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Find information about managing your Core finances below.

Funding of Operating Support for Core Facilities

  • Requests for OR Operating Support should be made in the Annual Report (section 5); requests are for the following fiscal year
  • Requests for OR Operating Support are for core facilities within FSM, WCAS, McCormick, and OR (including OR Centers); FSM provides additional operating support for core facilities [Note: the types of operating support that may be requested from OR are different than those requested from FSM, as described below]
  • Requests for OR Operating Support are meant to encourage activities that enhance the research enterprise, subsidize value-added activities, or provide support in the case of unexpected adverse changes
  • Requests for OR Operating Support should indicate how the funds will support the facility. Requests must fall into one of the following general categories:
    • Unexpected major change in customer base:
      • A major user leaves the University
      • Lost revenue due to maternity leave/FMLA
      • Equipment unavailability due to down time for major repairs
    • Staff expansion (see details below*)
    • Facility (satellite) expansion (see details below*) – NEW for FY18!
    • Collaborative service with another core facility (see details below*) – NEW for FY18!
    • External Equipment Grant writing
    • IT support for special projects (e.g., data storage and security, remote access to instruments and data)
    • Effort related to non-Core grant-based work and publications that enhance methodologies applicable to the Core (e.g. technique development)
    • External advertising, including webpage development
    • Professional Development (e.g. Kellogg programs for Core Staff)
    • Education and Outreach, including time spent on informal seminars and workshops for facility users
  • Requests for Operating Support are NOT intended for the following purposes:
    • Renovation of space (direct request to appropriate Department/School)
    • Formal teaching initiatives (e.g. credit courses listed with the Registrar)
    • Deficit Reduction
    • Rate Reduction
  • * Operating Support requests must include the following:
    • Provide a detailed budget for each activity, including a formal cost estimate where appropriate (e.g., new staff, satellite facility, collaborative service); explain how this will be paid by a combination of OR support plus user fees
    • Provide a rationale for each activity paying particular attention to why higher user fees would not be appropriate for paying for the activity
    • Describe the expected impact on research at Northwestern University
    • Describe matching fund support, space needed and location, if applicable
    • Provide metrics for evaluating whether this institutional investment will be effective
    • If operating support was provided the previous year, describe how it was specifically spent, and how it helped advance the research mission of the University
  • Note that if a core is currently receiving Operating Support from OR, it is not eligible to receive additional support through this program
Calvin and Hobbes

Cost Sharing Policies for Shared and Core Facilities

All requests for institutional cost share support should be directed to Aaron DeLee, OSR Evanston ( For full information regarding the process of obtaining institutional support, please see OSR’s Process for Obtaining Institutional Support.

Annual Cost Study

All core facilities are expected to complete an annual cost study before the start of each academic year. This is a university requirement and necessary in order to charge sponsored projects for services. Annual cost studies must be approved by the Office for Cost Studies. For full information regarding the process of performing a cost study, please contact Jennifer Wei, Director of Cost Studies & Effort Reporting ( or visit the website.

Recharge Rate Calculation Template

Recharge Rate Calculation Template Instructions

Unrelated Business Income

If your facility provided services for external customers in the previous fiscal year, please complete the UBI spreadsheet and send the completed form to by November 15. Please answer the following questions on the form: facility name, name of customer’s company or organization, status (for-profit or non-profit), name of person who used the facility, amount of revenue received for each project, project period, was technical assistance provided (if so, please describe), was there joint research activity with an NU employee (if so, please describe), did this activity further the educational or research mission of the University (if so, please explain), will the results be published, were you conducting commercial testing?

For reference, please use the Frequently Asked Questions document.