I hate those bean counters. I need to purchase a piece of equipment, consistent with other equipment already in the lab. Need in these sense, the equip we have does not work with one set of experiments. Need in the sense, if we are going to make a major part of aim 2, we need this stuff.
I got a quote from company (thank you company) that provided original (wonderful) equipment. I wrote the justification to grants accounting in October. OCTOBER. In Oct, grants accounting said "you need NIH permission to move money". I said: no, I don't. I found chapter and verse why I didn't (in short, it is less than $25K, it doesn't change the scope of the work). Grants accounting, in NOVEMBER said "sure, fine". Quote expired. Got new quote. Put it in. Need this for experiments that start mid -Jan. TODAY. To-fucking-Day, Grants accounting said "nope, we were wrong, you do need permission, from NIH and a statement from the company that no one else makes this". Why ? Because there is no "equipment" line in my budget. So to add the fucking budget line needs approval.
And the company, the very small, yet very good company, is off at a meeting. No one to write my statement. NIH is, well, NIH. I am not sure when they will get back to me.
Take home lessons: Know the rules. Know the NIH rules that pertain to you. And know where to find chapter and verse when you need it. Do not believe grants accounting. I know I am smarter than them, and that I've been doing grants longer than them. Also: I did not put equipment in this proposal, because I didn't think I needed any. Now, I learn that one always wants to put an equipment budget line in, so that you can use it later. There are other problems with that. But right now, I've got too many fires to put out to detail it for you. But I will.