OVPR revamps research facility infrastructure

Christie Lung, works with the NMR in the Central Instrument Facility, Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, February 19, 2014

In an effort to improve the effectiveness of CSU’s research infrastructure, the Office of the Vice President for Research has implemented a new Core Research Facilities program, which identifies three types of core facilities.

“This program helps define a framework for investing in research instrumentation and methods that can be easily accessed by interdisciplinary faculty across campus, as well as by industry,” said Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research.

The research facilities serve four main purposes, according to Jessica Prenni, director of the Core Research Facilities:

  • to provide access to instrumentation and expertise that are not available or sustainable by an individual research laboratory
  • to educate CSU students in areas of cutting-edge technology, act as “hubs” to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations, and provide CSU faculty with the analytical tools, services and expertise needed to be competitive for external funding
  • to ensure that CSU can recruit the best candidates for the next generation of faculty and students, and
  • to attract solid industry partners to CSU for the co-development of new innovations.

The three distinct core types are institutional, foundational and emerging core research facilities, and each will address portions of the university’s research endeavors:

  • Institutional Core Research Facilities will directly provide core functionality to CSU’s research mission, through specific infrastructure needs (e.g. buildings, hardware, security, air quality, isolation requirements, etc.) and have broad-based institutional support.
  • Foundational Core Research Facilities will directly provide one or more core functions across a broad spectrum of researchers, both within CSU and external to the university.
  • Emerging Innovations Facilities will provide resources and/or services in new or emerging areas of research and technology, both within CSU and potentially externally, or represent new areas of expertise/capability for CSU which one day could mature into foundational cores.

Two of the three designations, foundational and emerging, have been approved for funding in fiscal year 2016 following a request for proposals issued by the OVPR.

“To further enable excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in research, scholarship and creative artistry, the new designations of Core Research Facilities were defined to enable more strategic investments of available funds and to provide support to services critical to the CSU research mission,” Prenni said.

The Core Research Facilities chosen for fiscal year 2016 include the following:

Foundational Core Facilities:

  • Proteomics and Metabolomics Facility
  • Central Instrument Facility
  • Graybill Statistics Laboratory
  • Microscope Imaging Network

Emerging Innovations Core Facilities:

  • Droplet Digital PCR Core Facility
  • Distributed Flow Cytometry Core Facility
  • Experimental Pathology Core Facility