Policy No: 2075 Responsible Office: Research Compliance and Assurance Last Review Date: 02/24/2021 Next Required Review: 02/24/2026
Use of University Research Facilities and Equipment by External Entities
The purpose of this policy is to clarify the circumstances under which External Entities, as defined below, will be allowed to utilize the University’s research facilities in a manner that will enhance the mission of the University without hindering its primary educational and research missions. The University reserves the right to refuse requests for use of its research facilities and equipment and to determine the parameters of such use where allowed. Fees will be assessed for use of University facilities and equipment by External Entities.
This policy applies to requests for use of University research facilities or equipment. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development is responsible for administering these use requests, except as stated herein, along with the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Department chairs or their designees are responsible for ensuring an External User’s compliance with this policy and with the terms of the Research Facility and Equipment Use Agreement.
The following circumstances are excluded from this policy:
- This policy does not apply to the use of University properties and resources by investigators who are performing externally sponsored services on behalf of the University. Facilities and equipment for such use may be leased through the USA Research and Technology Corporation. Generally, these arrangements would be supported by external funds.
- This policy does not apply to the use of University resources by consultants, contractors, or others who have been engaged by the University and who are working on behalf of the University, including, but not limited to, computing and networking projects.
University Resources: Nonexpendable equipment, physical facilities (including University space used by External Entities), computer and networking services, research resources, and University personnel.
External Entities: An outside, non-University organization or business, whether public or private. This may include University faculty and staff when they are not performing services on behalf of the University.
4. Policy Guidelines
Use by an External Entity would generally be allowed for start-up operations that do not fit into the University’s Coastal Innovation Hub, the Technology and Research Park or local commercial space. It is the policy of the University that each situation or request to use facilities or equipment will be addressed on a case-by-case basis to determine if, in fact, the specific situation is beneficial to USA and consistent with its mission.
The policy of the University to allow external use of its research facilities and/or equipment requires an assessment to determine if the benefit to the University is specific, reasonably quantifiable and sufficient to justify allowance for use. It is generally expected that every allowed use of the facilities or equipment will enhance the operations of the University beyond the revenue from the use. A statement regarding benefit to the University must be included in the justification.
4.1 Other Applicable University Policy Statements
University resources and services may not be used for personal gain by employees for purposes outside the scope of their employment or by students beyond their instructional requirements. University resources are to be used for University business. The terms and conditions of any private use of University research facilities and/or equipment shall be set forth in a proposed Facilities Use Agreement.
The following are further policy statements associated with personal use of University equipment, staff and services:
- The use of email, internet, and office phone services for reasonable personal use is permitted if the University incurs no additional incremental cost for personal use (e.g., long-distance phone calls). If incremental charges are incurred, the University must be reimbursed for the cost;
- These services may never be used in the conduct of a personal business or any other for-profit venture from which the employee (or member of their family) would receive personal gain;
- Excessive personal use which interferes with the employee's job performance is not appropriate and can be limited as needed by supervisors to assure employee productivity;
- The use of University-owned equipment for personal use is generally not permitted, with the exception of IT equipment used for reasonable personal use as noted above; and
- The use of University employees for services that would be considered personal, such as data collection, running errands or typing personal documents, is not permitted.
In addition to this policy, a supplemental document “Guidelines: Leasing Space to External Entities for Research Purposes” should be referenced to aid in facilitating requests for use of University research facilities and equipment by External Entities.
5.1 External Entities may apply to use University facilities or equipment by submitting a “Request to Use Research Facility/Equipment” form to the chair of the academic department responsible for the facilities or equipment. The department chair or his/her designee will ensure the External Entity’s is aware of this policy and will monitor the External Entity’s compliance with the policy.
5.2 The External Entity must specify if any hazardous materials, controlled substances, or genetically altered materials will be used. If so, the External Entity must submit an acceptable plan for the control of the materials and compliance with state and federal law before the University will approve the use.
5.3 The External Entity must agree to enter into and agree to comply with the requirements specified in the Research Facility and Equipment Use Agreement.
5.4 The department chair or his/her designee will recommend approval or disapproval to the Dean and to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (or their designees). Upon approval, the External Entity will enter into the Research Facility and Equipment Use Agreement prior to being granted access. Any modifications to the standard form agreement will require the approval of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (or his/her designee).
5.5 An approved External Entity or the external entity’s host must schedule use of the requested facility or equipment through an individual designated by the chair of the academic department responsible for the facilities or equipment, or his or her designee.
5.6 The University will not subsidize any individual or business with University funds. The fees charged for use, and the collection of those fees, will be determined and managed through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development in coordination with the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Assessed fees will cover both the direct and indirect costs of the facility or equipment , will be used to reimburse the accounts that cover those costs and will be negotiated in conjunction with the herein-referenced Vice Presidents or their designees. If the facilities or equipment use is covered by a University income/expense approved rate agreement, that agreement will govern. The Facilities Use Agreement will identify other fees to be assessed.
5.7 Any misrepresentations contained in the request or agreement, any use of the facilities or equipment for purposes other than those stated, or any failure to comply with University policies and procedures or the terms of the Research Facility and Equipment Use Agreement will be grounds for immediate termination of the agreement.
5.8 The External Entity must agree to:
- Maintain general liability insurance to cover the External Entity’s activities on campus in an amount not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence, two million in the aggregate, unless a lesser amount of insurance is approved by the University’s Department of Risk Management;
- Indemnify and hold the University harmless for all expenses and liability arising from the External Entity’s activities; and
- Reimburse the University for any property damage and clean-up or hazardous waste related expenses, including disposal, shipping, and penalties, caused by or imposed as a result of the External Entity’s activities.
Employees must report instances of noncompliance with this policy. Employees shall report concerns or observations of misuse or theft of University assets or services to any of the following: the employee’s immediate supervisor (unless the supervisor is the individual engaging in the misuse), Internal Audit, or the University’s Office of Compliance. Alternatively, an employee can file an anonymous report via the Ethics and Compliance Hotline at: https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/60474/
7. Related Documents
7.1 Related Regulations and/or Policies
7.2 Other Related Documents