User access instrument development partnerships at major user facilities
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User Access & Instrument Development: Partnerships at Major User Facilities. Pat Gallagher Director, NIST Center for Neutron Research. World of distinctions. General user – partner user Facility staff – outside user Stewards versus partners Facility versus PRT

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User Access & Instrument Development: Partnerships at Major User Facilities

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User access instrument development partnerships at major user facilities

User Access & Instrument Development: Partnerships at Major User Facilities

Pat Gallagher

Director, NIST Center for Neutron Research


World of distinctions

World of distinctions

  • General user – partner user

  • Facility staff – outside user

  • Stewards versus partners

  • Facility versus PRT

  • Collaborative access vs proposal access


Put it together first

Put it together first…

Measurement system for scientific discovery:

  • Ideas

  • Researchers

  • Samples

  • Instrument

  • Photons

  • Data analysis & modeling

  • …..

Only as strong as the weakest link!


When are distinctions useful

When are distinctions useful?

  • Clarify roles

  • Clarify responsibilities

  • Define cost sharing

  • Indicate intellectual “ownership”

    Most user access models in use today address multiple goals.

    It is essential to keep these different goals clear.


Do all models work

Do all models work?

No! Certain models cause major problems by confusing lines of responsibility or establishing unstable cost sharing.

Cooperative Stewardship Report (2000)

  • Well accepted framework

  • Clearly defined role for single “Steward”

  • Clearly defined role for “Partners”

  • Conclusions hold at many levels


Example prt model

Example: PRT model

Model: Participating Research Teams (Alias: CATs, IDTs, etc)

Goals: - cost sharing

- intellectual ‘ownership’

- clarify responsibilities (i.e. management)

How does it work? team managed and funded beamline development & operation in exchange for dedicated beam time access for team members. Usual formula is pro rata exchange: 100% PRT ‘ownership’ = 75% maximum access.

Used: Nearly all third generation U.S. facilities (with variations) from early 1980s through 1990’s.


Currency is access

Currency is access

  • Delineated two types of access:

    • Open, merit-based access via peer reviewed proposal system (“General user access”)

    • Collaborative, merit based access via instrument “owners”

      • Staff owners – “internal time”

      • Partner owners – “PRT time”


How well did it work

PRO

Successful cost sharing, especially for instrument development;

Innovative beamline designs;

Strong, dedicated science programs;

Vigorous participation by external organizations;

CON

Very localized access

Poor optimization of beamline development

Inadequate (or inconsistent) levels of operational funding;

Growing perception of “excessive” leveraging of federal investment by teams;

How well did it work?


Other changes

Other changes

  • Cost sharing environment has changed;

  • Ratio of source costs to instrument costs has grown;

  • Low “reinvestment” rates for beam lines;

  • Growing concerns about ‘under operation’ of beamlines;

  • Growing concern about concentrated access (demand for more proposal-based access)


User access instrument development partnerships at major user facilities

Evolution: GU/PU model

Model: General User (GU) – Partner User (PU)

(primarily applies to only physical science beamlines)

Goals: - de-emphasize cost sharing component

- emphasize shared intellectual ‘ownership’

- clarify responsibilities (i.e. management)

- strengthen facility role (especially for operations)

- maximize proposal-based access

-

How does it work? Combines partnership team ‘contribution’ (to mostly a facility operated beamline) in exchange for (minimal) dedicated beam time access for team members. Usual formula is 20% maximum access to PUs.


Preliminary report card

Pro

Much stronger facility role in developing & operating beamlines;

Better optimization of beamlines

Enhanced levels of operational support

Growing use via proposal-based access;

To watch:

(Much!) less sense of ‘ownership’ by partners – will this affect community?;

Potentially less involvement by outside agencies and organizations;

Industrial participation?

Innovations in design?

Preliminary report card


There is no perfect model

There is no ‘perfect’ model

  • Robust and active partnerships are essential for successful facilities;

  • We have wide latitude to tune models;

  • We have some experience about what works;

  • We must continue to evolve through innovation of new mechanisms to work together;

  • Not all innovations will work – we should expect to occasionally fail!

  • I believe that the leadership for developing and implementing partnership models are the facilities;

  • All of our efforts should be guided by some simple, principles…


Principles

Principles

Partnerships should be based on:

  • True mutual benefit

  • Equitable sharing of risks

  • Management through open, transparent mechanisms

  • Full commitment to a successful outcome complete chain of performance


Challenges

Challenges….

  • Must ensure that the entire system is effective.

  • How do we promote broad participation in facilities?

  • How do we work effectively with industry?

  • Who do we promote scientific ‘depth’?

  • How do we foster developing tomorrow’s instrument and machine builders?


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