ARCHIVED: Project: iLab Core Facility Management software deployment

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Primary UITS contact: Richard Meraz, Research Technologies

Last update: July 1, 2016

Description: Research Cores and Service Centers provide Indiana University researchers with much needed access to specialized instrumentation, methodologies, sample processing, and expertise to accomplish their research. Often these services are made available by an academic department through a Core or Service Center using a cost-recovery model. This requires Cores to track and manage their invoicing so they can remain financially viable. Currently, each Core tracks their costs and charges using manual or minimally automated processes. Reconciliation with the IU Kuali Financial System (KFS) is also a manual process. Consequently, researchers and Core staff spend valuable time overseeing these administrative and financial details when they could be focusing on their science instead.

The aim of this pilot project is to configure the iLab Core Facility Management system, and make it available and useful to the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics (CGB) and the Light Microscopy and Imaging Center (LMIC). To be useful, the iLab system must interact with IU's KFS in an automated fashion, and meet the requirements of both the Core personnel and the fiscal officers.

Outcome: The deployment of the iLab Core Facility Management software will increase the administrative efficiency of research Cores at IU Bloomington. In a future phase, the project will expand to include non-research service centers at IUB. In the final phase, the project will expand to support Cores and Service Centers across all IU campuses.

Milestones and status:

  • August 21, 2014: Initial project meeting between the Office of the Vice Provost of Research (OVPR), UITS Research Technologies, UITS Enterprise Business Systems, and the Office of Financial Management Services (FMS)
  • October 30, 2014: Data Steward review of iLab security and software service
  • November 20, 2014: Initial project design approved
  • January 15, 2015: iLab configuration for CGB and LMIC started
  • May 5, 2015: Established data exchange between iLab and KFS
  • June 8, 2015: iLab deployed to LMIC for validation against KFS
  • November 17, 2015: iLab deployed to LMIC users
  • July 1, 2016: Over six months of billing events for the LMIC. Discussions in progress between OVPR and Research Technologies to finalize additional Cores for the pilot and amend the IU license.

Comment process: Email Richard Meraz.

Benefits: Research Cores provide valuable and cost-effective services to IU researchers and scientists on a charge-back basis. However, managing the financial and administrative overhead of the Cores can be laborious and time-consuming. Deploying a facility management software system will increase efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Client impact: Primary clients include the research Cores at all IU campuses. Additionally, non-research Service Centers are expected to take advantage of the system.

Related information: iLab Solutions (software vendor)

Aids the achievement of the following Empowering People actions:

  • Recommendation A1:
    • Action 6 (Leveraging partnerships): IU should continue its highly successful program of relationships with hardware, software, and services vendors, and seek additional partnerships and creative exchanges that provide mutual benefits.
  • Recommendation C15:
    • Action 70 (IT-enabled research) IU should purposefully select areas of great and timely promise for strategic development of IT-enabled research, scholarship, and/or creative activity.
    • Action 71 (IT-enabled research resources): IU should identify a base of resources to provide both initial and sustained investments in selected areas for IT-enabled research, scholarship, and/or creative activity. This may include reallocating current resources and developing new ones, including endowments, grants, and/or additional fees.

UITS project team:

  • Richard Meraz, Manager, Advanced Biomedical IT Core (Project Manager)
  • Abhijeet Malatpure, Principal Analyst, Advanced Biomedical IT Core
  • James Thomas, Director, UITS Enterprise Business Systems

Principal collaborators:

  • Cindy Hughes, Financial Officer, OVPR Finance
  • Sterling George, Director, Financial Systems Administration
  • Chris Shelton, Analyst, Financial Systems Administration
  • Jim Powers, Core Manager, LMIC
  • Tally Thrasher, Contract Manager, Office of Procurement Services
  • Bill Cain, Fiscal Officer, LMIC
  • Amy Pfaff, Financial Officer, IU School of Medicine Dean's Office


  • UITS project sponsor: Craig Stewart, Associate Dean for Research Technologies
  • OVPR project sponsor: Sherry Knighton-Schwandt, Executive Director of Research Development (OVPR)

This is document bfjo in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 17:23:50.

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