D
Committee’s Interim Report

The committee’s interim report of March 24, 2004, follows. Appendixes A through E of the interim report are reproduced after the letter.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research D Committee’s Interim Report The committee’s interim report of March 24, 2004, follows. Appendixes A through E of the interim report are reproduced after the letter.

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine March 24, 2004 Dr. Hugh Van Horn Program Director Division of Materials Research National Science Foundation 4201 Wilson Boulevard Arlington, VA 22201 and Dr. Patricia Dehmer Associate Director Office of Basic Energy Sciences SC-10/Germantown Building U.S. Department of Energy 1000 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20585-1290 Dear Dr. Van Horn and Dr. Dehmer: I write to you as chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Smaller Facilities (COSF) to report on the progress of the committee’s deliberations to date. Established by the National Research Council (NRC) with financial support from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, COSF is reviewing the current state of small and mid-sized multiuser facilities for materials research in the United States. Its task is to recommend methods for optimizing the operation and use of existing resources and to consider strategies and actions needed to ensure such facilities’ efficient and successful future operation. Information on COSF’s charge and its activities to date is appended to this report and elaborated on as needed in the text. This interim report identifies the key topics that the committee will explore in greater detail to develop the findings and recommendations for its final report, to be released in the second half of 2004. Although they play a major, recognized role in materials research in this country, small and mid-sized multiuser facilities for materials research (referred to here simply as smaller facilities) are widely regarded as not being optimally developed or utilized. The 1999 NRC report Condensed Matter and Materials Physics: Basic Research for Tomorrow’s Technology found that a greater burden now falls on small research centers in universities and government laboratories and that it is appropriate to strengthen this part of the nation’s research infrastructure. Smaller facilities appear to face many issues in common, yet a study has never focused specifically on them. There was thus a recognized need to collect data on and study these facilities to help in determining effective ways to use existing resources more efficiently. The primary concerns driving this study are the scientific opportunities in a wide cross section of disciplines that might be missed because of these issues and perceived problems. Furthermore, the developments in instrumentation that take place in smaller facilities underpin critical tools for industry; these facilities also have an important role in the education of future industrial scientists and engineers. The charge given to the committee, developed by the Solid State Sciences Committee of the NRC’s Board on Physics and Astronomy in coordination with the sponsors, is given in Appendix A. To be most effective, the study is aimed for an audience that includes both federal program agencies and the wider materials research community.

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research As a consequence of the widely varied nature of smaller facilities for materials research in the United States, COSF has a broad membership composed of expert individuals with university, national laboratory, and industrial backgrounds. COSF includes facility users, facility managers and directors, and a wide range of materials and non-materials experts. The members of the committee and their affiliations are listed in Appendix B. Committee Activities The full committee first met in May 2003 and then in October 2003. At the first meeting, presentations were made by senior personnel with experience in operating user facilities in both university and government laboratory settings. The committee also heard from various agencies currently providing extensive support for instrument acquisition and facility operation. The major outcomes of this meeting were the committee’s formulation of a preliminary definition of smaller facilities, its establishment of the study’s general areas of investigation, and the articulation of a plan for carrying out a series of facility site visits over the summer of 2003. During summer 2003, subgroups of the committee, generally consisting of two to three committee members plus an NRC staff officer, visited various user facilities around the country. The purpose of these visits was primarily to gather some firsthand experience relating to planning, operation, and maintenance of typical smaller facilities; another important function of the visits was to hear directly from users and to learn about the commonalities across and differences between smaller facilities and other types of facilities. To minimize the time commitment involved, and to ensure maximum effectiveness, it was decided to target geographical areas that had clusters of similar facilities. However, the number of sites to be visited was limited by schedule and resources such that it was not possible to cover the full breadth of the United States. Sensitive to the need to obtain information about the resources, needs, and perspectives of other geographical areas, the committee agreed to invite additional testimony at future meetings and to develop a suitable questionnaire for distribution to a broad range of smaller facilities’ managers and users. The committee’s five separate site visit trips concentrated on the approximate geographical areas of Boston, upstate New York, Illinois, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Pacific Northwest. A total of 47 facilities were visited (see Appendix C). To ensure that broadly similar information was obtained from each facility, a site visit checklist (Appendix D) was used as a guideline to facilitate discussion during the site visits. The full committee convened again in October 2003 to share the experiences and impressions gained by its various subgroups. Several presentations were made relating to the operation and organization of smaller facilities and the need for staff training. Extensive discussions followed relating to the development of a vision for the committee’s study, a working definition of a smaller facility, the characteristics of successful facilities and their best practices, current and future issues relating to facility operation, and future committee activities. The committee also developed facility manager and user questionnaires (Appendix E) designed to gather general information to better inform the committee about the breadth of its purview; the questionnaires were not designed to be statistical data-gathering instruments. In order to obtain a standard set of data, these questionnaires were also circulated to the smaller facilities that committee members had visited over the summer. The Importance of Smaller Facilities In the modern era, scientific advances require access to sophisticated facilities and instrumentation, and the role of such facilities in materials synthesis, fabrication, characterization, and measurement is steadily increasing. In fact, these facilities are essential to the scientific infrastructure of the United States. There are significant opportunities for accelerating scientific advances in materials and nanotechnology research by invigorating such facilities and allocating their resources to best effect. Accordingly, COSF re-emphasizes the importance of smaller facilities.

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research In its final report the committee will address a number of the important roles that smaller facilities play in materials research, several of which represent significant opportunities for smaller facilities for the future. It is widely recognized that user facilities can and should play a major educational role, especially when located at universities, since they are able to help link researchers across campuses, institutions, and even regions. Teaming between institutions—large and small—could be encouraged by providing additional incentives and benefits. Similarly, stronger links between universities and national laboratories (including cross-agency links, which would combine strengths of NSF and DOE) could be enhanced. A strategy for reinvigoration of instrumentation development within the United States could incorporate a significant role for smaller facilities. Moreover, given the growing recognition that many innovations will occur at the intersection of the sciences (physical, chemical, biological, and medical), cross-fertilization of ideas across the traditional disciplines will become an ever more important function of smaller facilities. Finally, user facilities could serve to initiate and enable research experiences above and beyond K-12 education levels, to include community colleges and smaller schools. Vision for the Study A need for regional facilities is now being more widely acknowledged, but the locations of such facilities have to be carefully considered, taking into account areas of high concentration of science and industry as well as clearly identified user communities (perhaps as a result of self-initiated proposals). Conversely, there are educational and inspirational benefits to locating some facilities at smaller schools that have not traditionally had access to such resources. To provide capabilities that satisfy local, regional, and national needs in advanced materials research, a strategic plan for the development and operation of smaller user facilities is required that also recognizes the escalating costs of instrumentation. The committee will address such a strategic plan in its final report. Identifying the instruments in existence and on the horizon that fall in the price range of a smaller facility is an essential aspect of the committee's study. In addition, the likely demand and future outlook for novel instrumentation have to be assessed. This information should become more apparent once responses to the facility surveys have been collected. By identifying the essential ingredients of successful facilities, the committee can recommend approaches that will lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness within the U.S. materials research enterprise, consistent with the limitations of finite resources. Likewise, learning about and clarifying the challenges that smaller facilities face are essential steps toward developing approaches that can be mapped and implemented—at the national level as appropriate—to tackle their problems. Working Definition of a Smaller Facility For the purposes of this study, the committee proposes the following working definition of a smaller facility in materials research: A smaller facility is a facility that owns and operates one or more pieces of equipment at an institution and is characterized by the following criteria: Facilitates scientific and/or technological research for multiple users; Has a resident staff to assist, train, and/or serve users; Provides services on local, regional, or national scales; Is open to all qualified users subject to generally agreed-upon rules of access; and Has a replacement capitalization cost of between approximately $1 million and $50 million and an annual operating budget (including staff salaries, overhead, supplies, routine maintenance and upgrades, and so on) in the range from about $100,000 up to $20 million (2004 dollars).

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research This definition is a preliminary guideline: the committee recognizes that not all smaller facilities will meet all elements of this definition. Indeed, a number of the facilities it visited over the summer of 2003 would not qualify as smaller facilities for materials research, and yet they provided valuable and relevant information. The basis for this definition and the taxonomy of smaller facilities will be further elaborated in the committee’s final report. The committee believes that smaller facilities also distinguish themselves in other ways. A smaller facility often meets one or more of the following additional criteria: Provides a unique or special service that is not generally available at an individual investigator’s laboratory; Fulfills a particular scientific niche/role in the research enterprise; Has a clear mission that addresses a well-defined or emerging need for a well-defined community; Plays a leading role in education, workforce training, and workforce development; Facilitates instrument/technology development and/or training; Promotes synergy and communication among its users and with others; Fosters cross-disciplinary and cross-sector interactions, including scientific, medical, and engineering endeavors; and Represents a means for coordinating scientific endeavors among other facilities or institutions with complementary capabilities. As a result of its continuing study, the committee may modify its definition to reflect other considerations yet to be identified. Characteristics of Successful Smaller Facilities Based on evidence gathered in their site visits and on the committee members’ own experiences, it became clear that successful smaller facilities share a number of characteristics. Many of the following characteristics were observed to be key ingredients in the more successful facilities. Successful user facilities generally contained equipment that facilitates both routine and state-of-the-art research, and they incorporated a mix of permanent scientific and technical staff. In some cases, operation of the facility also advanced the technology (instrumentation and/or techniques and/or applications). Open and reasonable access to the user community was commonly provided; successful facilities also focused on sending users back to their home institutions with high-quality, useful data. Critical self-assessment was common, and a mechanism to take account of feedback from users was important. Successful operation was enabled by stable, long-term funding source(s), with local institutional support, and it was often enhanced by having an enthusiastic and broad user base, as well as effective and energetic management. Challenges Facing Smaller Facilities The committee has identified a number of issues that can have a significant impact on both the establishment and the operation of a smaller user facility. These issues affect not only the ability of a smaller facility to operate optimally but also such facilities’ ability to work in concert. These challenges are summarized briefly here and will be discussed at greater length in the committee’s final report as the subject of specific recommendations. Two competing trends are apparent in the materials research enterprise. The capabilities of new instrumentation are advancing at a remarkable rate and they enable—and indeed are essential to—significant advances in materials research and development. Both the capital costs and the cost of support and maintenance for these instruments are escalating to the point that individual institutions experience

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research severe difficulty in providing equipment to their user base. It is challenging for smaller facilities to be responsive to both of these trends. Funding sources for existing facilities are highly diverse, ranging from local to regional to national agencies, as well as the private sector. Cost-sharing for the acquisition of expensive instrumentation is usually a standard requirement, but the amount required seems highly variable. Meeting the imposed cost-sharing obligation often represents a major obstacle for smaller institutions. It is difficult, in light of this variability, to specify the most desirable models or to recommend the best funding practices. However, by providing suitable incentives, it may be possible to encourage institutions to team together as partners, and this action might go a long way toward overcoming what are widely perceived to be serious funding gaps and the loss or denial of opportunities to participate in ground-breaking materials research. Staffing at both technical and scientific levels is a basic requirement for successful facility operation over the long term, but the sources of staff funding are diverse and variable. Staff support often depends to a large extent on the financial commitment of the home institution to the facility and on the size of the local user base. Stable and long-term support for staff, allowing a viable and worthwhile career path, is essential. Operation and management practices can have a major impact on whether a facility’s users accumulate meaningful and reliable data. Mechanisms for ensuring convenient access to user facility resources for internal, and especially external, user communities are a major concern. If properly taken into account, user feedback can contribute to maximizing a facility’s usefulness, and possibly also assist in extending its lifetime. Facility self-assessment is perceived as a necessity, but some additional mechanism for providing oversight on behalf of the user community also has to be developed. The overall health of the smaller-facility enterprise within the United States could benefit from a well-established set of policies at the national level regarding management, funding, and goals. There are no clear-cut answers to the need for further instrumentation development itself within the realm of operations of a user facility. Conversely, novel types of applications are invariably developed, and these should be transmitted in a timely fashion to other facility users. Teaming between scientific institutions and industrial partners is likely to become increasingly mutually beneficial and complex. The nature and extent of partnerships with industry may depend both on the services being rendered and on the scale of the industrial partner. Materials synthesis and/or preparation of samples can be a serious obstacle to research, especially for users obliged to travel elsewhere to utilize smaller facilities. In some cases, making these capabilities available onsite at the user facility location could be helpful. Thus, the most successful institutions or team centers for materials research may need to encompass modern facilities for fabrication, synthesis, characterization, and materials property testing. Smaller facilities often serve a variety of competing purposes. The balance between instrumentation development and routine operation, both nationally and in individual facilities, is one example. Likewise, the balance between training students (where equipment breakage is an inevitable part of the learning process) and maintaining a state-of-the-art facility, where only staff and highly trained users are allowed access (to protect the fragile equipment), is another. The balance between these somewhat conflicting goals can affect both the management of and the ability to obtain funding for a facility. A final challenge relates to the perceptions of proposal reviewers, review panels, and the funding agencies when considering requests for instrumentation acquisition. Proposals for "workhorse" instruments for routine characterization are not as well received as those requesting "racehorse" types, yet both types are equally important for the national infrastructure in materials research. Future Plans In addition to dissemination of this interim report in the spring of 2004, the committee will be conducting a series of town-hall meetings, coinciding with annual meetings of the major related scientific societies (e.g., the March American Physical Society Meeting and the Spring Materials Research Society

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research Meeting). The purpose of these open meetings will be to provide opportunities for discussion of this report and to gather feedback from the community. The facility manager and facility user questionnaires will be distributed at both town meetings to solicit responses from the broader community; additionally, the questionnaires are being distributed by committee members to their colleagues and by NRC staff to the targeted sets of smaller facilities such as the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers and the DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers. The committee recognizes the need to engage both facility managers and users as well as potential users of future smaller facilities. The committee will then reconvene as a whole late this spring to prepare the draft of its final report. I trust that this letter provides you with a sense of where the COSF deliberations are going and look forward to transmitting a full report to you in the second half of 2004. Sincerely yours, /s/Robert Sinclair, Chair Committee on Smaller Facilities

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research APPENDIX A Charge to the Committee The proposed study will review the state of small and mid-sized multi-user facilities within the materials research complex in the United States and will consider methods for optimizing the use of existing resources, including the consideration of structural strategies and actions to provide services more efficiently through the implementation of revenue-neutral solutions. These facilities are recognized as a key feature of materials research, yet there is concern that they are not being optimally developed or utilized and that new opportunities for scientific development are not being properly pursued. Although the study will confine its recommendations to university and national laboratory facilities, it will also examine the operations of materials facilities in the commercial sector and in the international arena. Specifically, the study’s task will incorporate the following elements: Providing a definition of small and mid-sized multi-user facilities and their role in the materials research complex. Collecting data on the usage, costs and structure of smaller facilities and compiling an inventory of small equipment clusters. Examining the current models of facility operation and assessing their cost/effectiveness, considering the appropriate metrics for facility success, and assessing criteria for minimal size. Exploring alternate methods of instrumentation utilization such as: Increasing user groups at small facilities to 10-20 independent investigators. Establishing regional centers by identifying equipment appropriate for consolidation into multi-user shared facilities. Examining opportunities for instrumentation research in the context of facilities, including the impact of these on science and industry and the determination of the optimal location of instrumentation development activities. Assessing the educational role played by small facilities. Exploring the need for long-range support models for these facilities. Assessing the effect, if any, of the policies and structure of the federal research agencies that support smaller facilities. Analyzing the issues from an international perspective.

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research APPENDIX B Committee Roster Robert Sinclair, Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Stanford University Peterson Building, Room 550L Stanford, CA 94305 Ani Aprahamian Professor of Physics University of Notre Dame Nieuwland Science Hall 183 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 46556-5670 Arthur I. Bienenstock Professor of Applied Physics and of Materials Science and Engineering, Vice Provost and Dean of Research and Graduate Policy Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-2061 John P. Bradley Director, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 7000 East Avenue L-413 Livermore, CA 94550 David R. Clarke Professor of Materials University of California at Santa Barbara Materials Department College of Engineering Santa Barbara, CA 93106 Walter P. Lowe Professor of Physics Howard University 2355 Sixth Street, NW Washington, DC 20059 Frances M. Ross Manager, Nanoscale Materials Analysis Department IBM T.J. Watson Research Labs PO Box 218 Room 29-003, 1101 Kitchawan Road Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 David J. Smith Regents’ Professor of Physics and Astronomy Director, Center for Solid State Science Arizona State University Center for Solid State Science Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85287-1704 John M. Soures Manager, National Laser Users’ Facility University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics 250 E. River Road Rochester, NY 14623 Leonard Spicer University Distinguished Service Professor of Biochemistry and Radiology Duke University Department of Biochemistry Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC 27710

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research James W. Davenport Senior Physicist and Associate Director, Center for Data Intensive Computing Brookhaven National Laboratory Building 463B Upton, NY 11973-5000 Francis J. DiSalvo John A. Newman Professor of Physical Science and Director, Cornell Center for Materials Research Cornell University Department of Chemistry Baker Laboratory Ithaca, NY 14853 Charles A. Evans, Jr. President Full Wafer Analysis, Inc. 2326 Walsh Avenue Santa Clara, CA 95051 Don M. Tennant Distinguished Scientist New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium and Lucent Technologies 600-700 Mountain Avenue Room 4-209B Murray Hill, NJ 07974 NRC Staff Board on Physics and Astronomy National Research Council Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 Tel: 202-334-3520 Donald C. Shapero Director, Board on Physics and Astronomy Timothy I. Meyer Program Officer, Board on Physics and Astronomy E-mail: tmeyer@nas.edu

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research APPENDIX C Site Visit Itineraries San Francisco Bay Area Team: C. Evans,* J. Bradley, F. DiSalvo, R. Sinclair, T.I. Meyer Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Lick Observatory at Mt. Hamilton National Center for Electron Microscopy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Surface Analysis Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of California at Berkeley Integrated Materials Laboratory and Microlab, University of California at Berkeley Stanford Nanofabrication Facility, Stanford University Stanford Nanocharacterization Laboratory, Stanford University Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center Accurel Systems, Sunnyvale, California Charles Evans and Associaties, Sunnyvale, California Upstate New York Team: J. Davenport,* L. Spicer, D. Smith, T.I. Meyer Nanobiotechnology Center, Cornell University Cornell Center for Materials Research, Cornell University Center for Nanoscale Systems, Cornell University Facilities Committee of Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Cornell University Advanced ESR Technology Center, Cornell University Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology Facility, Cornell University Office of the Associate Dean for Research, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Terahertz Science and Technology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Illinois Team: W. Lowe,* J. Bradley, R. Sinclair, T.I. Meyer Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, Northwestern University Jerome B. Cohen X-Ray Diffraction Facility, Northwestern University Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Center, Northwestern University Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, Argonne National Laboratory Electron Microscopy Center and Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory New Brunswick Laboratory, Department of Energy Chicago Operations Office (located on the site of Argonne National Laboratory) Office of the Associate Director, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory Office of the Director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Center for Microanalysis of Materials (at the MRL), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Molecular Beam Epitaxy Center (at the MRL), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Microfabrication and Crystal Growth (at the MRL), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Micro and Nanotechnology Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research Facilities Committee of the Materials Consortium and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Purdue University Campus-wide Mass Spectrometry Center, Purdue University Boston Team: D. Tennant,* F. Ross, J. Soures, D. Shapero Center for Materials Science and Engineering, MIT Materials Processing Center, MIT Microphotonics Center, MIT NASA Center for Advanced Microgravity Materials Processing, Northeastern University Electronic Materials Research Institute, Northeastern University Center for Imaging and Mesoscale Structures, Harvard University Office of the Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University Office of the Director of the Rowland Institute for Science, Harvard University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, Harvard University Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, Harvard University Pacific Northwest Team: D. Clarke,* A. Aprahamian, T.I. Meyer Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Applied Process Engineering Laboratory, Richland, Washington UW Engineered Biomaterials Center, University of Washington at Seattle Center for Nanotechnology, University of Washington at Seattle Washington Technology Center, Microfabrication Laboratory National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems, University of Washington at Seattle NOTE: Asterisk (*) denotes site visit team leader.

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research APPENDIX D Site Visit Checklist Purpose, philosophy, brief history and anticipated future of facility Major equipment inventory (with cost, replacement cost, age, funding source etc.) Total budget and charging rates Funding sources (host institution, government, industry, other) Staff: permanent/non-permanent (faculty, professional, technical, student/intern) Annual number of uses per instrument Annual number of users per instrument (host, local, distant, international) Status of equipment (adequate, up-to-date?) For state-of-the-art facility, what additional equipment is needed? Is support personnel/funding adequate? Most successful aspects of facility (up to five) Ways to improve facility, presently non-optimal (up to five) Complementary facilities (host, local, distant, international) Educational role versus research role How does facility meet host, local, distant, international needs? How does facility fit into national/international perspective? Recommendations to the committee (up to five)

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research APPENDIX E Facility Manager and User Questionnaires The following two questionnaires (and accompanying cover letter) have been prepared by the committee to gather information about the spectrum of smaller facilities within the United States and to solicit input from the broader community. The first questionnaire is aimed at facility managers and the second is aimed at users (and potential users) of smaller facilities. The questionnaires will be made available at the town meetings held in the spring; the American Physical Society meeting in March 2004 will draw persons from material, condensed matter, and chemical physics and the Materials Research Society meeting in April 2004 will include persons from materials science and engineering. To help broaden the distribution and questionnaire response rate, the questionnaires have also been sent to specific facilities such as the NSF Materials Research and Engineering Centers and the DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers. Because of the usual sensitivity of survey results on population subsample response rates, the committee does not plan to make any sweeping generalizations based upon the information returned. The dissemination of these questionnaires has only begun; plans for broader distribution will continue to evolve.

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research Dear Colleague, The Committee on Smaller Facilities (COSF) was established by the National Research Council (NRC) with the support of both the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy to make recommendations about the challenges and opportunities that small and medium-sized multi-user facilities face in materials research. A questionnaire is attached for your response that is designed to gather data on existing smaller facilities. The data will only be used in aggregate or in ways that do not reveal the identity of the responding institutions or individuals. We only ask for identification in case the committee wishes to follow up for clarification. Please send your responses to the NRC via E-mail: smallerfac@nas.edu Fax: 202-334-3575 Mail: Committee on Smaller Facilities Board on Physics and Astronomy Keck 922W 500 5th St., NW Washington, DC 20001 Finally, if you are aware of colleagues who would be interested in accessing this request for input, please have them contact the NRC at smallerfac@nas.edu or direct them to the committee’s website, located at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bpa/projects_COSF_committee.html. We would appreciate receiving your responses in about two weeks. Thank you for your assistance in this endeavor. We recognize the demands on your time and appreciate the information you and your staff are able to provide. Sincerely, Robert Sinclair, Chair Committee on Smaller Facilities

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research Small and Mid-sized Multi-user Facility Manager Survey To the best of your knowledge, please answer the following questions for the small to mid-sized multi-user facility under your leadership. In the case of multiple facilities within your center or department, we ask you either to answer the questions in sum for all such facilities or to fill out a separate questionnaire for each facility. APPROXIMATE ANSWERS ARE ALL THAT ARE NEEDED. 1. Identity The identities of responding institutions and individuals will be held confidential to COSF and will only be used to follow up for clarification if necessary. Name of the facility: __________________________________________________________ Host institution: ______________________________________________________________ Facility website (if available): ___________________________________________________ Primary mission: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ What distinguishes the facility? __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 2. Budget and funding Annual operations budget (including staff salaries, overhead, supplies, maintenance, etc.) for the facility: ___________________________________________________________________ Percentage of this funding derived from each of the following sources: Federal grant: _____________________% Institutional sources: _______________% User fees: ________________________% State funding: ____________________% Gifts: ________________________________________________________________% Other (indicate source): ________________________________________________________ Percentage of budget expenditures on: Staff: _______________% Maintenance & supplies: ___________% Equipment replacement, upgrades, and acquisitions: __________________________% Is there an arrangement with the host institution to cover a portion of staff salaries? _________ If so, please describe. __________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ 3. Staff and management Number of full-time equivalent staff employed in the facility: __________________________ Number of those staff conducting original research in the facility: _______________________ If there are multiple facilities, is there a manager who oversees all of their operations? _______ If yes, what percentage of a full time position is devoted to such management: _____________ 4. Users and usage Type(s) of work at the facility (please check all that apply): Fabrication: _____ Characterization: _______________ Measurement: ___ Synthesis and/or crystal growth: ___ Other (please describe):________________________________________________________

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research What is the breakdown of scientific disciplines of users (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) and in what percentages? Discipline 1: ______________________________________________________________ Discipline 2: ______________________________________________________________ Discipline 3: ______________________________________________________________ Is the facility oversubscribed or undersubscribed? Oversubscribed: ________ By what amount? ______ % or Undersubscribed: _____ By what amount? _______% Number of distinct users served annually: ______________________ Percentage of users who are: Graduate students and post-docs: ___________% Government lab staff researchers: ___________% Undergraduates: _________________________% Commercial/industrial researchers:__________% Percentage of users who are: From within the host institution: ____________________________% Local, but outside host institution: __________________________% Regional (within a day’s travel by car): ______________________% National/international (overnight stay required): _______________% Percentage of facility usage for each of the following: User research (including user training and support): __________% Service research (conducted by technical staff): _____________% Instrument technology and applications development: ________% Other (please describe): ________________________________% Are there facilities with similar capabilities at the host institution? _______________________ What formal coordination exists among facilities at the host institution to develop complementary capabilities? _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ If the facility has a formal users’ group, please provide contact information: _______________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 5. Equipment and capital investment Replacement capitalization cost (at today’s prices) for all instruments in the facility: ________ Average annual investment in capital equipment (from all sources of funding): ____________ What is your most heavily used instrument? ________________________________________ Most important acquisition planned in the next five years and its estimated cost: ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 6. Other comments (optional) Please provide any additional comments that might be relevant to the committee’s task. For instance, you may comment on future needs of your facility or any challenges experienced in operating your facility. We are also particularly interested in thoughts on how to improve the facilities system—increasing usage, effectiveness, impact, etc. Finally, feel free to elaborate on any of the answers provided above. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research Small and Mid-sized Multi-user Facility User Survey To the best of your knowledge, please answer the following questions for the small to mid-sized multi-user facilities that you use periodically. For the purposes of this questionnaire, assume that “smaller facility” refers to a small to mid-sized multi-user facility for materials research. APPROXIMATE AND SHORT ANSWERS ARE ALL THAT ARE NEEDED. 1. Types of Use Do you occasionally make use of instruments or services that are not located within your own laboratory? _____________(y/n) [If no, please skip to Section 5.] What types of services or facilities do you use? (please check all that apply) Fabrication: ______________ Characterization: ______________ Measurement: ____________ Synthesis/crystal growth: ________ Instrumentation development: ______________ Other (please describe): ________________________________________________ What percentage of your research (time) is conducted at smaller facilities? _______% For the smaller facilities you use most often, how many other users would you estimate also make use of them? ______________________ or Don’t know ______ What is your field of research? ____________________________________________ Please name one or more smaller facilities that you have used in the past 12 months. ____________________________________________________________________ 2. Purpose of Use In a few words, please describe further why you make use of smaller facilities. ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ In your experience, have smaller facilities enhanced or extended your research; if so, how? _________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 3. Ease of Access In general, how far away are the smaller facilities that you use? Please give an estimate of the percentage time that you spend at facilities located at the different distances. On campus/site: ________________% Within 30 min travel (any means): ________________% Regional (day’s car travel): ________________% National (overnight stay required): ________________% On average, how far in advance do you need to make arrangements for time at the smaller facility? ______________________ hours/days/weeks/months Do you find this lead time acceptable? ____________________ (y/n) For your most frequent uses of smaller facilities, what is the maximum lead time that you would find acceptable? _________________hours/days/weeks/months

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research If ideal facilities became available, considering travel, and setup time, how far would you be willing to travel to use them? (in miles or hours) ____________________________ If ideal facilities became available, considering the travel expense and user fees, what level of cost would be prohibitive for you to consider their use? (either in terms of total cost, cost per hour, or other measure relevant to you) ____________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ To generalize, what is the number one criterion for determining which facility you will use? ___________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 4. Quality of Service In general, what percentage of your time using the smaller facility are you operating the instruments yourself, relatively unattended? If you or your students have been trained on equipment at smaller facilities, are you satisfied with the degree of training that was provided? _______________ (y/n) In general, when registering to use a smaller facility, do you speak with a facility manager or technical staff person? _______________________________________ When you have questions or concerns about the equipment and facilities, to whom do you go for answers? Facility director: _________ Technical staff person: __________ Colleague: ______________ Another user: __________________ 5. Facility Outreach Would you say that you are well aware of the smaller facilities at other institutions (local, regionally, and nationally) that could assist you in your research and/or training needs? _________(y/n) If so, how did you learn about those facilities? ________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ What kinds of resources could help you identify such facilities? ___________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ If you have prepared proposals for research funding, have you included requests for access to and use of specific smaller facilities (on site, nearby, in your region, or nationally) in the grant proposal? _____ (y/n) Likewise, when preparing budget estimates for a research proposal, to what extent do you include estimates for user fees to take advantage of specific smaller facilities? ________ (y/n) Please comment further. __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ Finally, what level of financial support per year would be necessary to fully enable your research by providing sufficient access to smaller facilities? _$________________ In general, are you satisfied with your experiences using smaller facilities? _______ (y/n) In general, have you recommended your colleagues to any smaller facilities? _____ (y/n) Have you ever considered commercial alternatives to smaller facilities? _________(y/n) Why or why not (too expensive, too slow, too far, etc.)? _________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Have you considered remote operation of and access to smaller facilities to reduce the travel required? _____________ (y/n) Why or why not? ________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

OCR for page 157
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research 6. Comments Have you considered developing a smaller facility at your own institution to meet your research needs? Why or why not? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Please list one conclusion or recommendation that you think the committee should consider in its deliberations. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ At your “favorite” smaller facility of choice, what is one aspect that you would most like to see improved? (piece of equipment, access time, support, materials, etc.) ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ If you have anything else you would like to explain or comment on, please do!