External Use of Core Facilities

Notre Dame core facilities are shared resources that offer a variety of research services and capabilities. There are over 30 facilities located on-campus. The core facilities are accessed using a cost center model, with (typically) hourly rates for access to a particular service (or tool, room, etc.). For a particular service, the rate that is charged to a user may depend on at least these factors:

  • Whether the user is internal or external to Notre Dame;
  • The extent to which the access is “staff-assisted” – e.g., does the user operate a tool unassisted or does a staff member do some (or all) the work?


Notre Dame core facilities operate under the guidelines within the Lab/Studio Phased Reopening. To the extent that access to the core facilities by internal users (i.e., ND researchers) is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will primarily be affected by the potential reduction in capacity due to policies outlined as part of the Reopening Phases.

However, external users – e.g., representatives from local (and non-local) companies, other universities, national laboratories – are (potentially) campus visitors and are thus subject to the University’s visitor policy. Under those policies, Spring 2021 campus visits will be “significantly limited to essential visitors only” and must be approved by the appropriate dean or VP based on three criteria:

  1. The time-sensitivity of the visit (i.e., can it wait until after Spring 2021?);
  2. The immediate importance of the requested visit to the University’s core teaching/research mission; and
  3. The potential long-term consequences to the University of not hosting the requested visit.

The following guidelines will govern the use of Notre Dame’s core facilities by external users through Spring 2021:

  • To the extent possible, visits to campus by external users should be avoided during the semester.
  • To the extent possible, services provided by the core to external users should be “staff-assisted,” thereby reducing (or eliminating) the presence of visitors in the facility. To encourage this, all external users who would, under normal circumstances, access the facilities without staff assistance will be provided with staff-assisted services at unassisted rates through Spring 2021.
  • Any visits to campus by external users to make use of core facilities must be approved by the dean of the relevant college (or his/her designee) using the three criteria outlined in the visitor policy. In recognition of the contractual obligations established by the Lilly Endowment grant and for IDEA Center companies, economic development considerations for the region may be used to satisfy criterion #2 in an expedited fashion.
  • Visitors must adhere to the conditions of the Visitors Policy and the health and safety protocols of the core facility and the building in which it is located.



For more information about external use of core facilities, please contact Melanie DeFord. Given access may still be limited, please visit the website or contact the specific facility to verify services offered at this time.

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