VP&S core facilities are primarily designed to provide services for Columbia-affiliated researchers. However, in line with Columbia's mission to "to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world," many core facilities are able to provide services to non-affiliated ("external") academic and industry customers to advance external research.
Before work can begin for external users of VP&S core facilities, a service agreement must be established between the university and the external institution. The agreement will cover intellectual property, confidentiality, termination, and other issues to ensure that expectations are agreed upon beforehand. Core facility staff can inititate this process. Core facilities must also prioritize internal research projects, and will need to confirm that capacity exists for external work. External customers are therefore encouraged to contact core facility staff directly to determine whether use of the facility is feasible.
Alexandria LaunchLabs at Columbia
Because of its location on the CUIMC campus, a streamlined access process was created to facilitate the use of VP&S core facilities by LaunchLabs at Columbia affiliates. LaunchLabs at Columbia member companies can complete a single Master Research Services Agreement to cover services at all participating VP&S core facilities, although individual facility directors must still provide training and approval for users. For more information on this process, please contact the Executive Director of Lab Operations at LaunchLabs-Columbia.
iLab Management System
Many of our core facilities require orders to be placed through the iLab core facility management system. To place orders as an external user:
1. If users already have an existing iLab account (at another university, etc.), they should login to their iLab system. New users can register for an iLab account using the "Register" link on the top-right of the login page.
2. After logging into iLab, click on the core facilities link from the menu on the left side. Then, select "Cores at Other Institutions" from the view drop down list. To filter and narrow the search results to show Columbia core facilities, the search text field can be used. See screenshot below:
3. Sometimes, users are unable to find any cores other than their own, based on a setting turned on by their local iLab admins. If this occurs, iLab support should be contacted ("Help" at the top of the screen). iLab will build a special link to allow access.
See guidelines for external use on the Research Intranet.