Deputy Director & Vice President for Research

Service Center: Procedure to Establish

Service/cost centers are established around a particular facility or service for the benefit of the research community. Requests to establish such facilities will be considered only for core or specialized capabilities that lend themselves to shared usage and which are impractical for individual or small groups of investigators to maintain. Service centers will be open to all investigators for general research access.

Formation of a service center requires a certain level of institution commitment. Consideration must therefore be given to strategic goals and sustainability.

Any service center at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution must ultimately be self-supporting. No single funding model will encompass all types of service centers.The individual proposing the service center has primary responsibility for determining how best to obtain the resources necessary to initiate and sustain its operation.

The number and variety of designated service centers will be dependent upon their individual success. It must be understood by all parties that the need for services and capabilities offered may be transient or become impractical to sustain. In such cases, steps to disassemble the service center will be taken. 


Requestsshould first be discussed at the department level. If the decision is made to proceed, a formal request should be submitted which describes:

  1. Equipment, capabilities and/or resource to be offered (idea)
  2. Justification of need (clients/user base)
  3. Organizational/management plan including technical support, accessibility, and user (graduate student, postdoc, researcher) training
    • Plan to provide efficient, cost-effective and timely access to capabilities
  4. Financial Plan (must ultimately be self-supporting). Include:
    • Initial costs of equipment and/or resource.
    • Alterations/renovations that may be required
    • Operating costs
      • Fixed costs such as insurance, space, depreciation
      • Materials and supplies, personnel costs
    • Plan for contingencies such as:
      • Maintenance and repairs
      • Proof of concept/testing of new methodologies
    • Off-setting matching and/or revenue sources that will be devoted toward the equipment/resource.
All requests will be reviewed by the Deupty Director & Vice President for Research and/or Staff Council and by the Controller’s Office for viability.

Last updated: October 11, 2016