Shared Resource Facilities
The Icahn school of Medicine at Mount Sinai has developed the Shared Resource Facilities Program (SRFs, also known as institutional cores) to provide substantial support for innovative, state-of-the-art technologies essential to our research programs in Translational and Basic Sciences. The compact size of Mount Sinai makes it possible for all investigators to have essentially unlimited and easy access to these resources.
Support for the Shared Resource Facilities by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai described below totals approximately $1.5 million per year, of which user fee charges to investigators recovers 70% of direct costs. The school subsidizes the remaining 30%. The school also contributes directly to the purchase of new equipment often matching funds from Departments/Centers or Institutes. This makes it possible to charge investigators reduced fees, which promotes increased use of the facilities, and to prevent duplication of these technologies in individual departments or laboratories. An important ancillary result is that the SRFs enhance the potential for collaboration in multidisciplinary research programs, since SRF directors can bring together investigators working in similar research areas. This also facilitates the adoption of new experimental approaches by PI’s, especially in situations where crossover requiring basic science data is needed to underpin and to test clinical hypotheses. Thus, Icahn School of Medicine views its commitment to the SRFs as a significant part of its cost sharing.
A website was developed (http://icahn.mssm.edu/SRF) that is linked to individual SRFs. On the individual websites, there is information about the services, fees, protocols for preparations and where appropriate, the opportunity to sign up for usage on a web-based calendar.
Structure and Governance of the Shared Resource Facilities Program
The SRF Program reports to the Dean for Basic Sciences and Graduate School of Biological Sciences, John Morrison, PhD. The program is administered through the Dean's Office by the Senior Associate Dean for Research Resources (SADRR), Reginald W. Miller, DVM, DACLAM. Operational oversight of the SRFs is through a dual, peer review mechanism. Each SRF has a dedicated Scientific Advisory Committee of 5-7 members chosen from its user group. SRF’s are reviewed by 1-2 external reviewers and one internal reviewer from the advisory committee on a 2-5 year cycle, External Reviews. The external review criteria include publication credits, technology, and personnel expertise. These reviews assist the institution in determining the need for continued support, emerging trends in technology, and obsolescence of technology. Fiscal oversight and administrative support for the SRFs is provided through the office of the Vice President for Finance, Mr. Stephen Harvey via Ms. Veronica Moses. Dr. Miller works closely with this group to monitor the finances of the SRFs. Each SRF is directed by an expert who provides research services, educates investigators on the use of the technology, and helps them develop studies using new technologies in support of their research projects. A senior member of the veterinary staff also serves as ex-officio on all the advisory committees of animal-based SRFs. Advisory committees meet semi-annually to evaluate and recommend improvements and updates to the SRF technology and services.
Proposed new SRFs are reviewed by: 1) Executive Scientific Advisory Committee – scientific merit in support of institutional research goals; 2) Engineering / Facilities - infrastructure needs in support of new technologies; 3) Dean’s Office- business plan, final approval incorporating recommendations from the two previous reviews. New SRFs are given three years to succeed. The Executive Scientific Advisory Committee is composed of Institute Directors, Senior Faculty, and SRF Directors.
Instrument capital costs are not recovered through user fees but rather through instrumentation grants, Dean’s funds or Departmental contributions with matching funds from the Dean.