Friday Harbor Laboratories

April 15, 2020

Policy on Space Allocation

The University Handbook, Vol. II, Section 12.22 states that “space management and allocation” is part of the Capital and Space Planning Office, which reports directly to the Provost. An informal restatement of these policies, commonly used in space decision-making and space request processes, is that space is not “owned” by any college, department or individual in a department.

At the Friday Harbor Laboratories, priority for assignment of space will be given to those researchers and educators conducting activities that align closely with FHL’s mission of excellence in marine research, education, and outreach.

Resident researchers, including those who are UW faculty, staff and students, should submit a Researcher Application annually, preferably in January to allow planning of spaces for the upcoming busy season. The Director of FHL will review these renewal applications and current lab/office space assignments to determine best utilization of FHL resources. All FHL resident researchers who are assigned office or lab space are expected to publish in outlets where their work influences others and becomes known in their field (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles, policy-oriented white papers, textbook chapters). Resident researchers are also expected to apply for external grant funding through FHL.

Best efforts will be made to maintain the existing lab/office space assignments for resident researchers as long as their applications warrant that space.

Lab/office space for visiting researchers is only allocated for the duration (up to one year) of the dates specified on the researcher application and no obligation is implied that the same lab/office space will be assigned in following years.

Policy on Researcher Fees

Rationale for the Policy

Institutional budgets at FHL that historically were supported by Indirect Cost funds (for research administration and general institutional support) or lab rental fees (for maintenance of lab spaces, common-use equipment, etc.) are now substantially in debt. The UW Office of Planning and Budgeting (OPB) requires that FHL eliminate this accumulated deficit by June, 2023.  As part of a multi-pronged approach to reducing the deficit, we are proposing a new Facility Fee in addition to the existing Lab Rental Fee, with accompanying policy regarding conditions under which researchers are required to pay the fees. Once deficits are eliminated, new cost proposals will be prepared and if possible, fees reduced.

Fees and Purpose


Daily rate of $7 per person (plus UW overhead and sales tax if not paid on a UW budget), with discounted rates for weekly and monthly periods. This fee will also be charged of all visitors using FHL (other than Whiteley Center) facilities except for conference participants, who pay Conference Fees. FHL facilities Facility fee covers stockroom consumables and wear and tear on checkouts like microscopes and lights; common use equipment and spaces including sea tables, scanners, molecular lab, RO water, electron microscopes, and rowboats; wear and tear on meeting rooms and overall campus facilities; services such as caretaker availability and mail and package processing.


Daily rate of $34 per lab space (plus UW overhead and sales tax if not paid on a UW budget), with discounted rates for weekly and monthly periods. This fee covers rental of physical research spaces including cold rooms and assigned outdoor spaces such as tank farm. This fee will be paid by any researcher assigned a physical lab space except UW students and researchers.

Fees for Non-UW researchers

Independent, non-UW researchers will be charged a Facility Fee and, if assigned a research space, a Lab Rental Fee.

Non-UW researchers collaborating with a resident scientist and working in that scientist’s assigned permanent space will be charged a Facility Fee; if they require separate, additional research space, they will also be charged a Lab Rental Fee.

Fees for UW researchers


University of Washington researchers and students who use FHL facilities are expected to help support FHL infrastructure by a) bringing IDC from grants through FHL, b) paying Facility Fees, AND/OR c) contributing substantially to the scholarly life at FHL.

IDC rates allowed by sponsor agencies vary enormously, from 0% (many non-profits and some state funding sources) to the UW’s current federally approved IDC rate of 55.5%. While 0%-IDC grants are important in funding research efforts and contributing to scholarly activity at FHL, they do not support FHL budgets or infrastructure through the return of IDC back to FHL.

Facility Fees will be waived for UW faculty, staff and students if they are EITHER 1) supported by grants run through FHL with IDC rates >30%; OR 2) pursuing research and service activities that directly support FHL graduate students, administrative costs, or other FHL priorities (determined in consultation with the FHL Director, described below under Partial Fee Waivers).

Facility Fee Waivers for UW researchers

Facility Fees will be waived for individuals supported by grants that are run through FHL if the grants meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • The grant has the full, UW-negotiated indirect cost rates applicable for on- or off-campus research, as defined by the UW.
  • The grant is formally tied to existing UW programs with alternative indirect cost rates, and their associated educational, research or outreach missions, such as the Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) or Washington State Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (WACFWRU)
  • The grant provides at least 30% of its total direct project costs in support of students at FHL (salary, benefits, stipends, and/or tuition)
  • The grant includes at least 10% of total direct costs in the form of appropriate and permissible charges for FHL administrative or institutional support.

Partial Fee Waivers for UW researchers

UW Researchers (including Emeritus faculty) who use FHL facilities but who have no grants through FHL, or whose grants through FHL meet none of the above criteria, will be charged partial Facility Fees following negotiations with the Director of FHL. Considerations in these negotiations will include:

  • Professional status of the researcher; fees may be reduced for postdocs or early-career researchers if they have no funds available for this purpose.
  • The researcher’s current contributions to scholarly life at FHL. Relevant contributing activities may include: a. mentoring students, including REU students; b. using time and funds from other sources to help maintain common-use facilities such as the Molecular Lab, Imaging Lab, or Flumes; c. representing FHL on university committees; d. participating extensively in FHL outreach activities.
  • Total IDC returned to FHL; if a researcher runs grants through FHL that have low IDC rates but are large overall, and thus bring substantial funds to FHL, Facility Fees may be partially or fully waived at the discretion of the Director.
  • If a researcher who normally runs grants through FHL is without active grant funding, they will not be charged Facility Fees for a grace period of 12 months on the condition that they apply for external grants within this grace period.


Lab Rental Fees, which are associated with UW buildings, will not be charged to any UW researcher, including graduate students, faculty, research scientists, and other titles with formal UW affiliation.

Fees for Student Researchers (graduate, undergrad, & in between)

  • Student researchers are charged as noted above for UW and non-UW researchers.
  • UW student researchers (matriculated graduate students or undergraduates) will not be charged a Lab Rental Fee, but will be charged a Facility Fee. If possible, the advisors of these students should cover the Facility Fee; when this is not feasible, UW students will be given priority for research fellowships to entirely cover these costs as well as defraying the costs of room and board at FHL.
  • Non-UW student researchers will be charged a Facility Fee, and a Lab Rental Fee if they are assigned an independent lab space. Faculty advisors are encouraged to cover these fees for their students whenever possible. Students who do not have other sources of funds are encouraged to apply for an FHL student research fellowship (supported by donor funds) to help offset both these fees as well as defraying the costs of room and board at FHL.


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