Real and Personal Property

Real property consists of land, buildings, improvements and betterments. Personal property includes equipment, furniture, and fixtures.

Real Property

Land and rights in land, ground improvements, utility distribution systems, and buildings and other structures. It does not include foundations and other work necessary for installing special tooling, special test equipment, or government property.


A written acknowledgement that goods, services or monies have been provided and accepted as full or partial fulfillment to an obligation.

Receipt Date

The date goods and/or services were received by the department. The receipt date is used by Accounts Payable as the baseline date determining when terms are due and payment will be made.


Term used for monthly review.

Recycled Content

The portion of a product that is made from materials directed from the waste stream; usually stated as a percentage by weight.

Recycled Product

A product that contains the highest amount of post-consumer material practicable, or when post-consumer material is impracticable for a specific type of product, contains substantial amounts of pre-consumer material.

Remanufactured Product

Any product diverted from the supply of discarded materials by refurbishing and marketing said product without substantial change to its original form.


A rental contract giving the right to use real estate or property for a specified time in return for rent or other compensation.

Replacement Cost

Cost for a new comparable (like kind and quality) model or item to replace damaged, stolen, or destroyed property.

Request for Bid (RFB)

A solicitation in which the terms, conditions, and specifications are described and responses are not subject to negotiation.

Request for Information (RFI)

A written application for details regarding a specific transaction.

Request for Payment (eRFP)

VPF eform used for reimbursement for out of pocket expenses, payment of honorarium, registration fees, dues, and other items where a purchase order is not deemed necessary.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A solicitation in which it is not advantageous to set forth all the actual, detailed requirements at the time of solicitation and responses are subject to negotiation. Price must be a factor in the award but not the sole factor.

Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Bid (RFB) Conference

A meeting arranged by a procurement officer to help potential bidders understand the requirements of an Request for Proposal or Request for Bid.


Materials, personnel or services needed for a specific period of time.

Requirements Contract

A form or contract that is used when the total long-term quantity required cannot be definitely fixed, but can be stated as an estimate or within maximum and minimum limits with deliveries on demand.


An internal document that a department sends to the purchasing department containing details of materials to meet its needs, replenish stocks, or obtain materials for specific jobs or contracts.

Research Administration Services (RAS)

Research Administration Services (RAS) is a new organization under the Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) that replaced the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), effective September, 2019.

See Plans to Reinvent Research Administration at MIT for details.


One who submits a response to a solicitation document.


The offer received from a vendor in response to a solicitation. A response includes submissions commonly referred to as "offers," "bids," "quotes," or "proposals."

Responsible Bidder

A bidder whose reputation, past performance, and business and financial capabilities are such that the bidder is judged by an appropriate authority as capable of satisfying an organization's needs for a specific contract.

Responsive Bidder

A bidder whose bid does not vary from the specifications and terms set out in the invitation for bids.

Restricted (Gift Administration)

Gift to MIT that must be used for the purpose designated by the donor.

Restrictive Specifications

Specifications that unnecessarily limit competition by eliminating items capable of satisfactorily meeting actual needs. See Performance Specification.


A portion of payment that is withheld until certain deliverable results have been reached. In the case of sponsored billing, the deliverable may be a progress report, final report or technical report. In the case of a construction project, the deliverable may be a particular phase of completion up to and including the punch list.

Retention (Legal/Insurance Definition)

Deductible that a DLC must pay, per incident (not per item), in the event of a theft or property damage claim. DLCs are reimbursed for the replacement value of the item less the retention.

Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA)

A transaction that enables the recipient of an unsatisfactory product to arrange return, repair, replacement, refund, or credit for the purchase price.

Return of Goods

Process following receipt and inspection of goods deemed unsatisfactory. This process usually requires a return authorization (RMA) form.


In Financial Review and Control, the person(s) familiar with activity on a cost object who performs monthly financial review and control activities.


Rheaply (think “research cheaply”) is an online service available to MIT that hosts a free reuse marketplace for furniture, supplies, and equipment. 

Rheaply is open to MIT community members with a Kerberos account. You can list surplus equipment and offer it to the wider community and post requests for specific equipment and supplies you need for your lab, center, or department. You can also personalize your Rheaply homepage to filter items of interest and receive notifications when new items are posted.

Risk Management

A management discipline focusing on the protection of the assets (people, tangible and intangible) of an organization by reducing the potential for losses (risk control), and financing, through insurance and other means, potential exposures to catastrophic loss, such as acts of God, human error, or court judgments.

Roles Database

Stores and maintains access rules for other applications, such as SAP. The Roles Database collects information and then distributes it to the appropriate applications, in a nightly data feed.



News and Announcements

The VPF Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) team has updated the list of all&nbs