The mission of a Resource Center is to develop and provide access to cutting edge technology in Biological Sciences and Chemistry. Resource Center programs often include major components of engineering, computation and applied physics. The focus of a Beckman Resource Center is to be an area of technology, research methodology and/or instrumentation that is of major potential benefit to the Caltech research community and which contributes directly to the overall mission of the Beckman Institute (see cover letter). Resource Centers are major programs housed partly in the Beckman Institute building. They typically consist of equipment, scientists and technicians supported in part by Beckman Institute endowment income. A resource center can be initiated and led by one or more Caltech professors.
The following general guidelines apply:
- The focus of each Resource Center should be relevant to a significant cross-section of research interests at Caltech. Establishment, operation and maintenance of a user-friendly facility available to the research community will comprise an important part of the activities of each Center.
- Resource Centers will be involved in advancing the state of the art in their area with emphasis on cutting edge, high impact development. Such activities may include fundamental research and/or development of new instrumentation or instrumental applications.
- Resource Centers are established in areas that are expected to be critical for ~5-10 years. However, Centers are reviewed periodically and a Center may be expanded, reduced in scope, or eliminated as a result.
- Available funds, space, and scientific opportunity determine the number and size of Beckman Resource Centers. Centers generally increase the scope of their activities by seeking outside funding to supplement support from the Beckman Institute.
As a frame of reference, current centers range in size from ~1500 to 6000 square feet; annual support from the BI is limited to a maximum of $150K. Proposals should be concise (20 pages maximum), provide a scientific plan, and outline how it will function as a Beckman Resource Center. If appropriate, anticipated synergy with other BI centers should be described. Explicit description of space and budget needs for a five-year period should be given. This might include a ramp-up plan over several years, if appropriate. The funding plan should include requested BI funding and expectations from other sources. Resource Centers may be partially housed in space outside the Beckman Institute building if appropriate and available, and any plan involving external space should be made explicit in the proposal. Proposals must be accompanied by a Divisional Approval Form signed by the appropriate division chair(s).
Potential applicants are invited to consult with Beckman Institute Director, Prof. Marianne Bronner; Beckman Institute Administrator, Dr. Jay Labinger, and/or members of the Beckman Institute Executive Committee with any questions before preparing and submitting a proposal.