In its mission to advance transformative excellence in research, innovation and graduate education, VPRI has facilitated the development of many research core facilities to serve the research needs of the UO community. The guidelines below formalize and systematize the organization and operation of extant research core facilities, and provide a mechanism for the development of new research cores.

VPRI Research Core Facilities (RCFs) are organized to support the research and innovation activities of University of Oregon faculty, staff and students in a manner that comports with federal, state and university policies. All RCFs share the same common organizational stakeholders:

  1. Users;
  2. Faculty Advisory Committee;
  3. Faculty Advisory Committee Chair;
  4. RCF Director/Manager;
  5. VPRI Divisional Budget Director
  6. Research Core Business Services (RCBS) Business Manager and staff
  7. Associate Vice President for Research as liaison.


RCFs, due to their unique nature, may have additional elements (e.g., external advisory boards, service leaders, etc.), which are described in separate operational documents pertaining only to the particular RCF. These additional elements are developed and maintained by the Director/Manager.  Operational documents pertaining to an individual RCF may be more specific, but cannot contradict this general guidance that pertains to all RCFs.

Specific roles are described briefly below:

  • Users are University of Oregon faculty, staff or students, and university approved individuals such as faculty, staff, or students at other universities or external business entities. Users are responsible to utilize the facility equipment or expertise in a manner that comports with the specific RCF procedures and with university, state and federal policies (e.g., complete specific training as required).
  • The Faculty Advisory Committee comprises several faculty who represent the scientific needs of the users across academic units, and as such, guides the RCF operation to ensure it enables and facilitates the scientific goals and research needs of its users.
  • Faculty Advisory Committee Chair leads the Faculty Advisory Committee and represents and advocates for the faculty scientific needs reflected in the core facility operations. The chair is responsible to liaise directly with the AVPR and Director/Manage on programmatic, administrative and financial issues. The Faculty Chair is responsible for working with VPRI staff, the RCF Director/Manager, any service leaders and the Committee towards a common vision for RCF operations.
  • The RCF Manager/Director is responsible for the day to day execution of the RCF operations, and is expected to carry out all general facility operations through regular consultation with the Faculty Chair and VPRI staff.
  • Financial support services (accounting, billing, budgeting, human resources, etc.) to each RCF are provided by VPRI staff organized into a shared business support unit, called Research Core Business Services (RCBS).
  • The RCF VPRI Divisional Budget Director is the VPRI staff person who is responsible for oversight, quality control, and guidance on business affairs of the RCFs, liaising with other university business and finance units, and supervising the financial staff and operation of Research Core Business Services (RCB).
  • An Associate Vice President for Research serves as a liaison between VPRI and the scientific community, providing an overall programmatic administrative point of contact in ensuring the research core facility addresses the scientific needs of the campus.


There are several shared responsibilities that come along with operating as a RCF that helps ensure the core facility meets the needs of researchers in a manner that is financially prudent and programmatically viable:

  • Provide outstanding service to campus researchers and constituents, and keeping its services current with user needs, as well as anticipate and plan for the future scientific needs.
  • Operate the RCF according to the cost principles established in OMB CASB Circular A-21 and operate in a manner compliant with UO policies (“Managing a Service Center” and “Guidelines on Service Centers” http://brp.uoregon.edu/node/39) that collectively allocate the allowable costs of facility operation to projects in proportion to its use.  By definition, research core facilities are designated university service center funds required to achieve a working capital compliance balance at the end of every fiscal year with rate setting review that will cost recover with total resources allocated for activity processed and not operate in deficit or surplus that exceeds 60 days of working capital.
  • Actively participate in the annual VPRI cost analysis and rate setting process in the context of the overall university financial processes, as well as the VPRI RCF meetings.
  • Maintain, update regularly (see below), and submit the required RCF materials.
    • Annual Report of RCF activity  (every year in September)
    • Organizational Chart with job descriptions (every year by March)
    • VPRI Participate in cost analysis process that is reviewed by Director, FAC Chair and Committee and approved by VPRI annually (March).
    • Strategic Business Rationale (every second year  in September)