Facilities and Resources
As researchers and their teams develop their hypothesis, or research question, the team should also identify space requirements and ensure they have access and the support of the hosting department or organization. This planning can include securing specialized facilities, or budgeting for specific equipment, supplies, tailored services, or specialized personnel. Now is also the time to be thinking about what, if any, symposia or conferences the scientific team may wish to attend to disseminate the results of their research. Including travel costs in a sponsored budget can reduce administrative complications in travel procurement during the project execution.
- Principal Investigators are responsible for identifying and securing facilities and resources needed to conduct their research programs and projects.
- Department research administrators can assist Investigators by maintaining template documentation regarding facilities and resources available in their departments.
- The Office of Sponsored Programs is available to assist researchers, their teams, and department research administrators interpreting sponsor requirements related to facilities and resources in proposals.
- Review and confirm all sponsor requirements related to identification and availability of facilities and resources prior to submitting the final application.
- Identify university policies, procedures, and even training or access requirements to the facilities and resources needed to conduct the proposed research.
- If your research will require the space or expertise of another researcher, be sure to have their support in writing to include in your proposal documentation. Sponsors may have specific requirements for documenting expertise and commitment.
- In some cases facility access will require protocol review and approval by a regulatory department or entity. Identify these requirements early to prevent delays later in the process.
- Specialized training or approvals may also be required to use certain facilities or resources. Identify personnel and ensure they are eligible and qualified for needed approvals in the Plan/Propose stage.
Documenting space available to conduct your research will include descriptions of the area available for the research. This may include laboratory space, clinical space, capacity and access to animal facilities, computer equipment for data collection and analysis, as well as office resources available to the team and administration. If you are applying for externally funded research it will be critical to review sponsor requirements related to space commitments. Additionally, use of space not under the direction of the research team may require letters of assurance or commitment.
Identifying equipment needed to complete the aims of the project is another important step in the Plan/Propose stage, and another area where it will be important to review sponsor requirements. Equipment as well as space not under the direction of the proposed research team may require assurances. Or, if equipment will be purchased, this is the time to plan for this expense by building it into the proposed budget.
Some research types will require contracted services; these may be services from the University such as a single Institutional Review Board (sIRB), or externally contracted services ranging from data storage and analysis to compound screening. Engagement with service providers may require coordination both with contractor and sponsor, as the use or dissemination of contracted services may have different cost structures or requirements depending of source of research funding.
Environmental Health and Safety Considerations
- Use the Lab Safety Design Guide to determine if proposed lab space is safety compliant.
- Determine need for lab safety equipment, such as:
Specialty or non-standard resources are a part of nearly every research project and may include one or more of many shared university cores or facilities. Sponsors will have unique definitions and requirements for describing quality of the resources, and what access the team will have to the resource during the project period.
For information and guidance on budgeting supplies, travel, and personnel, see the Plan/Propose Budget page.