Research, Sponsored Program, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property

Control of University Owned Property

Section: Research, Sponsored Program, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Policies
Policy Name: Control of University Owned Property
Policy Owner: Vice President for Research, Scholarship & Innovation
Responsible University Office: Research Office
Origination Date: April 30, 1984
Revisions: June 5, 1989; March 1, 1996; July 1, 2005; January 18, 2008; August 11, 2008; February 11, 2009; December 10, 2013
Legacy Policy Number: 6-08
  1. PURPOSETo outline procedures and set policy for the transfer of equipment purchased on contracts and grants when the Principal Investigator leaves the University or is no longer directly or indirectly involved with the use of the equipment, and the equipment is University owned.

    Equipment owned by an outside agency can only be transferred in accordance with University Policy 5-3 titled “Procedure for Control of Government Owned Property.”
    1. The department chair must provide The Research Office and the University Controller with a list of equipment proposed for transfer. This list must include a description of the equipment, University account number, University equipment tag number, agency and grant for which the equipment was purchased, and purchase order number. The Vice Provost for Research must notify the University Controller and the department chair in writing that no federal or other regulations prohibit the proposed transfer, and refer to this policy for the procedure to be followed. The Equipment Activity webform must be used to obtain appropriate approvals to transfer the equipment. Equipment should not be removed from the University of Delaware until the Equipment Activity webform has been completed and all necessary approvals obtained.

      The department chair must also certify in writing to the Dean, the Provost, and the University Controller that the research equipment is unique to the Principal Investigator’s current research, and that the department does not need the equipment.
    2. If the Principal Investigator requires the equipment for further research from the same agency that originally funded the equipment, the equipment, even if it is not unique, may be transferred; with agency approval where required.
      1. “Further research” does not necessarily mean that the specific contract on which the equipment was purchased, or a continuation of that contract must still be active. Nor does there have to be any funded research in the specific area at the precise moment of transfer. The chair’s certification means that the Principal Investigator is actively engaged in research in the area in which the equipment is uniquely necessary, and that he is likely to obtain future sponsorship for additional research in that area.
      2. A standard personal computer would not be defined as “unique to the specific research.” On the other hand, a particular scientific instrument, with a variety of uses in a variety of fields, may be classified as “unique.”
      3. The only equipment that may be considered for transfer is that acquired for a contract or grant by the Principal Investigator on that contract or grant. (On large grants with multiple projects, a researcher heading a subproject may be considered a Principal Investigator.)
    3. If it is decided that the equipment should be retained by the University, the Dean is responsible for reassignment of equipment to other departments as needed within the college.
    4. The Department Chair must send the written approval of the Dean and Provost for the equipment release to the University Controller. Except for compelling reasons or under unusual circumstances, request for the purchase of similar pieces of equipment made by a college or department within one year of the date of transfer will be denied.
    5. If all conditions have been met, written authorization for the transfer is to be made according to the value of the equipment, as follows:
      1. Up to $50,000 – by the University Controller.
      2. 50,001 to 100,000 – by the Executive Vice President.
      3. Over $100,000 – by the President.
    6. The Asset Management will make arrangements for written acceptance of the equipment with his/her counterpart at the institution to which it is being transferred.