Recharge Operations

Policy

Recharge Operations are governed by University Policy 1005. The policy is currently under review and a revised policy is anticipated in fall/winter 2016.

Procedure Manual

All recharge operations must comply with federal regulations regardless of whether or not they directly charge federal awards. Therefore, the purpose of the procedure manual is to provide guidance to administrators of recharge operations by detailing how to properly establish, maintain, and account for these operations in accordance with federal regulations and University policies.

Forms

In an effort to enhance University compliance surrounding recharge operations, Financial Services has developed a uniform recharge rate template. The goal is for the rate template to be completed annually for each recharge operation or at the inception of a new recharge. As a revised policy and procedure manual are currently being developed, this rate template is in DRAFT status. If users of the template have feedback, please send this feedback to Casey Campbell at clcampbell@uchicago.edu.

Please click here for the Recharge Operation Rate Template (excel).

Please click here for the Instruction Manual for completing the Recharge Operation Rate Template.

New Recharge Operation / Service Center

In order to request a new service center, the following documents are required:

Training

Training sessions will be held with recharge managers upon the completion and release of a revised policy and procedure manual. Training sessions will cover key compliance aspects associated to the management and monitoring of recharge operations, as well as an overview of completing the recharge rate template.

FAQ

What is a Recharge Operation?

Recharge operations, also known as core facilities, are centralized shared research resources that provide access to instruments, technologies, services, as well as expert consultation and other services to scientific and clinical investigators. The typical recharge operation is a discrete unit within an institution and may have dedicated personnel, equipment, and space for operations. In general, recharge operations recover their cost, or a portion of their cost, of providing service in the form of user fees that are charged to an investigator's funds, often to federal grants.

A recharge operation can share similar operating principles with other service (or recharge) centers, which also may provide resources necessary to support the research objectives of an institution. Institutions establish recharge operations, including the corresponding costing structure of the facility, to provide required services to users generally with all or a portion of the cost of these services charged to users' accounts.

A recharge operation is created to address required services based on a variety of expected advantages which may include, but are not limited to assuring access to resources/services required to address institutional needs; providing for required compliance with applicable regulations and institutional policy and achieving economies of scale. Accordingly, these facilities can take many forms to address institution needs and objectives.

 Recharge operations may be fiscally supported by institutional funds, Federal funds, external revenue, other funding, or any combination of these.

Are Recharge Operations limited in the costs they can charge internal users?

A recharge operation's cost may be limited by the terms of award, and in general, may only recover the allocable, allowable and reasonable direct cost (consistent with applicable Federal cost principles) of providing a service to a federal grant. This is the case when the core's infrastructure costs, commonly referred to as Facilities and Administration (F&A) or also known as indirect costs, will be recovered by the application of the institution's negotiated F&A rate to the allowable direct charges to the grant. However, there may be instances when a portion of the core's costs include items often associated with facilities and administrative costs, but are not included in the costs recovered by application of the negotiated F&A rate. In these situations, it may be appropriate to include the core's costs associated with those F&A costs in the unit cost charged to federal grants. One example of such treatment is when a core facilities costs include allowable depreciation costs for non-federal equipment utilized by the core and additional operations and maintenance expenses associated with this equipment such as service and repair contracts and others expenses for such equipment. (If these costs were not included in the depreciation or O&M costs recovered by the application of the F&A rate, then including them in the core facility would not represent an unallowable duplication in cost recovery.)