Note pertinent capabilities of each piece of equipment

Are there special considerations for Early Stage Investigators?

If you meet NIH criteria as a New or Early Stage Investigator describe:

  • Institutional investment in your success, i.e., equipment readily available to you and any commitments for future purchases
  • Collegial support, e.g., shared equipment
  • Logistical support, g., administrative management and oversight, best practices training;, and financial support

Any hints for writing an effective Equipment Section?

  • Elaborate on any collaborations and interdisciplinary aspects of the proposal (part of intellectual rapport).
  • If equipment is geographically close to your lab, emphasize accessibility.
  • Provide ample proof of institutional support, e.g., equipment maintenance support, intramural grants.
  • Refer reviewers to the Equipment  section in the narrative of the Research Strategy section when appropriate.
  • Confirm Equipment section language is consistent with budget requests for the proposal.
  • If there are multiple Project/Performance Sites describe the Equipment available at each site.