Become a Core Facility
A standardized approach to business planning, operations, compliance, needs assessment, and rate development is employed when setting up a new core facility at Rutgers University.
Our standardized approach has two goals
1) To increase core facility efficacy and efficiency by keeping the Office for Research apprised of new facilities so that the new capabilities can be considered in the context of other university research resources. The Office for Research has convened a Core Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) that reviews and approves all new core facilities.
2) To ensure compliance with Federal regulations, which is carried out by the Cost Analysis and Reporting group within the Office of the University Controller.
- Research feasibility and potential customer base – contact University Core Facilities to discuss how the proposed facility fits into the existing framework.
- Obtain approval from RCM unit leadership (Dean/Director) and department head.
- Develop a business plan. Use business plan tips (below) and budget template for guidance.
- Complete the Core Facility Questionnaire
- Contact the Cost Analysis and Reporting Group with questions
- Obtain a letter co-signed by the department chair and Dean/Director of the corresponding RCM unit delineating details of physical and financial support.
- This letter should specifically lay out the framework by which the department or school/RCM unit will provide support when facility income does not cover expenses
- Submit all documents to both the University Core Facilities and the Costing Group
- Business and Scientific Review will be simultaneously conducted as described below
The RU Finance group will review the application to ensure compliance with Federal Regulations that govern the costs that are allowed to be charged to federal grants (Uniform Guidance 200.468b). Any Facility that charges federal grants in a fee-for-service capacity is subject to these regulations. Rates must be designed to recover only the aggregate costs of the services and shall be adjusted at least every other year, taking into consideration any operating deficit or surplus of the previous period(s). Over time, the service center should break even or recover no more than the total cost of providing the product or service. Allowable costs typically include:
- Labor (salary and fringe for staff)
- Operating supplies and materials
- Service contracts for core equipment
- Depreciation on non-federally purchased equipment (not included in the F&A cost pool)
The Core Facility Advisory Committee will review applications and submit questions or requests for clarification to ensure that the proposed facility is meeting a genuine need in as efficient a manner as possible. In addition, this committee will evaluate the scope of proposed services to determine whether the facility will be defined as a “University Core Facility", in which case the facility may become eligible for additional funding and support.
Business Plan Tips
Please consider the following when completing the budget template:
- The estimated size of customer base
- The frequency and method of collecting revenues and the basis on which revenue is billed
- Detailed five-year projections of costs and revenues
- A five-year capital budget for equipment and other capital expenditures
- A rate schedule supported by documentation of cost and use estimates for the first fiscal year
- A cost object that would be used to cover any deficits (a default cost object)
- A person who will be responsible for the operation of the service center