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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields 3 Management Models User facility management has evolved dramatically over the last three decades in parallel with the equally dramatic growth in use of the facilities. The facilities have been phenomenally successful in their impact on both science and society; so far, management of the facilities has been able to cope successfully with the increasing number of users, changes in scientific disciplines, and stringent budgets. While the current management model, the steward-partner model, has proved successful, modifications can be made to enable it to better accommodate changes in usage and budgetary limitations. In this chapter the successes and limitations of past and present management models are reviewed as a basis for formulating a cooperative stewardship model, which will be discussed in Chapter 4. BACKGROUND Single-Agency, Single-Mission Model Initially, such research facilities as particle accelerators and neutron reactors were built for a single purpose (e.g., high-energy or nuclear physics research), and they were managed by a single agency and operated by and for a single scientific community. An example of this model was the alternate gradient synchrotron at Brookhaven National Laboratory, which was funded by DOE and was used primarily for high-energy physics research. Mission and model were well matched in this case, as both the core facility and the user research programs
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields were funded from a common source. This resulted in relatively few management and funding problems. Early Evolution of the User Facility Model Each facility discussed in this report—synchrotron, neutron, and high magnetic field—was developed for a different purpose at a different time. Nevertheless, each has evolved into what is recognized today as the operating mode characterized as a user facility. Early synchrotron facilities had a parasitic dependence on electron accelerators. Many early neutron facilities were constructed with multiple purposes in mind (e.g., isotope preparation, as well as beam tubes for research), but facility access to outside users was limited. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, on yet a third evolutionary path, was created at the outset as a national user facility. An example of the evolution of synchrotron facilities is seen in the early days of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL). 1 Initially, in 1973, the NSF operated the SSRL for materials science and low-energy physics users. The SSRL had a parasitic dependence on the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center’s storage ring (SPEAR). SSRL was, in a real sense, a subfacility attached to the main accelerator facility, which was operated by the DOE’s High Energy Physics program. While much pioneering condensed-matter science was conducted at SSRL under this system, parasitic operation satisfied few users and discouraged many potential users of synchrotron radiation because of the limited availability of beam, the poor reliability of beam delivery, and the lack of user control over beam energy. These factors compromised the users’ ability to plan experiments and to do science. Nevertheless, the value of neutron and photon sources for multidisciplinary science demonstrated by these measurements led to a new generation of facilities that were dedicated to multidisciplinary use. These facilities were created either by changing the mode of operation of an existing facility, such as the 1983 transfer of SSRL from parasitic operation under DOE’s High Energy Physics program to dedicated operation under DOE ’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences, or by constructing new user facilities. The parasitic mode of operation is still in effect for the CHESS synchrotron at Cornell, which is dependent on the CESR high-energy physics synchrotron. Both are supported by the NSF, but the prime responsibility for the CESR storage ring resides with the NSF high-energy physics program, while the materials program is responsible for the CHESS subfacility. The operational mode for the Manuel Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) could at first glance appear to be parasitic as well. As discussed below, a closer examination of the multiple facilities and missions of LANSCE shows this to be incorrect. 1 Keith O. Hodgson, SSRL director, in a presentation to the committee on November 17, 1998.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields Dispersed Funding and Management Model As the facilities initially began to evolve into multidisciplinary user entities, responsibilities for funding and management were dispersed among various divisions of the funding agency, usually DOE. One of the earliest such facilities was the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Its impact on the science of materials, solid state physics, and chemistry has been enormous. Because of this impact and the recommendations in major studies, such as the Seitz-Eastman report (NRC, 1984), there has been an increase in multidisciplinary user research facilities in the United States and throughout the world. At HFBR the operating costs were split among the materials sciences, chemical sciences, nuclear physics, and biological sciences divisions of DOE. This funding method has proved unstable, because a division would reduce its contribution to the support of the core facility —the reactor—when budget constraints arose. This in turn required additional funding from the other divisions to finance facility fixed costs. Soon the other divisions could not afford such an increase, and a facility shutdown was threatened, although ultimately averted. This threat occurred even though everyone agreed that the research carried out was of high quality and in many cases impossible to do elsewhere. Furthermore, with dispersed funding it was not clear who had responsibility for upgrades, safety, and environmental concerns, and this lack of clear responsibility was often exacerbated by pressure by the funding sources on the contractors to operate the facilities at the lowest possible cost. Because of these real and potential instabilities, the early dispersed funding and management model of multidisciplinary facility operation was superseded by a single-source funding and management model—the stewardship model—with the assignment of responsibility for HFBR to a single division at DOE. Stewardship Models Simple Steward Model By the time new user facilities (i.e., synchrotron light sources, neutron sources, and a combustion research facility) were proposed in the 1970s, it was clear from the Brookhaven experience that dispersed facility management and funding was not satisfactory and that the stewardship model of funding and management was necessary. For DOE facilities, it was decided that a single office of the department would take primary responsibility for funding, development, and management of each multidisciplinary facility. This office was called the steward. This management model was also implemented by NSF and NIST.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields Steward-Partner Model In the steward-partner model, as in the simple steward model, the steward invests in constructing and operating the core facility and some of the beamlines. User research programs and the experimental stations are funded in various ways; some are funded by government agencies, some by industry, and some by the facility itself. The funding organizations are the partners. The proportion of partner-funded to steward-funded experimental stations depends largely on the type of facility. CURRENT STATUS OF U.S. FACILITIES OPERATIONS AND FUNDING For most of the U.S. facilities, an agency or a major program within an agency has acted as steward (see Table 3.1), taking responsibility for construction, siting, and most importantly, operation, maintenance, and upgrading of the facility. For many of the photon and neutron facilities, that funding agency is a program office of DOE. NSF funds and manages the Cornell and Wisconsin synchrotron radiation facilities and the NHMFL. The Department of Commerce funds and manages the NIST CNR. Research Station Support Two kinds of experimental stations are at synchrotron and neutron facilities: (1) participating research team (PRT) stations, known variously as collaborative access teams (CATs), instrument development teams (IDTs), or spectrometer development teams (SDTs) at different facilities and (2) facility-operated stations, called facility-operated beamlines (FOBs). The details for each facility are presented in Table 3.1. PRT/CATs are more prevalent at synchrotron facilities than at neutron facilities, but this may be changing. The issues of reallocation of beamlines and termination of PRTs are considered in Chapter 4. The steward-partner model of funding and management has predominated at the synchrotron facilities since the late 1970s, when the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) and DOE built the first dedicated storage ring facility for the condensed matter and materials science user community at NSLS (CHESS does not use this model.) The cost of the NSLS, high for laboratory-based condensed matter and materials science research, was driven by the high cost of the core of the facility and the diverse instrumentation needed to equip the dozens of beamlines. The funding of the core, the hardware, and the highly skilled scientists needed to develop this instrumentation was beyond the budget of the steward agency. The concept of PRTs was devised to help solve this problem. In this model, a beamline would be developed, funded, and supported by a team of users exter-
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields nal to both DOE and the facility. For example, industrial users formed PRTs among their own employees and collaborators to fund, design, construct, and support new beamlines. PRTs comprising universities, combinations of universities and industry, and researchers from other government agencies and other national laboratories were also formed. The PRTs brought significant instrumentation expertise to the development of the beamlines that they would subsequently use in their own research and were able to call on new sources of funds. In exchange for their investment in facility instrumentation, the PRTs were granted exclusive access to 75% of the time at their beam port. TABLE 3.1 Management Responsibilities at User Facilities Facility Steward Experimental Stationsa PRT/CAT/FOB Distribution Synchrotronb ALS DOE 39 20 PRTs APS DOE 22 sectors All CATs NSLS DOE 72 59 externally staffed PRTs, 13 NSLS-staffed PRTs SSRL DOE 33 4 PRTs SRC NSF 33 12 PRT ports CHESS NSF 9 All FOBs Neutron IPNS DOE 14 1 PRT HFIR DOE 12 2 PRTs HFBR DOE 15 on 9 beamlines 9 PRTs when operating NIST CNR DOC 20 4 PRTs, including NSF-run subfacility LANSCE (Lujan center)c DOE 8 All FOBs Magnet NHMFL NSF, state 37 magnet stationsd All FOBs aNot all can be operated at the same time. bNIST operates a small synchtrotron (SURF) with eight facility-operated experimental stations used mainly for optics calibrations. It is not comparable to the other facilities listed. cInstrumented neutron scattering beamlines. Six additional scattering instruments, of which five operated by SDTs are under construction. dThese are of various types: NMR facilities, general-purpose superconducting magnets, and resistive magnets. SOURCE: Information received from the user facilities. Interagency Support In the steward-partner management model discussed above, many of the experimental stations are funded by government agencies other than the facility
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields steward. This funding is provided for beamline development, instrumentation, and support either to a principal investigator or directly to the facility. For example, NIH is building beamlines at APS and is part of the PRTs and CATs that build and instrument beamlines at APS, CHESS, NSLS, and SSRL. Currently it contributes over $12 million to the support of these beamlines.2 NSF funds the Center for Neutron Research (CNR) at NIST. While interagency funding provides beamline development and instrumentation for the facilities, it also encourages expansion of the facility enterprise in terms of number of users, areas of users, and demands on the source. These of course add costs and increase management difficulties for the steward. Access to Facilities Facility access depends on user status. PRT members have unrestricted access to as much as 75% of the time on their beamlines (the exact percentage varies with each facility). Members of a PRT make their own time allocations. Non-PRT scientists apply to a facility for beam time. Their proposals are peer reviewed, and awards are based on scientific excellence, suitability of the facility for the proposed research, time requested, and beam time available at the facility. Currently, user agreements must be contracted between a prospective user or a user’s institution and an individual facility or, in some cases, a PRT. This may lead to suboptimal use for those users who wish to conduct research at more than one facility. One way to optimize these resources is to have a standard user agreement that is common to a given type of user facility. This idea is discussed further in Chapter 4. Facility Operations Management policies concerning user facilities are set by the stewards based on the advice of an assortment of interested participants or stockholders, including user groups and review committees. In general, these groups and committees are facility-based, but broader groups and committees, such as the synchrotron users group, either already exist or are periodically created to study a specific issue, such as the committees that produced the reports in BESAC (1997) and BERAC (1998). Of special note is OSTP’s Working Group on Structural Biology at Synchrotron Radiation Facilities (the so-called Cassman committee), which is discussed in Chapter 4. 2 Information provided by Judith Vaitukaitis, National Center for Research Resources, NIH, June 1999.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields Status of Stewardship Model Use Synchrotron Facilities The mixture of PRTs of external collaborators and facility-operated beamlines has become the standard model of operation for the second-and third-generation and even the upgraded first-generation synchrotron sources, as shown in Table 3.1. It has significantly increased the diversity of funding sources for beamlines and instruments. The steward-partner funding and management model worked reasonably well for many years, but it is increasingly struggling. In the 1980s, when current facilities were being planned, few of the biologists, chemists, and others who now account for a large fraction of the users conducted research at major user facilities; their needs were neither anticipated nor incorporated in the planning or budgets for the facilities. Because much of the instrumentation is developed by the user group in the steward-partner model, it is assumed that the users will at least be minimally familiar with facility operations. As a consequence, little research support is provided for less-experienced users. The growing numbers of less-experienced users are demanding greater scientific support, and the issue of providing such support is causing strains in this operating model for synchrotron facilities. Neutron Facilities All neutron sources in the United States except LANSCE and NIST are operated under a simple stewardship model. In this model, funding and operating the facilities are the responsibility of a single agency or major program office in a department (DOE or DOC). LANSCE is a multidisciplinary, multiuser facility, and the Manuel Lujan Neutron Scattering Center is one of its several subfacilities. (Other subfacilities support weapons neutron research, materials irradiation, isotope production, ultracold neutron development, and others). The Defense Programs Office of DOE is the steward for the LANSCE facility; BES provides operating support and instrument support for the Lujan center. Coordinating the multiplicity of user needs in this complex environment is a management challenge. NIST is operated under the steward-partner model. Historically, the responsibility for instrumentation and beamline construction for neutron sources has rested mainly with the steward. The absence of PRT funding and scientific expertise in an era of constrained agency funding has adversely impacted both instrument development and availability for neutron research. It appears that the current management model for neutron facilities is evolving toward the PRT/FOB (steward-partner) model now used in many of the photon facilities. The current upgrade at LANSCE will include spectrometer development team funding of the construction of several new instruments. The
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields planned Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL will also have a version of user-collaboration beamlines, although the exact mode is still undecided. High-Magnetic-Field Facilities The high-magnetic-field facilities present a different situation. The original facility was financed and managed in a simple stewardship model. The original steward was the U.S. Air Force. Project support for this facility was subsequently shifted to the NSF. The present NHFML receives distributed financial and management support, as described in Chapter 2. The steward-partner model has not been used because the steward funds the instrumentation, which is generally less expensive than the beamlines required at photon and neutron beam facilities. As discussed in the dispersed financing and management model above, this management model is inherently unstable. However, since there are both adequate funds and available time, it suffices. EUROPEAN MANAGEMENT MODELS The committee examined the funding and management of European user facilities to determine whether they possess features that could be used to improve U.S. management models. Decisions to locate and build new user facilities and to evaluate and possibly decommission old facilities are made through processes involving studies and workshops run by government funding agencies and national research councils and their equivalent, as in the United States. Europe differs from the United States in that there are two general classes of facilities, national and international. For national facilities the funding of the cores is wholly through government agencies, as in the United States. Funding of the cores of international facilities is through international research councils. For the national facilities in the United Kingdom (ISIS and Daresbury), for example, the funding agency is part of the U.K. government. For the international facilities (ILL and ESRF), the funding is allocated among agencies from participating countries. This method carries with it a potential for instability in that a single member country can endanger the collective effort by reducing its contribution.3 The instabilities faced by the international facilities in Europe are thus much like those faced by U.S. user facilities under the dispersed funding and management model. The United States and Europe also differ in the way they fund, develop, and support instrumentation and beamlines. As indicated above, in the United States the steward-partner model has generated a mixture of FOBs and PRTs, with the 3 For instance, in the late 1980s the United Kingdom unilaterally reduced its support for ILL, causing serious funding instability and negatively impacting staff morale.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields latter often having substantial industrial participation and funding. In Europe, the beamline and instrumentation development and support are almost wholly public, although some PRTs (called collaborative research groups, or CRGs) have been formed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and ILL in France and at ISIS in the United Kingdom. User access in most European facilities, as in all U.S. facilities, is determined by a peer review process, except for the time allocated to PRT members on their own beamlines. There is no access fee for nonproprietary research. The committee notes that proprietary research is becoming more common, especially among biotechnology users. The current full-cost-recovery charges for proprietary research, the associated intellectual property issues, and the perennial discussion of possible user fees for the general user are all discussed in Chapter 4. These issues are mentioned here only in the context of the ticket system that was recently adopted in the United Kingdom—possibly as an experiment—to introduce some degree of market forces into the allocation of research resources. Under this system, prospective facility users apply for grants to the research council; their requests are reviewed in an open competition with all other proposals (both those involving facility access and those not involving facility access). Successful proposals are awarded “tickets.” Tickets are valued at the cost of the desired resource (e.g., for research involving facility access, tickets for beam time are valued at actual beam time cost). Facility users awarded tickets then apply to the desired facility for scheduling. The idea behind the U.K. ticket system is to compare facility demand with demand for all other types of research support. Although the ticket system appears to give an incentive to the facility to maximize throughput—number of beam hours delivered to ticket holders —its impact on the quality of the facility’s research output has not yet been determined. There is a spectrum of opinion among users, facility operators, and policy makers on the efficacy of this approach. Since all the funds, whether in the form of tickets or pounds, come from the same research budget, the advantage of the ticket system may be more in gauging relative demands by the scientific community for different modes of research than in producing revenue for the supplier of any specific research resource. The United States is not a member of any of the overseas international facilities. However, U.S. scientists currently gain access to these facilities through collaborations without paying user fees, just as European scientists typically gain access to U.S. facilities. The viability of the scientific enterprise depends on this open access for scientists from various countries to others’ facilities. The main advantage of the European facilities arises from the commitment of the research councils to fuller support of the facilities than in the United States. The main disadvantage of the international facilities is the inherent instability of their distributed funding mechanisms. Thus, this survey of European user facilities provides further support for the conclusions drawn from the survey of U.S. management models in the preceding sections.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields SUMMARY Early U.S. management models and the European models, based largely on dispersed stewardship and funding, have been shown to be unsatisfactory for the management of multidisciplinary user facilities because of the diffusion of responsibility and the instability of funding. The simple steward model works well as long as the steward has sufficient funds to fulfill its responsibilities. The steward-partner model works well as long as the steward agency funding a facility is also the dominant source of funds for the research programs conducted at the facility and has sufficient funds to fulfill its responsibilities. In practice, funding inadequacies have plagued both models. For example, the inability of the stewards of the DOE neutron facilities to obtain sufficient funding has caused a serious underinstrumentation of the facilities. (This is in sharp contrast to the NIST facility, which is adequately funded and instrumented.) The newer partners in the synchrotron facilities, the life sciences and environmental communities, have come to occupy increasingly more of the experimental usage. As a consequence, there has been increasing pressure for more financial support from these communities both inside and outside DOE. This threatens a return to the instabilities of dispersed funding of earlier days. The solution to this problem is to involve these other communities in support of the steward in a new cooperative stewardship management model, which will be discussed in Chapter 4.
Representative terms from entire chapter: