VCR Managed Core Facilities

What is a Core?

Core Facilities are also known as service centers and are organizational units providing goods or services to users principally within the UNMC academic and administrative community for a calculated fee.  A limited number of institutional core facilities are managed by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research while many others are managed as part of departmental infrastructure or under program projects.

Institutional Research Core Facilities are defined by the following characteristics:

  • Have an identified director
  • Are open and accessible to all researchers
  • Able to charge and receive reimbursement from extramural grants for service
  • Support a minimum of 3 independently and federally funded investigators. (Based on NIH SIG).
  • Generate a minimum revenue per year for services
  • Follow all federal regulatory guidelines for a federally funded core facility
  • Maintain the following:
    • Updated list of core users annually
    • Publicly advertised fee schedule
    • Annual evaluation of the core available by request
    • A faculty advisory committee of at least 3 members that follows UNMC guidelines
    • An annual revenue/expense report available by request
    • A website

VCR managed core facilities are required to utilize the UNMC Research Administration (RA) Core Facility Management System to meet the financial compliance standards stated in UNMC Policy #6107 (see sidebar at right).  Their immediate oversight is managed by the Director of Research Resources.

Service Center Policy #6107

UNMC Service Centers must comply with cost principles and cost accounting standards promulgated by the federal government.  OMB Circular A-21 is explicit in the following two concepts:

  • recipients of federal funds are not to recover more than cost.
  • recipients are not to discriminate in the price of services charged to governmental and non-governmental users.

The principles provide for recognition of the full allocated costs of federal grants and contracts with no provision for profit or other increment above actual incurred, documented costs.

Service centers also must follow three additional regulations stated in the A-133 Compliance Supplement (document page 3-B-39 & 3-B-40):

  • capital reserves (cash balance at fiscal year end) are not to be in excess of 60 days of annual expenses.
  • billing rates must exclude unallowable costs (see Policy 6103).
  • billing rates are to be developed based on actual costs and adjusted annually.

Details regarding UNMC Service Center Policy 6107 can be found on the policy wiki