Suggestions to make shared equipment resources more efficient and to maximize impact
- NIH - Association of Biomolecular Research Facilities (ABRF) Workshop Proceedings from a 2015 "Workshop on Enhancing Efficiency of Research Core Facilities"
Challenge, Solutions, Best Practices, and more...
- Maximizing Shared Research Resources - from FASEB
- FASEB created a report to summarize and aid the research community with finding funding for shared instrumentation. This resource helps benefit efficiency and the value/impact of research dollars by
- sharing best practices to maximize researcher access
- helping identify the best funding opportunity that will fit the research community needs
- providing info on obtaining second hand instrumentation
- providing information on ways to locate existing instrument resources
Benefits of managed, shared research equipment:
- Saves funding for researchers by avoiding duplicate purchases at a time when competition for grant funding is on the rise and expected to continue
- Saves time by facilitating researcher access to equipment resources, especially if an on-line tool such the example below from UC-Santa Barbara is used
- Places upkeep, repairs & training responsibility on equipment manager rather than researchers enabling lab members to keep their focus on research
- Attracts talent by being able to showcase equipment resources on campus
- Compliance with Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) in Uniform Guidance requiring equipment sharing and avoiding duplication (see CFRs below).
- Promotes collaboration on campus and with off-campus partners which can benefit funding opportunities
- Better space utilization in line with the direction that university campuses appear to be heading
- Expertise provided by equipment manager to help scientists realize the maxiumum potential of equipment assets and troubleshoot problems
- Preparedness for possible heightened expectations for efficiency in use of federal funds by federal government likely to come as competition for federal dollars continues to rise
- The right thing to do and in line with a growing sustainability culture!
Great examples of equipment sharing:
- UC-Santa Barbara’s UC-Santa Barbara Shared Instrumentation Site
- CU-Boulder Biochemistry Shared Instrument Pool in JSCBB
Enables sharing of more common, general-use equipment rather than just very expensive pieces of equipment
The pool also has a gradual approach to adding equipment (for example, adding equipment as faculty retire and needs are discovered) which is a model that avoids a heavy handed approach and likely could work in other departments
Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) requiring sharing and avoiding duplication:
- Uniform Guidance Title 2 CFR 200.318 d: “The non-Federal entity's procedures must avoid acquisition of unnecessary or duplicative items. Consideration should be given to consolidating or breaking out procurements to obtain a more economical purchase. Where appropriate, an analysis will be made of lease versus purchase alternatives, and any other appropriate analysis to determine the most economical approach.”
- Uniform Guidance Title 2 CFR 200.313 c2: “During the time that equipment is used on the project or program for which it was acquired, the non-Federal entity must also make equipment available for use on other projects or programs currently or previously supported by the Federal Government, provided that such use will not interfere with the work on the projects or program for which it was originally acquired. First preference for other use must be given to other programs or projects supported by Federal awarding agency that financed the equipment and second preference must be given to programs or projects under Federal awards from other Federal awarding agencies. Use for non-federally-funded programs or projects is also permissible. User fees should be considered if appropriate.”