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This manual continues to give the user as much information as possible in the basics of operating a service center; however there will be areas where more information or clarity on specific issues is needed. Please do not hesitate to contact the specific Research Administration Policy & Compliance (RAPC), or your Cost & Management Analysis (CMA) service center analyst assigned to your service center or the Director of RAPC.

1. Introduction

Stanford University conducts research under Government-funded grants and contracts. Service center activities often result in charges, either directly or indirectly, to federally sponsored grants and contracts. Therefore, service center policies and practices must reflect federal regulatory cost principles such as those contained in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance (Circular No. A-21, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions,"). These principles will be called federal regulations throughout the manual.

Service centers are large and small “businesses”, providing services that are essential to support the University's teaching and research functions.  There are three types of Service centers, Academic, Administrative, and Specialized facilities.

  • Academic schools or department-level service centers are identified by their award range ACxxx in the chart of accounts.  Examples of centers providing support in academic schools and departments include machine shops, fluorescent-activated cell sorter facilities, specialized computing systems, microarray facility, and magnetic resonance simulator facility.
  • Administrative or University-level service centers are assigned to award range ALxxx and they provide central services to the entire Stanford community, which includes utilities, operation and maintenance shop services, and ITS Shared Services.
  • Specialized Service center VSC (short for Veterinary Service Center) is identified by award AKAAF.  It provides animal husbandry services, veterinary care, oversight of animal holding areas, procurement of animals, provision of technical services, training, and specialized facilities to facilitate animal research.

2. Background and Intent of this Manual

The service center manual was first issued in 1987 by Cost & Management Analysis (CMA), formally known as Government Cost & Rate Studies (GCRS), as a reference document for both new and experienced service center managers. The manual was revised in April 1995 to provide additional information and to incorporate specific changes in practices. It has been revised several times, with additional examples and corrections to the accounting process.  Revision changes regarding UBIT 15% were incorporated in the last version. Throughout the revisions, the basic information provided in the various versions still applies. This revision updates the reader with iLab information and Sponsored AR process for external user payments, both of which are in Appendix section.

3. Summary of Changes in University Policies and Practices

Added to this version of the University Policies and Practices, is a brief overview of iLab which was rolled out in FY13 on a very limited basis and now in FY17 is in process of being used by all SoM service centers and is in use by one DoR service center.

Revision to External User Payment process is updated to reflect Sponsored AR as the process owner and revised dollar threshold.

Also added is the External user F&A rate assignment explanation and link to website.

Other Oracle and iLab Project Resources

Service center managers also need to be familiar with the additional information located on the Stanford Oracle Financials website the various articles and links are all helpful in guiding the user through the Oracle system.  

A short iLab tutorial has been added to the DoResearch site.   Links with screen shots have been added for new users of iLab on the iLab introduction webpage.

Adherence to federal regulations and specific policies as described in the University’s Disclosure Statement are implicit in this policy. It is important to note that the University’s exposure from non-compliance with federal regulations may involve non-reimbursement from the government as well as adverse publicity which could harm future awards.