Research Core Facilities

Research cores provide medical researchers with specialized scientific services to support their studies. With these shared resources, scientists at Indiana University School of Medicine and partner organizations can access state-of-the-art instrumentation and equipment, technical expertise, and training that advances their work.

Institutional Cores

Center and Department Cores

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a core facility?

    IU School of Medicine core facilities are an integral component of its research enterprise. They are specialized laboratories with unique technologies, instruments, and services that are managed by scientists with deep technical expertise. Cores are operated as fee-for-service laboratories in which users pay for training, use of instruments and equipment, and specialized services. Cores also provide scientific consultations that enhance research productivity.

  • What are the different types of cores?

    Indiana University School of Medicine offers the following types of research service cores.

    • Institutional/School cores: facilities established to support the research of multiple departments within a specific school. The use of these cores is also available to users outside of the school.
    • Center cores: facilities and services that support the research of faculty associated with a particular center. The use of these cores may be restricted to the faculty and staff of that center.
    • Departmental core facilities: facilities and services established to support the research of a narrowly defined group of investigators within a department that require the facility or services. The use of these cores may be restricted to faculty and staff of that department, or maybe made more broadly available as described for School and Center cores.
  • What are the basic management and oversight components of a core?

    The oversight of IU School of Medicine Research Service Cores ultimately lies with the Executive Associate Dean for Research. The Institutional Cores also have additional oversight committees that play an important role in their success:

    • Operation Committee (OC)
    • Institutional Research Oversight Committee (IROC)
    • IU School of Medicine Core Services

    Executive Associate Dean for Research (EADR)

    The EADR oversees IU School of Medicine's research endeavors by administering research funding, building relationships with corporations and foundations, ensuring research integrity, overseeing human and animal research, and providing operational support to the research core facilities.

    Cores Operation Committee (OC)

    The Operation Committee reviews, monitors, and supports the centralized core operational performance and provides core and core leaders with policy and regulatory information, ensuring shared learning while improving accountability and transparency.

    IU School of Medicine Core Services

    Director:

    The director of Core Services is responsible for managing the strategic, administrative, marketing, and business affairs of the centralized core facilities at IU School of Medicine. They provide strategic and operational leadership to core facility managers/technical directors/technical staff to ensure the efficient day-to-day operations of individual core facilities. They work with each of the core facility faculty advisory committees that regularly review operations, rates, advise on issues, and contribute to strategic planning, updating business plans and financial plans for each core.

    Operational Infrastructure:

    IU School of Medicine Core Services assist core facilities with a range of operational needs. The team processes applications for new services, equipment purchases, or new core formation; designs surveys for new service and equipment assessment; create customer satisfaction surveys, which provide valuable feedback to core directors and the IROC on core efficiency; and reviews and implements management systems that may be useful tools to increase core efficiency.

    Core Visibility:

    IU School of Medicine Core Services strives to increase awareness and usage of core facilities by developing promotional materials and maintaining the IU School of Medicine core website.

    Education and Training:

    IU School of Medicine Core Services organizes and assists with educational workshops and forums which focus on introducing core users to new technologies.

    Advocacy:

    IU School of Medicine Core Services engage in a continuing conversation with the IROC and the EADR to develop, disseminate, and implement policies and guidelines affecting core facilities.

  • Who provides administrative support to the Institutional Research Service Cores?

    The Research Administration and Finance Team (RAFT), within the IU School of Medicine Executive Associate Dean for Research Affairs (EADR) and the Executive Associate Dean for Finance and Administration offices, serves as the primary contact regarding business and administrative operations of the centralized cores. The RAFT provides administrative support for the business operations of the centralized cores, including, but not limited to:

    • Budget
      With input from the core, construct an annual operating budget within the guidelines established by the University Budget Office and the IU School of Medicine Dean's Office Financial Analysis & Budget unit. The core's operating budget will be monitored throughout the year, and budget adjustments will be completed as needed. Any significant changes in the core's annual operating budget will be reviewed by the IROC and the EADR.
    • Rates
      Work with the core to ensure the core is compliant with all Office of the University Controller Auxiliary Accounting policies. Rates will be reviewed annually and calculated and submitted by the Dean's Office to the Office of the University Controller annually or biannually, as required by university policy.
    • Business Operations
      Provide support as needed for all business operations and administrative duties for centralized cores, including but not limited to purchasing, accounts payable, travel, accounts receivable, HRMS document management, and core billing and invoicing.
    • Reporting
      Provide monthly financial and activity reports to the core and school leadership, as well as other reports required or requested by the university, the EADR, the IROC, the OC, or core leadership.
  • Who provides financial support to the Institutional Research Service Cores?

    Financial support for centralized cores is provided by the Dean's Office, at the discretion of EADR, for the following:

    • Ongoing operations
      Operating deficits for centralized cores are subsidized by the Dean's Office. Core subsidies are budgeted annually and are reviewed on an ongoing basis.
    • Staffing changes or significant changes in operating expenses
      Funding for staffing changes or significant changes in operating expenses not fully covered by revenue increases will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
    • Equipment
      Funding requests for equipment purchases are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The Dean's Office will work with the core to identify funding opportunities for approved equipment purchases.
  • How do I become an Institutional Core? How do I renew my Institutional Core?

    Institutional research service cores (also known as school cores) are created upon the approval of the Executive Associate Dean for Research (EADR) and the IROC (Institutional Research Oversight Committee) to provide equipment or services on a fee-for-service basis to the IU School of Medicine research community. In such cases, the services provided to the faculty may be additionally subsidized by the EADR.

    flowchart showing core renewal

    *Category 2 refers to equipment purchases over $100,000.
    Any equipment purchases under $100,000 can should be emailed directly to Mark Mitchell for consideration of approval.

    Click on the image to enlarge.

  • What are the competencies required for becoming an institutional core?

    Cores must demonstrate how its services benefit users (Uniqueness/Cost effective/Quality Service) by providing a value proposition.

    • Core services must enable researchers to move their research program in new directions.
    • Core services must address the needs of IU School of Medicine researchers within 26 school departments (Both basic and clinical research).
    • Core must provide services to external partners (biotech companies or Non-CTSI institutions) within Indiana and beyond

    Core must also provide an explanation of its key resources/consulting capabilities such as:

    • Key technologies
    • Core space details
    • List of Core personnel
    • List of equipment
    • Key scientific and technical capabilities
    • Existing Revenue scheme (fee-for-service/training/consulting/internal grants/external grants)
    • Existing Instrumentation Grants (NIH Shared Instrumentation Grants (SIG)/NIH High-End Instrumentation (HEI)/NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)

    Core must provide its cost structure information:

    • Including any productivity improvements to enable the Core to receive additional subsidies and/or eligibility for an equipment grant

    Core must also share its qualitative feedback such as:

    • User customer survey information
    • IROC committee institutional evaluation
    • Core self-assessment (including analysis of Strength/Weakness/Threat/Opportunities)
    • Internal advisory team report
    • External advisory team report
    • Core’s ability to enable grants
    • Core’s capacity to promote peer-reviewed science
    • Ability of the Core to enable high impact publications
  • Who are the members of the IROC Committee?

    Chair and Senior Research Professor of Medicine – Alan Palkowitz, PhD
    Director IUSCC – Kelvin Lee, MD
    Associate Dean for Research Affairs – Carmel Egan, PhD
    Professor of Pediatric and IUSCC Assoc. Director for transl. Research – Mark Kelley, PhD
    Director, Center for Musculoskeletal Health – Lynda Bonewald, PhD
    Executive Director, Stark Neuroscience Research Institute – Bruce Lamb, PhD
    Interim Director, Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research – Reuben Kapur, PhD
    Chair, Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Michael Weiss, MD, PhD, MBA
    CTSI Access Technology Program Director – Jill Reiter, PhD
    President & CEO of Regenstrief Institute, Inc. – Peter Embi, MD, MS, FACP, FACMI, FAMIA
    Senior Director, Research Administration & Finance – Rob Dimmitt, MBA
    Director of Core Services – Padma Portonovo, PhD

  • Who are the members of the Operations Committee?

    Chair, Senior Research Professor of Medicine – Alan Palkowitz, PhD
    Associate Dean for Research Affairs – Carmel Egan, PhD
    CTSI Access Technology Program Director – Jill Reiter, PhD
    IU School of Medicine School Core Directors (currently seven school cores)
    Space Planning & Utilization IU School of Medicine – Rick Patrick, MBA
    Finance Assistant Director of Centralized Cores – Mark Mitchell, MP
    Director of Clinical Research Informatics – Umberto Tachinardi, MD, MS, FACMI
    Director of Core Services – Padma Portonovo, PhD

  • Who are the members of the Research Administration and Finance (RAFT) team?

    flowchart showing committee members

    Click on the image to enlarge.

  • What is the organizational construct for advising and reporting of the Institutional Research Service Cores?

    flowchart of reporting process

    Click on the image to enlarge.