University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Capital Exercise

November 14, 2018

To: Division Chiefs and Investigators
From:  Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD
Betty Weiss, MBA
RE: 2019 Capital Exercise Process

2019 Capital Exercise Announcement

The purpose of this memo is to provide you with lead time in order to plan on what capital equipment or other needs you will request through the Capital Exercise (“Cap Ex”) process, and to alert you to changes in this year’s request process. Please note that newer investigators are especially encouraged to apply.

The Cap Ex process is a mechanism by which the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) returns a portion (approx. 9-10%) of indirect costs on Federal Grants (mainly NIH) generated in the previous fiscal year ending June 30, to the Departments for the purpose of buying capital equipment, computers or supporting other research needs. SMPH mandates that Cap Ex funds must be expensed by June 30 of the current fiscal year.

The Department of Medicine (DOM) historically has distributed Cap Ex funds to faculty by an application process. The DOM Research Committee has determined that 50% of the funds will be returned to PIs with the remaining 50% placed in a competitive pool for allocation based on demonstrated need including junior faculty without extramural funding. Using this guideline, you will shortly receive your Cap Ex allotment (50% of what DOM received in your name).

We have simplified the Cap Ex process: 1) Cap Ex will be more flexible - specifically you will now be able to request allotted funds via the application process; again approved requests must be spent before June 15, 2019. 2) The application is simple and quick - a PI can expect to receive up to 50% of their allotted Cap Ex funds. Those PIs requesting funds need to submit a Cap Ex application with a justification of how you intend to use the funds (equipment still needs a quote), in accordance to SMPH guidelines. 3) You may pool your funds as needed with other investigators to support larger needs.

The Cap Ex application process:

  1. A DOM Cap Ex application must be submitted. Faculty not submitting a request will not receive funds.
  2. The application needs to identify the amount requested and provide a description of proposed uses. Quotes are needed if over 5K and computers
  3. Requests for up to 50% of allotted Cap Ex dollars can be expected to be funded. Requests that exceed this, whether from newer or funded investigators, will require a more detailed justification
  4. Applications must be submitted to the Division/Center head/chief, who will prioritize the applications
  5. The Division Head or administrator will forward the prioritized applications to Betty Weiss, ORS by January 7, 2019
  6. The DOM Research Committee then reviews applications for funding.

Key deadlines and dates for the 2018 Cap Ex application process:

Jan 2, 2019 Capital Exercise application deadline (submit applications to your Division/Center head/chief for ranking)
Jan 7, 2019 Division/Center head/chief submits ranked applications to Betty Weiss
Jan 9, 2019 DOM Research Committee to review and prioritize
Mid Jan Notification to applicants of funding status
June 15, 2019 Last day to complete Capital Exercise purchases

In assigning a rank priority, the DOM Research Committee considers seven areas, in no particular order, to prioritize the applications:

  1. Present year contributions to indirect funds.
  2. The value of the request to further scientific research.
  3. Advisory prioritization by Division/Center head/chief.
  4. Status as an investigator in the early career phase (with diminished start-up funds).
  5. Past and potential future productivity of the investigator(s).
  6. Probability of sustaining previous funding or generating new funding.
  7. Priority for shared equipment.

If an application is made for the general benefit of a division/center or DOM, rather than for a particular investigator or program, please note this on the application. Faculty members who have capital equipment needs for research but have not contributed indirect costs may submit requests. Newer investigators are encouraged to apply and will be given a priority bonus.

DOM deadlines noted above must be strictly observed. Late applications will not be considered. Funds not claimed will be redistributed.

If you have questions, please contact Betty Weiss, or Dr. Nasia Safdar,


Downloadable Capital Exercise application.