Principal Investigators (PIs), Department Administrators, OCG and other central offices share responsibilities for the management of property and equipment purchased with University funds.

Generally, OCG can help PIs and Department Administrators ensure that:

  • Property and equipment purchases are reasonable, allowable, allocable, and essential for the performance of project
  • Property management during the project meets University and sponsor requirements
  • Disposition requests and closeout reports are submitted on time to the sponsor

Sponsored Project Property Control Manual

The Sponsored Projects Property Control Manual captures the CU Boulder campus’ policies, processes and procedures for property acquired on sponsored awards. The manual includes instructions for the acquisition, use and maintenance, reporting, inventory, and disposal of property acquired on sponsored awards.

Specific controls for the stewardship of Government property are also described. These controls are annually evaluated by the Office of Naval Research for efficacy and compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

The Sponsored Projects Property Control Manual has undergone a significant revision, with changes effective October 2016 (see Executive Summary of Changes). Changes were made in order to address two priorities: (1) describe and document new procedures and (2) clarify current definitions, processes and procedures.

Kinds of Property and Equipment

A full listing of property definitions that are commonly used in research administration can be found in Section 1.3 of the Sponsored Projects Property Control Manual

Please review the Property Account Code Quick List for our recommendations for which account codes to use for Non-Capital Equipment, Capital Equipment, Materials and Supplies that will be directly charged to sponsored awards.

Property includes all items acquired on a sponsored award such as: supplies, materials, capital and non-capital equipment, computers, and electronic devices.

Government Property is any kind of property that will be titled to (owned by) the Government. The University is required to follow very specific mandated requirements for Government property, which are summarized for PIs in the Requirements for Government Property resource.

University Property is any kind of property that will be titled to (owned by) the University. All property that is acquired with Federal or university funds is University property, unless it is titled to the sponsor or Government.

A tangible item that is durable, non-expendable, meets the University capitalization rules and is by itself functionally complete for its intended purpose is considered Capital Equipment. Capital equipment can include both Standalone Equipment and Fabrications. Capital Equipment may be referred to as either Permanent Equipment or Fixed Assets.

Standalone Equipment is a non-expendable and commercially available item that meets University capitalization rules in order to be exempt from indirect costs.

Fabrication is the transformation of materials, non-consumable supplies, and hardware into a one-of-a-kind piece of equipment that meets a unique research need. Additionally:
  • Every component of a fabrication must be essential and necessary to the function of the entire fabrication unit.
  • Applicable fabrication costs may include materials and supplies that are integrated into the fabricated unit, freight, construction, installation, training or assembly labor.
  • Materials and supplies that are necessary for the construction process or testing of the fabrication but are not integrated as final components of the fabricated unit must be charged as supplies and are not capitalizable fabrication costs. Examples of this would be fuels, gasses, or compressed air.
  • If you have received an award on which you will be building a fabrication (or adding to an existing work-in-progress fabrication), please complete the forms available on the Property Central website.

Tangible items that are non-consumable, but do not meet the capitalization rules are considered non-capital property or equipment. Any tangible property that is not considered either capital or non-capital equipment is considered supplies. Most supplies are consumable and are used up during the course of a sponsored project.

Computers and electronic devices are considered non-consumable supplies (or non-capital property) if they cost less than $5,000. They are considered capital equipment if they cost more than $5,000.

External Links

Debt and Asset Management - This page on the Campus Controller's Office website provides helpful information, resource links, and contacts related to the procedures and accounting functions for CU Boulder's capital construction, equipment ($5,000+), debt, inventory, cash, petty cash and change funds.

Property Central – This website is managed by the Property Accounting team in the Campus Controller’s Office. Forms for fabrication requests, Gift in Kind and non-sponsored project interdepartmental transfer requests, off-campus property, and lost property can be found on their website.

Property Services – This website is managed by Facilities Management and has additional information on furniture, property surplus and disposal, moving and hauling, and property sales and auctions.

Procurement Service Center – Information on the procurement of property and services in accordance with University of Colorado procurement rules may be found on the PSC webpage.

Past Trainings

OCG Resources

Below is a listing of the one-page resources that have been developed to provide information on property management for sponsored projects:

 Our full set of policies and procedures can be found in our Sponsored Projects Property Control Manual.