Equipment Purchased on Fellowship Research Funds


  • When a fellowship recipient purchases equipment on research funds provided by their fellowship, that equipment is university property and subject to university policy. 
  • This includes both capital equipment and non-capital equipment, including laptops and tablets.
  • In no case may the equipment become the personal property of the fellowship recipient at the end of the fellowship.
  • If a postdoc fellowship recipient moves to an academic appointment at another institution—and with the approval of the department Chair, Dean, and Equipment Management—the other institution may purchase the equipment for fair market value. However, consider:
    • In most cases, non-tangible items such as software licenses may not be retained by the fellowship recipient, or transferred or sold to another institution.
    • Equipment may contain sensitive university data or intellectual property that cannot be transferred to another institution without appropriate measures.
    • This option is not available for graduate student fellowships.


  • Provide clear guidance to fellowship recipients up-front that equipment purchased on fellowship research funds remains property of UC Davis at the end of the fellowship unless purchased by their subsequent institution at fair market value.
  • Ensure that any equipment is returned at the end of the fellowship, when the fellowship recipient's appointment ends, unless the fellowship recipient can provide a formal letter from their new institution agreeing to the fair market value purchase of the equipment.
  • In many cases, transferring the equipment to the subsequent institution should be avoided for the following reasons:
    • Consider that many software and IT service licenses may not be sold or transferred to other institutions due to restrictions in the software licenses and must be removed before the transfer.
    • Consider sensitive data residing on the equipment, which may be governed by federal or state regulations, IRB protocols, intellectual property laws, etc., and which should be deleted from the equipment before the transfer.


  • In most cases, fellowship research funds are received as state general funds (19900 fund type), and any equipment purchased on 19900 funds is governed by UC equipment management policies.
    • In rare cases, fellowships may be funded by external governmental or private agencies, in which case other rules may apply, generally driven by the fund type.
  • The primary UC policy governing disposal of UC property is BUS-38:
    • Section V.D.1 "TRANSFER OF UNIVERSITY-OWNED PROPERTY" of BUS-38 outlines the process by which university property may be transferred to another institution (but not to an individual).
    • The parallel UC Davis policy is PPM 350-80:
    • Aggie Surplus is the unit responsible for determining Fair Market Value for equipment.
  • Per PPM 360-25 IV.A, the department head (chair/director) of the department hosting the postdoc has primary responsibility for determining how equipment returned to the university should be used by the department, within the limits placed on all university equipment (e.g., no personal use or indefinite loan).