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Invest in core research and computational facilities and systems that allow faculty, students and staff to maintain their place on the frontiers of discovery

 

LEAD: Dr. Dean Appling, Associate Dean for Research and Facilities

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

World-class core facilities are key to the strength of the College of Natural Sciences. The College has established a new CNS Core Facilities Committee that evaluates all of our existing core facilities. Its goal is to determine whether CNS has the right mix of core facilities and to ensure that existing core facilities are broadly accessible, shared and competitively priced. One of our premier core facilities, the Physics Machine Shop, is now available to researchers throughout the College. To ensure faculty access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, the College has also developed an instrumentation grant-matching program. Faculty, departments and centers can apply for matching funds for high-priority instrumentation grant applications.

In 2015-16, the College conducted a peer analysis of our biosciences core facilities and determined that our facilities were appropriately and competitively priced. A plan for sustaining these facilities, including funding for new equipment purchases, was developed with the assistance of the ICMB advisory committee and faculty and administrators in the College of Pharmacy, the School of Engineering, and Dell Medical School. The university’s vice president for research has voiced a strong interest in examining the roles and structures of core facilities campus-wide and we anticipate that his office will drive many of the changes to come in future years. In 2016-2017, the Center for Biomedical Research Support was established to house core facilities pertaining to biomedical research. In 2017-2018, in the Faulkner Nanoscience Building,the Sauer Laboratory for Structural Biology was established as the home of the College's new cryo-electron microscopy facility.

 

BENCHMARKS FOR IMPLEMENTATION

  • Core facilities will be broadly accessible and competitively priced.
  • Proposals funded by the instrumentation grant-matching program will result in successful publications and grant funding.
  • The CNS budget for the instrumentation matching program will be appropriately sized and sustained.

 

OUR METRICS FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

The College:

  • tracks grant funding of successful instrumentation proposals
  • tracks core-facility costs and accessibility
  • assesses faculty satisfaction with core facilities as part of our annual climate survey

 

NEXT STEPS 

  • We are working collaboratively with the Office of the Vice President for Research to establish a solid financial footing for our core facilities and optimize the services needed to advance the research of our faculty.