Non-University of Illinois Academic and Government Agency Users
Includes colleges, universities and government laboratories (provided Usage Agreement terms are satisfied).
To use the Central Research Facilities at the Illinois Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), your institution must complete following steps and have the corresponding documents on file with the MRL Business Office.
Complete the MRL Central Research Facility Use Proposal Electronic Form to generate a new proposal (it becomes part of Exhibit A of the Facility Use Agreement and/or Technical Testing Agreement). We recommend that the student or post-doctoral researcher (principal user) fill out and submit the proposal.
It is strongly recommended that students review the information with their advisor prior to submitting the electronic form. Submission of the electronic form is required. Paper copies will not be accepted.
Please do not use your browser's back button while filling out the electronic form as this may cause your submission to fail. Also, we suggest you use cut and paste from a local text editor to enter answers to questions in the proposal form. This will save you from re-typing the answers in the event of the need for resubmission. Follow the instructions carefully and be sure to provide complete information as requested.
For additional information on the proposal process or status contact the MRL Facilities staff.
When received, the proposal will undergo an intitial review for completeness and then will be forwarded for more in-depth review by the MRL staff who have expertise in the techniques requested. If the project's goals are deemed feasible using the MRL facilities, it will be approved. The researcher will then be notified by email. Time required for the approval process varies and is typically 2-4 weeks; each proposal is unique and must be carefully evaluated.
A University of Illinois Facilities Use Agreement and/or Technical Testing Agreement, which specifies the conditions for use, will be generated by us and sent to you to be signed by your institution. Return the signed agreement along with documentation of insurance to MRL's Business Office.
We will forward the Agreement(s) to the University's Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration (OSPRA) for review. When approved and signed by OSPRA, you will be notified and can begin using the facility.
Users need to familiarize themselves with the university health and safety regulations prior to using the facility. All users will be required to complete University of Illinois general laboratory safety training. In some cases additional safety training or required reading will be needed. In addition instrument specific safety instructions will be given during training.
Facilities Use Agreement/Technical Testing Agreement Process Flowchart
Answers to Frequently-Asked-Questions
What is the difference between a Technical Testing Agreement (TTA) and a Facilities Use Agreement (FUA)?
A TTA is created and executed when MRL Staff have time and agree to perform work for an academic or business client (no user self-use is permitted). An FUA is created and executed to allow non-University of Illinois academic or business users use the facility (user self-use after training).
How much can be spent under an agreement?
The amount listed on the agreement is the limit to what can be spent under the term of the agreement (typically 3 years). The standard base amount for all TTAs and FUAs is $10,000, however this can be a higher amount or, in unusual instances, a lower amount.
What happens when expenses reach the limit?
Work must stop if the expenses reach the limit. An amendment to an agreement, which increases the budget, must be put in place before work can resume.
How do people become users under a Facilities use Agreement?
Users who are specifically listed within the agreement are issued their user IDs when the proposal is initially approved and processed.
How does a new user, not listed on the original agreement, get to work at MRL?
New users may be added to an existing project's agreement by request of the institution with the written permission of the Director of Research Facilities. A NEW (not change-of-scope) proposal must be submitted for one or more additional users to get their personal information into the database and to issue them a unique user ID.