Usage, Reservations, & Fees

Policy:


The CAF operates as a university recharge center. As such, a fee structure for use of CAF instruments has been developed following federal cost accounting principles and the mission, goals and principles of the CAF.

All users must pay for instrument time.

  • University of Alabama research personnel (including students) without funding and unable to pay for instrument time should submit a Project Funding Request outlining their usage needs.
  • Instrument time for training will be charged at the normal rate schedule.


Billing schedule:

Billings are sent on a monthly basis to departments who distribute them to advisors. All users should have CAF accounts with current billing information.


Disputable charge:

Users may contact the facility director to discuss any disputed charge. Any adjustments must be completed within 90 days to comply with the university’s rule.


Fees:
All instruments except the Bruker D8 XRD are charged at the same rate.

UA-Tuscaloosa Academic Users:

$35/hr for most tools, Bruker is $10/hr, LEAP is $75/hr (unassisted qualified user)*

Academic Institutions (non-UA Tuscaloosa):

$55/hr for most tools, Bruker is $20/hr, LEAP is $115/hr (unassisted qualified user)*

Technical Staff Assistance:

All academic users are charged an additional $50 per hour if CAF personnel are needed to assist in setup and/or data collection.

Commercial Rate:

$300 per hour (unassisted qualified user)*

*To be granted unassisted qualified user privileges, the user must complete either training with the CAF staff for a particular instrument and/or demonstrated competency using the instrument as determined by the CAF staff member. Only after this has been determined is access given to any on-campus/off-campus user. Please contact staff for training or check off on the tool.

 

The rates for the Bruker D8 XRD are:

UA-Tuscaloosa Academic Users:

$10 per hour (unassisted qualified user)*

Academic Institutions (non-UA Tuscaloosa):

$20 per hour (unassisted qualified user)*


Reservations:

Reservations can only be made in hourly and half-hour time increments (e.g. 9:30-12:00).


Daytime and evening:

There are currently no billing distinctions between day and evening use.


Flexible start/end time:

Start/end time is calculated to the second so that you are billed for the actual instrument time you have used.


Extended usage:

If reserved time is extended, the user will be charged according to actual usage.


Unused reservation:

If user does not show up within 30 minutes after reserved start time, the reservation will be cancelled and another user may use the time period. The user who made the reservation will be charged a $20 no-show/late cancellation fee.


Cancelled reservation:

User will not be charged if a reservation is cancelled more than one day (24 hours) before reserved time begins. User will be charged the equivalent of one hour usage if reservation is cancelled within the same day because other users are unable to make reservations when there is a standing one.


Forgetting to logout:

User will be charged for time logged in. If the user forgets to logout overnight, they will be charged until they log off.


Report forgotten logouts:

If any user finds that the previous user forgot to logout, he/she should report to facility manager as soon as possible. The facility manager can log the user out via the administrative account. Please note, the current user’s experiment might be interrupted if the previous user logs off while the instrument is being used.


Technical assistance and training fee:

Technical assistance and training fees are entered manually by CAF staff. Charges depend on assistance or training provided and time spent.


Machine downtime:

Users will not be charged if the machine is marked as down, even if he/she has reserved the machine. Users may also request reset of charge if the machine is faulty but not marked as down.


Report of equipment problem:

When logging off equipment in FOM, user should check “problem” or “down” if there was problem during the experiment. Facility managers will receive email notice and fix the problem as soon as possible. Facility managers will also evaluate whether the usage charge should be reset due to the problem reported.