Research Infrastructure Taskforce
Photo Credit: Daniel Geschwind laboratory
January 2018 by Vice Chancellor Wakimoto
Develop a long-range plan and vision for research infrastructure. Considerations include but are not limited to
- An institutional-wide perspective on research infrastructure rather than a regional/local-scale perspective
- Investment that supports research performed in north campus as well as the life/physical sciences, health, and engineering disciplines on the south campus
- Establishment of a more systematic approach to supporting research infrastructure
- Articulation of a set of guidelines for prioritizing research upgrades across the campus
- Safety and health considerations
- Depreciation costs and life-cycle management plans including deferred maintenance
- Division of financial responsibilities for supporting & maintaining infrastructe (Deans versus the University)
- Optimization of upgrades of research infrastructure during the recruitment/retention process while maintaining an institutional-wide perspective
- Optimization of research upgrades in buildings that are overseen by multiple units (e.g., Boyer Hall which has occupants from three different schools).
- Exploration of a more standardized suite of options for laboratory designs for floor, furniture, and supporting equipment plans to expedite construction and set-up time
- Exploration of the merits of open versus closed lab space
- Facilities and Administration (F&A) cost considerations
UCLA faculty, students, and staff require facilities or infrastructure to conduct original research and foster innovation. Discoveries and increased understanding using state-of-the-art infrastructure can help solve some of the most pressing social and economic challenges the country faces and allow a university campus to be an attractive choice for some of the world’s greatest talent to perform their research. Indeed, universities will often make critical investments in infrastructure in order to effectively recruit and retain staff. For the purposes of this discussion, examples of research infrastructure include scientific equipment, laboratory and analysis systems, studios, and computing systems and networks. In order to remain at the forefront of research, infrastructure also requires careful maintenance and upgrade plans (referred to as life cycle management) to prevent obsolescence.
It has become apparent, based on discussions across UCLA, that most of the maintenance and upgrades plans for research infrastructure are undertaken in an opportunistic manner rather than following a master plan with an institutional-wide perspective. The current process can lead to short term solutions but will be suboptimal and not cost-effective in the long term. Moreover, infrastructure that require upgrades may be deferred if it does not fall under situations that require immediate attention (e.g., safety, recruitment/retention).
The Task Force on Research Infrastructure was formed to provide recommendations about infrastructure that enable us to remain and even enhance our place as a premier research university
The taskforce was initiated in January 2018 with the first meeting held in 2018. At the first meeting, three subcommittees were formed. See Members & Subcommittees.