Research Core Facilities and Equipment Management Programs

The Research Core Facilities Program is a cost-effective solution to providing state-of-the-art technologies for the shared benefit of the campus.

The Research Core Facilities Program (RCFP) was established in 2011 to address the need for administrative oversight, strategic management, best practices and tools for the management of core facilities.

The RCFP has already achieved increased revenue and administrative savings for the select participating core facilities, and is now seeking to expand its services to include more campus resources. As part of this expansion, a software for researchers to request services will be implemented across the core facilities. It will help optimize operations and improve financial management practices, including billing processes for the use of core facilities and management of service and repairs.

Evaluating equipment maintenance options

There are generally two options for equipment maintenance plans: purchasing a service contract or self-insuring.

Service contracts are generally 10 percent of the cost of the equipment and they cover maintenance and repairs. This annual cost is the same amount regardless of whether the equipment requires any major repairs at the time. Often this cost is subsidized by campus. 

With an equipment management database, we can look at the maintenance history and predict future needs. If equipment is unlikely to need major repairs, then self-insuring can be a more cost effective option. 

Cost savings through self-insurance at the Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging
The Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging could pay approximately $900K in service contracts annually on $10 million of equipment. Instead, self-insurance reduces that cost to $180K.

When self-insuring, UC Davis takes on the cost of maintenance and repairs without paying into a service contract. In many cases, the maintenance and repairs can be performed by UC Davis employees. In the core facilities, the equipment is maintained by staff with expert knowledge of the research and equipment needs.  

By collecting and evaluating data in an equipment maintenance database, we can find opportunities to leverage existing equipment on campus and can make better decisions about maintenance plans.

More information about the equipment management program implementation will be available soon.


For more information on institutional core facilities: Institutional core facilities: prerequisite for breakthroughs in the life sciences