Hi Andy,
  I suggest you talk with your research and grants office about it; talking with ours they told us our institution considers it equipment and storage like the other CSBR/IMLS grants we've gotten, so it doesn't get overhead. Its likely your institution has had other grants apply to NSF/NIH/etc. for large equipment/library storage, so I would see what they have done in the past for the classification of those too.
[Sam Noble Museum]<>
Dr. Katrina Menard
Assistant Staff Curator of Recent Invertebrates
t. 405.325.6810
f. 405.325.7699
Sam Noble Museum
University of Oklahoma
2401 Chautauqua Ave. Norman, OK 73072-7029
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From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> on behalf of Anthony Cognato <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Reply-To: Anthony Cognato <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 12:50 PM
To: "[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Subject: Re: overhead question

Hi Andy - If your question concerns a NSF-CSBR budget, then you could argue that cabinets, drawers and trays are all pieces of a storage system. The NSF guidelines (NSF15577) state,

"Specialized items that are components of a larger system (e.g. specimen cabinets and compactors) are considered as equipment under the CSBR program guidelines.".

The devil is in the interpretation of "larger system" by the institution.  Perhaps it would help to get vendor quotes for a "specimen storage system" including cabinets, drawers and trays.  However, I know that might be difficult.


On Jul 22, 2015, at 1:23 PM, Andy Deans wrote:

Hi all,

If you ordered new cabinets, drawers, and unit trays for your collection how would your institution apply overhead? For example if a cabinet cost >$5000 Penn State would consider it a capital improvement and not collect overhead. If the cabinet cost $1600, though, it would.

Then what if you purchased 50 cabinets, each of which was $1600 ... and at the same time you also ordered 1,200 drawers ($40 a piece) to fill them, and then the thousands of unit trays ($1 each) needed to fill those drawers? If it added up to $150k would your institution consider it a giant capital improvement, or would your institution see that each thing cost less than $5k and so requires collection of overhead.

You can see where I am going with this question. Thanks for any info/thoughts,

Anthony Cognato
Director of the A.J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection

288 Farm Lane
243 Natural Science Bldg.
Dept. of Entomology
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI  48824
517-432-2369<tel:517-432-2369> (office)