Equipment Replacement Program Frequently Asked Questions

  • The program’s purpose is to ensure that all eligible staff and faculty members have a reasonably modern primary computer on which to perform their day-to-day academic and/or administrative work. Computers provided under the program are not intended for use in labs or other special-purpose situations. You will be responsible for funding replacement of your primary computer if you re-purpose the one we supply. Computers over four years old are not supported.

  • Tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible, as well as full-time staff whose positions are funded from the Biomed division’s core budget. These are typically administrative staff positions. Staff positions that are funded from other sources (such as grants, the Grant Incentive Program (GIP), startup funds, etc.) are not eligible. These positions are typically for research personnel and their computers should be funded from the same source that funds the research. Also, the program does not cover equipment for center-based faculty and staff, because their computer needs are expected to be covered by the indirect cost recovery that centers receive.

  • New faculty who receive startup funds are expected to make their initial computer purchase using those funds. Assuming they are otherwise eligible, faculty will receive a replacement through the program once their original computer is old enough (see next question). Incoming faculty members should still order their initial computer through Biomed Computer Services so we can track its eligibility for replacement.

  • Our budget currently provides for providing one new computer for each eligible faculty and staff person every four years, on average.

  • Please email Biomed Computer Services at biomed_cso@brown.edu and we will let you know promptly.

  • Faculty can receive their choice of a Macintosh or a Dell, whichever is best suited to their academic pursuits. The standard computer for staff is Dell. In both cases, we will generally provide one of Brown's standard configurations. There is some flexibility on this, depending on your specific needs. However, the program will not fund consumer-grade equipment, such as Dell Inspirons.

  • Faculty can receive a laptop or desktop, subject to the standard budget limit. (See the question on upgrades, below). Staff receive desktops, unless their job functions specifically require a laptop.

  • We will contact you via email when your computer becomes eligible for replacement. At that time, we will ask that you respond and let us know if you will accept the new computer now or wish to defer to a more convenient time. When the new computer arrives, we will install any Brown-licensed software you request, and transfer your files and settings to the new computer.

  • No, not if it was originally provided under the equipment replacement program. There is a high demand for used but still functional computers, and we refurbish and re-deploy them. We typically provide them to labs that are experiencing significant funding shortfalls, and to part-time or temporary staff. If the old computer was not funded by the equipment replacement program, you may keep it. If you’re not sure what the old computer’s funding source was, we can look it up.

  • We will be happy to upgrade the computer with equipment such as a larger monitor, more memory, larger hard drive, etc. However, you will be responsible for funding any excess over the standard budget from your own resources. The current standard budget is $900 for staff and $1250 for faculty.  Anything above that will be charged to the work tag(s) of your choice.  You will still be required to turn in the computer the next time it is eligible for replacement, so we suggest that you limit upgrades if feasible.

  • No. The computer must be provided by Biomed Computer Services so we can assure it meets Brown standards and is recorded in inventory.