The ITR is a cost recovery shared resource and is required to charge all investigators for services rendered. The ITR executes services professionally, with the appropriate assessment of work performed at each step in the experimental process. It is our goal to provide quality, cost effective, and timely service to both Vanderbilt and non-Vanderbilt investigators.
1. Project Initiation
The ITR encourages all investigators to discuss their project(s) with the ITR Director prior to initiating work. If the Principal Investigator (PI) decides to initiate work with the ITR, he/she must complete a project request form. Once this form is submitted, the ITR Director will work closely with the PI to develop a comprehensive outline of experiments and budget to achieve the project goals.
2. Sample Submission
Samples sent to the ITR must be properly prepared, labeled, handled, stored, packaged, and shipped. Samples must also be accompanied by an electronic manifest providing a detailed sample inventory for processing (including sample identifier that matches what is written on the tube(s), type of sample, DNA or RNA concentration, and % tumor DNA if applicable). This electronic manifest should be submitted to the ITR Director or Lab Manager.
3. Custom Services
The ITR encourages diversity in experimentation to meet the needs of Vanderbilt investigators. As such, experimentation is tailored to the needs of investigators which are often outside the realm of ITR expertise. The ITR uses Vanderbilt Shared Resources and outside resources to complete studies. Please discuss your project(s) with the ITR Director prior to completing a project request form to determine your options. The ITR will use reasonable efforts to perform the experiments outlined by the ITR Director and the PI. Expenses incurred by performing additional experiments, discussed by the ITR Director and PI, will be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator. The PI is not exempt from charges incurred due to failed experiments through no fault of the ITR.
4. Data Delivery
Once the experiments outlined in the project request form are completed, a data report will be delivered to the PI in a timely fashion. This data report will contain the raw data, figures, interpretation of the data, and the materials and methods used (for manuscript preparation). Upon request, the ITR Director will meet with the PI to discuss the data and their interpretation. In addition, when project milestones are reached, the ITR Director will provide the PI with a progress report and any relevant data*. After the analysis is complete, all remaining samples will be returned to the PI upon request.
*Relevant data are released to non-Vanderbilt investigators only when they pay for services (see Payment for Services below).
5. Payment for Services
As a cooperative laboratory, the ITR relies on investigator-initiated projects and PI associated funding for those projects. However, the facility and its personnel are wholly managed and operated by the VICC and the ITR Director. Although the ITR has some basic laboratory equipment, other needed equipment, supplies, and personnel effort related to your project must be funded by the investigator initiating the project(s). Personnel costs may be covered by a direct core charge or by inclusion of the appropriate ITR personnel effort on a grant. The ITR will acquire the needed expertise, instrumentation, and utilize Vanderbilt University Shared Resources or outside resources to complete the experimental studies.
Billing of core services is performed through the iLab billing system. When a project is initiated, the ITR Director will provide the PI with a cost estimate based on the experiments outlined in the project application form. Costs exceeding those outlined in the project initiation form will be paid for by the PI of the project. These costs may result from an increase in sample number or unexpected experimental results. Any excess costs will be discussed with the investigator prior to moving forward with the project.
Samples that fail to yield data due to circumstances beyond the control of the ITR are not the responsibility of the ITR. The ITR does not guarantee results. The PI is not exempt from charges incurred due to failed experiments through no fault of the ITR.
Not all services rendered by the ITR are “core” services. As a collaborative laboratory, we perform experiments based on the need(s) of the PI. Depending on the scope of the project, supplies and special equipment may be purchased directly off of the PI’s center number provided in the project application form. A billing arrangement will be discussed with the Principal Investigator prior to project initiation.
Vanderbilt investigators must provide a valid center number to cover the quoted expenses before the project is initiated. In some cases, different center numbers may be utilized for personnel, supplies, or special equipment and must be specified on the project application. VICTR vouchers/funding can be applied to ITR services if the ITR was specified in the application. Scholarship vouchers cannot be applied to ITR services at this time.
Non-Vanderbilt investigators must provide a purchase order or payment must be received prior to the release of data. A check, money order, or credit card is an acceptable form of payment. If a purchase order is provided, an invoice will be sent along with a request for payment for services after the work is completed and the data are released. For projects that take over 1 month to complete, payments can be made in installments for an early release of partial data. Please contact the ITR Director about payment installments prior to project initiation.