Author Topic: EMPA lab: pricing structure  (Read 4718 times)

Julien

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EMPA lab: pricing structure
« on: January 31, 2014, 07:53:07 am »
Dear microprobe managers,

Recently we faced an issue with the administration here at CU Boulder regarding fees charged to external researchers. While the university wants to charge F&A (overhead) on industry and private sector users (>50% of the price, but half of it coming back to the lab or the department), they are attempting to do the same for external researchers. With my other colleagues managing other labs at CU, we are against this idea, as this would be counter-productive: several external users might simply seek a cheaper lab, which ultimately would result in less $$ in the administration's pocket. Moreover, applying overhead on external users would basically be charging twice NSF (or other funding organization) as the external researcher are already paying overhead on their grants.

For external academic (not industry) users outside your university, does your institution require that you apply standard F&A (overhead) rates? In other words, the same overhead rates that you are required to include in NSF proposals?

In addition to this, George B. Morgan VI from the University of Oklahoma run a survey in 2001 about pricing structures in different EMP labs in the US (university-hosted and industry). Since this report is over 10 years old, I was wondering if you would like to communicate me your pricing structure. I will then compile these in a PDF (and of course each individual labs would then remain anonymous). For this survey, you might want to include:
- Hourly rate applied to internal researchers
- Hourly rate applied to external researchers (if different than above)
- Hourly rate applied to industry / private sector
- Any other special rate (e.g. overnight, special R&D pricing)
- Manager salary (assuming 1 FTE) and percent paid by the university/institution.
- Microprobe model and number of spectrometers

Any data you might provide me will of course strictly be confidential...

Many thanks in advance for your time!

Julien
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 11:15:15 am by John Donovan »

Probeman

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Re: EMPA lab: pricing structure
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 10:57:19 am »
I hope this doesn't come as a shock to anyone, but in the US, a tax supported institution cannot charge less for a service or product than a comparable service or product offered in the private sector. And you may get sued if you charge less!

I was at Berkeley years ago when a former student from there, now running a TEM asbestos ID company, got a faculty member in trouble for only charging the former student the academic rate, after a competitor found out. The university shut down all commercial work for years after that.

That means that although our "academic" rate for students and faculty is only $40 per hour, every year we do a market survey to decide our commercial rates. This year our research indicates an average commercial rate for EPMA and SEM/EDS to be around $300 per hour.

Here is our latest EPMA survey performed by my assistant:

M+P Labs
2210 Technology Drive, Schenectady, NY 12308
Contact:
Dacia DeTiberus
Phone Number/Web Address:
(518) 382-0082
Rate Quoted:
$265/hr

McSwiggen & Associates
2855 Anthony Lane South, Suite B1, St. Anthony, MN 55418-2883
Contact:
Peter McSwiggen
Phone Number/Web Address:
612-781-2282
Rate Quoted:
$200/hr

Geller MicroAnalytical Laboratory
426e Boston St. (Rt. 1), Topsfield, MA 01983-1216
Contact:
price list available online
Phone Number/Web Address:
http://www.gellermicro.com/price-41.pdf
Rate Quoted:
$325/hr

McCrone Associates, Inc.
850 Pasquinelli Drive, Westmont, IL  60559
Contact:
Kent Rhodes
Phone Number/Web Address:
630-887-7100
Rate Quoted:
$300/hr for time w/assistance & $200/hr for automated hours

Foothills Analytical Laboratory
3661 Mace Court,  San Jose, CA 95127
Contact:
price list available online
Phone Number/Web Address:
http://www.foothills-analytical.com/Price%20List.html
Rate Quoted:
$275-325/hr

Geller MicroAnalytical Laboratory
426e Boston St. (Rt. 1), Topsfield, MA 01983-1216
Contact:
price list available online
Phone Number/Web Address:
http://www.gellermicro.com/price-41.pdf
Rate Quoted:
$275/hr

S&N Labs
2021 E. Fourth Street, Suite 112, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Contact:
price list available online
Phone Number/Web Address:
http://www.snlabs.com/Fee-schedule.pdf
Rate Quoted:
$400/hr
 
 
Julie Chouinard
Research Assistant
CAMCOR MicroAnalytical Facility
1241 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
jbarkman@uoregon.edu
(541)-346-4580
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 03:51:43 pm by John Donovan »
The only stupid question is the one not asked!

Probeman

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Re: EMPA lab: pricing structure
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 04:32:37 pm »
Here is the NSF document that describes facility rates for commercial work:

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/manuals/gpm05_131/gpm5.jsp

Section 543, F.
Competition. Grantees shall not use equipment acquired with Federal funds to provide services to non-Federal outside organizations for a fee that is less than private companies charge for equivalent services, unless specifically authorized by statute, for as long as the Federal Government retains an interest in the equipment.
The only stupid question is the one not asked!