In recent years, the ability to perform cutting-edge research in university settings has become increasingly dependent on the quality and scope of the core facilities which provide the shared instrumentation and technological resources that support investigators.

Key attributes of these core facilities are: cost efficiency; greater access to advanced instrumentation; quality control and research rigor; technological development; and education and training.

Core Facilities

University-wide

Searchable Database

College- or Program-based

Follow each link below to a list of facilities and cores within that college or program.

Programs with Associated Cores

Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network (NNE-CTR)
Director: Gary Stein, PhD
Established in July 2017 to augment infrastructure and expertise needed for clinical and translational research, and to support innovative studies that will ultimately improve health outcomes in our region. The network is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Science through their Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research Program. The program supports "the development of infrastructure and other resources required for the conduct of clinical and translational research in IDeA-eligible states" such as Maine and Vermont.

Translational Global Infectious Diseases Research Center
Director: Beth Kirkpatrick, MD

Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH)
Director: Stephen Higgins, PhD
A Larner College of Medicine (LCOM) core facility, VCBH was established in 2013 to study the relationship between behavior and health. The VCBH has become a vibrant research center supported by multiple federal grants including a Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)/Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Award from the National Institute on General Medical Sciences.

Core Facilities Committee

In order to evaluate and optimize core facilities that provide services across the University, a Core Facilities Committee was convened in May 2018. The membership is as follows:

Kirk Dombrowski, Committee Chairman (Vice President for Research)
Dan Harvey (Director of Operations, Office of VP for Research)
Andrea Elledge (Associate Director, VT Advanced Computing Core)
Jim Vigoreaux (Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs)
Gordon Jensen (Senior Associate Dean for Research, LCOM)
Doug Taatjes (Director of the Microscopy Imaging Center, LCOM)
Michael Lane (Director of Instrumentation & Technical Services)
Rex Forehand (Director of the Vermont Genetics Network)

The Committee’s charge was to develop basic Definitions and Guidelines for core facilities that provide services across the University. Core facilities issues for consideration included:

  1. Establishing a dedicated fund for resource repair, replacement and upgrades.
  2. Centralizing common administrative tasks for facilities, such as accounting and billing.
  3. Minimizing “red tape” that prevents offering billable services to researchers outside the department, college or institution, including researchers located at for-profit entities.
  4. Increasing state, federal and philanthropic funding.
  5. Creating a process for coordinating and conducting outreach.
  6. Establishing an equitable but flexible mechanism for disbursing funding.

Other issues for consideration included strategic planning at the institutional level:

  1. What new types of resources are required?
  2. What existing resources need to be upgraded or replaced?
  3. Which facilities or technologies are no longer cutting edge or could be cheaper if outsourced?
  4. What benchmarks could be used to assess if a facility is meeting its objectives?
  5. Periodic comprehensive review of the Cores.

Recommendations

The following are the recommendations of the Committee for guidelines and operating procedures for University-wide cores:

Definition of a University-Wide Core Facility

A University-wide core facility provides:

1. Equipment/resources to faculty, staff, and students University-wide. *

2. High-level expertise and consultation from Core staff.

3. Training based on current best practices.

* A University-wide core provides support to the entire University, not just a department or college. See "University-Wide Core Facilities" for the list of cores that meet this definition.

Recommendation 1

Establish a reserve account for unexpected/emergency repair of existing equipment in established University-wide cores.

Procedure

A reserve fund will be established in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). Core facility directors who experience an unexpected interruption in their services due to equipment failure can apply for assistance from the reserve fund. Eligibility is dependent upon meeting the definition of a University-wide core facility as outlined above.

The application must detail the specifics of the emergency, the cost of repair or replacement, the estimated time to effect the repair, and the financial contributions secured from the home department or college in which the core is located. It must be endorsed by the department chair and/or dean of the college as is appropriate.

The Committee is still deliberating on other recommendations, but in view of the urgency of providing an emergency reserve fund, this initial recommendation has been brought forward with speed.

UVM Core Facility Emergency Fund

Core facility directors who experience an unexpected interruption in core facility services due to equipment failure or other demonstrably acute issues can apply for assistance from the reserve fund.

Apply for
Emergency Funds


Questions

Please contact Dan Harvey at: Dan.Harvey@uvm.edu