Imperial maintains an extensive range of research facilities and equipment spread across research disciplines and departments. The information within the following pages explains how facilities are organised and is designed to encourage greater access and sharing.

A Directory of research facilities and equipment across Imperial College London was created to provide a searchable listing of research facilities and equipment, with two main objectives:

  • To enable collaboration;
  • To improve efficiency and utilisation of existing equipment and facilities.

Currently, the Directory is only available to Imperial staff and students (an Imperial username and password is required to log in).

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Research Facilities

About research facilities and equipment at Imperial

The term research facility encompasses a wide variety of capabilities, ranging from single items of equipment to a fully staffed cross-Faculty service. In addition, research facilities can be managed by any of a single Principal Investigator, a research group, department or Faculty.

Research facilities can generally be described as falling into three main categories:

  
 Chargeout facility  

FEC Chargeout facilities are open access (subject to the terms and conditions of access / usage of the particular facility).

The costs of these facilities can be included within the FEC (Full Economic Cost) of a research proposal and, subject to award, are recoverable from most funders.

 Multi-User Facility  

Multi-User facilities are generally open access (subject to the terms and conditions of access / usage of the particular facility).

The costs of these facilities cannot be included within the FEC (Full Economic Cost) of a funding proposal, but could potentially be included within the price to funders which do not fund on the basis of FEC e.g. some charities, commercial funders.

FEC funders (such as the Research Councils) contribute to the costs of these through the Estates Rate and therefore associated access charges are ineligible.

 PI-led  

Managed and run by a single Principal Investigator. Often shared in the spirit of collaboration rather than charged access (note ‘shared in collaboration’ may imply some ownership of research outcomes).

The costs of these facilities cannot be included within the FEC (Full Economic Cost) of a research proposal, but could potentially be included within the price to funders which do not fund on the basis of FEC e.g. some charities, commercial funders.

FEC funders (such as the Research Councils) contribute to the costs of these facilities through the Estates Rate and therefore associated access charges are ineligible.

 
 

Costs

The rates and costs of using a research facility or item of equipment are set locally, so to find out more please contact a facility manager directly. Most facilities will expect users to pay for training/usage at an hourly rate.

Accessing a research facility - Internal

Those interested in accessing a research facility should contact the facility or equipment manager directly. It should be noted that access to any equipment or facility cannot be guaranteed and is dependent upon factors such as sufficient spare capacity, availability of staff to assist with usage (if relevant) and compatibility of proposed research with the technical setup of the equipment.

To contact a facility manager please use the contact details provided in the Research Facilities Directory.

In addition to the categories of research facility described above, research facilities also offer differing levels of service to users. In the Directory the following broad categories are used:

  
 Fully serviced  Full analysis is conducted by the facility on behalf of the user.
 Assisted  Support on hand to assist user, perhaps with prior training required.
 No assistance  Minimal assistance provided, perhaps with prior training required.
 
Summary of the table's contents

Accessing a research facility at Imperial - External

External users interested in accessing a facility or service at Imperial should contact the named facility manager directly, or alternatively you can get in touch with Imperial Consultants, who act as a liaison between Imperial and external clients, and also maintain their own list of facilities.

The list below is a summary of facilities and services listed on Imperial websites - it should be noted that not all are available for use by external users.

Health and safety liability

Most facilities will have a user agreement which will normally specify that:

  • Users must attend (and pay for) some training/induction for the facility prior to use;
  • Users are responsible for their own safety when using the facility;
  • Users are expected to pay for any damages incurred to the facility through their use.