F&A Rate for Research Proposals that Rely on WCET
Grant proposals of University of Washington investigators whose primary site of research is the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds may be eligible for the off-campus overhead rate (26%). The Clean Energy Institute has a procedure for supporting grant applicants seeking an off-campus rate based on their use of the facility. Our screening is based on the following evidence of substantial use.
Evidence of Substantial Use
All proposals must meet the following two criteria:
- Centrality of Washington Clean Energy Testbeds to proposal: The Facilities and Resources section for the proposal must clearly indicate that the Testbeds facility is central to the proposal. You are welcome to use the boilerplate language provided below.
- Budget items related to the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds: The proposal must also meet ONE of the following criteria:
a. Budgeted instrument time: All non-faculty research personnel on the grant (students, postdoc, staff) have sufficient budgeted hours of instrumentation time to show they are expected to be in the facility no less than 50% of their grant-supported FTE.
b. Budgeted facility membership: The budget shows the grant relies on shared instrumentation to a significant level, but not at the level of 2a above. Instead the grant includes funds to purchase an annual facility membership for each year of the grant ($10,000 per year for 1.0 FTE; students are 0.5 FTE, thus $5,000). Facility membership includes access to a desk on the second floor of the building and use of common spaces, including kitchenette and meeting rooms. Facility members get building use fees waived and a 25% discount on instrumentation use fees (contact Mike Pomfret for rates).
c. Purchases a major piece of equipment for the facility. Purchase must be pre-authorized (see below).
CEI Support for Using the Off-Campus Rate
If your proposal meets the two criteria listed above, please complete the CEI Application for Off-Campus Overhead Rate. We will evaluate the request within a week (5 business days), and if we concur it meets the substantial use criteria, we will provide a letter supporting the request for an Off-Campus Rate.
Proposals that purchase a major piece of equipment authorized for WCET or make a substantial investment in equipment/user tools may also qualify for an off-campus rate or cost-sharing. Please contact Mike Pomfret to discuss availability of funds and proposal criteria.
The Washington Clean Energy Testbeds have a limited amount of funds for facility user fees that can be used for mandatory cost sharing on proposals that meet our criteria for off-campus rates. Matching commitment levels will consider the value of user fees in the proposal and special proposal elements such as educational use of the facility or collaborative projects that enhance UW-industry and UW-PNNL partnerships. Please contact Mike Pomfret to discuss availability of funds and proposal criteria.
Researchers preparing proposals that utilize the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds are welcome to draw from the following text:
The Washington Clean Energy Testbeds is a new 14,745 square-foot facility designed to assist in the scale-up, prototyping, testing, and validating of clean energy innovations. The Testbeds are used by faculty, students, and researchers at the state’s leading companies and research institutions, such as Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
The expert staff and specially-designed facility allow researchers to test materials at scales from that of a lab bench to a commercial solar panel or battery stack. Furthermore, hardware and software operating systems can be tested for deployment at the utility scale. The lab-to-industry line of sight is supported by the three integrated disciplines of the Testbeds: research and training, scale-up and characterization, and system integration. The three testbeds have state-of-the-art fabrication equipment and characterization instrumentation – including 3-D printers, sheet coaters, a roll-to-roll printer, solar simulators, electronic analyzers, spectrometers, and high-magnification imagers.
The purpose of the Testbeds is to reduce the capital and risk associated with research and technology transfer from the lab to industry, enabling users to maximize the value of grant awards and investment dollars as their research discoveries build toward new commercial opportunities. The Testbeds house a community of researchers from academia and industry in close proximity to other cutting edge research facilities at the University of Washington. This allows individual teams of investigators to pursue the next advancement while building partnerships with other inventors and institutions, bolstering the clean energy profile of our university, state, and region.