Super Cores???

thomas.delohery@VERIZON.NET thomas.delohery at VERIZON.NET
Thu Jun 24 23:49:34 EST 2004

It sounds like the NIH is adopting requirements established long ago by 
the NCI for funding core facilities in 
 Cancer Centers. 
Core grant funding to Comprehensive Cancer Centers is intended for 
support of peer-reviewed grants. Too much money was (is) being spent on 
expensive instrumentation that was rarely used to capacity and can sit 
idle for extended periods of time. Reasons for low utilization are 
varied but staffing with competent personnel is certainly a major 
factor. Establishing core facilities can provide investigators access to 
technology without the added cost of purchasing expensive equipment and 
staffing with expert personnel. Access to core facilities is frequently 
criteria for awarding grants.

At least thats how its supposed to work, but like anything else, 
people take unfair advantage of a good idea. Some individuals apply for 

core facility
 status to support their own research. The folks at NCI 
consider it double dipping if the vast majority of the work done by a 

 facility is for one or two investigators or a single department. 
One of the main pieces of information requested by members of any NCI 
site-visit team I have been involved with was the amount of work done in 
support of peer-reviewed grants and the proportion of work done for 
individual investigators. My experience indicates the prevalence of 
double dipping is widespread and unabashed. I assume this is due to the 
inability of the NCI to thoroughly investigate the numbers being 
presented for grant renewal.

Unless the NIH is considering different criteria, the primary function 
of core facilities is to support peer-reviewed grants across a large 
segment of the research community. That is not to say a core facility 
cannot be involved with work that is not peer-reviewed, but the majority 
of the work should be. I assume they will also have something in place 
to check for double dipping.

It is good to hear the NIH is considering funding core facilities. They 
can be an efficient use of scarce research funding. Being employed in a 
Comprehensive Cancer Center brought me grief from several friends given 
the preferential funding enjoyed by these institutions. Perhaps this 
will level the playing field a bit.

my 2-cents, writing from home....


ckuszyns at wrote:

>At the recent ISAC meeting there was some discussion regarding NIH
>requirements to form "Super Cores" to	support NIH based research on
>individual campuses.  Which in effect means that campus cores or shared
>resources would need to be administered as a whole with all disciplines
>under the same management.
>Anyone have any more info or experience with this???
>Charles A. Kuszynski, Ph.D.
>Assistant Professor/Director
>Cell Analysis Facility
>University of Nebraska Medical Center
>985816 Nebraska Medical Center
>Omaha, NE 68198-5816
>402 559-6299 office
>402 559-6267 lab
>402 559-4077 fax
>ckuszyns at
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