Oversight of existing service centers regarding rate calculations and financial operations related to providing goods and/or services to users.
Reviewing and approving all requests to establish new service centers.
Maintaining an inventory of services and rates.
Reviewing and approving rate forms submitted by service centers, confirming compliance with Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
What is a service center?
The characterization of a research service center is complex, technical, and highly regulated by the federal government. Service centers are specialized research facilities, animal research facilities, and other specialized technical facilities structured to provide specific goods and/or services to support internal users of the University. Service centers may provide goods and/or services to external users on a limited and incidental basis, subject to applicable law and University constraints including but, not limited to the Umstead Act and bond covenants limiting private use of facilities constructed with the proceeds of certain types of bonds. Service centers are available to users who need access to infrastructure, technologies, and services that are often beyond the technical or financial capability of individual investigators. Service center activity differs from that of research in that research is the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusion; whereas, service centers provide specific goods and/or services to support research.
Research service centers charge the costs of goods and/or services directly to users based on (1) established billing rates, as reviewed and approved by Financial Services, and (2) the actual usage of the goods and/or services. For internal users, rates charged for goods and/or services are based on actual direct costs, are consistently applied, and do not discriminate as to the type of sponsored funding. Research service centers must charge all users for goods and/or services provided. A research service center may establish tiered rates for users external to the University; however, tiered charge rates must equal or exceed the total cost (direct & indirect costs) to provide the service. Financial Services will conduct a review of the research service center rates annually for adjustments or sustainability.
Policy, Rule, and Regulation
There is specific University regulation pertaining to service centers. All service centers must comply with Research Service Centers PRR (Pending) which provides a comprehensive reference for uniform interpretation of the conditions under which East Carolina University may establish a service center, develop user rates, and ensure compliance with sound accounting principles and governmental regulations.
Standard Operating Procedures
There are specific standard operating procedures related to service centers. The Research Service Center Standard Operating Procedures Manual is available to new and existing service centers. The manual includes topics such as establishing a new service center, federal compliance regulation, business plans, roles and responsibilities, rate setting and utilization, allowable and unallowable costs, billing and accounting best practices, operation reserve balances, record retention, and ECU contacts.
Roles and Responsibilities
Service Center Departmental Administrator
Department Chair and Dean or Associate Dean, and Vice Chancellor or Associate Vice Chancellor
Accounting Services offers Service Center training opportunity through Cornerstone:
Service Centers 101
- Intended for individuals that have a role in service center administration who desire to obtain a better understanding of related federal, state, and university rules, regulations, and procedure requirements.
You may register for this course at the
HR Cornerstone Site
As indicated in the Research Service Center Standard Operating Procedures Manual, there are forms and templates to be used by service center administrators for establishing a new service center and for annual rate development, submission, and approval:
Service Center Business Plan templateService Center Application/Renewal FormRate Development WorkbookRequest for Services FormService Center LogRevenue Analysis FormPlease contact Tereasa Hopkins for these forms.
Tereasa Hopkins, CPA, Cost Analyst
H202, 3800 East 10th Street
Greenville, NC 27858