X-flash # 12?                                         December 6, 2006


Introducing PRO:  Pilot Research Opportunity.

In December, Xlab ran the first in a series of four PRO studies.  The first PRO combined 6 short, separate faculty surveys into one, with each investigator having full knowledge of all surveys conducted and the order in which they will be presented.  Administered by the Xlab to over 150 subjects, PRO is a way for faculty to conduct pilot research with minimal waste of subjects, space, and staff time.
To provide these savings, the Xlab will coordinate the program, collect faculty surveys, provide expedited CPHS approval (with the appropriate supervision, of course), recruit and pay subjects, conduct the experiments, and offer computer support as needed.
The cost is nominal.  Faculty pay a $1 per subject as an introductory price. Dean Tom Campbell has pledged Haas support for the balance for this year.  Eventually, investigators will be asked to pay the full marginal cost to the Xlab.
If you are interested in participating in the next round(s) of PRO, contact Xlab Director Barbara Mellers mellers@haas.berkeley.edu
User Fees at the Xlab?

The Xlab was created through a grant from the National Science Foundation and has never charged investigators for use of the lab.  Sadly, both good things are coming to an end.  The NSF grant runs out at the end this academic year, and to ensure the continued functioning of the Xlab we are considering instituting modest user fees.
Beginning in January 2007, all users will receive a ?hypothetical bill? with ?what they would have paid had user fees been in effect. We are considering charging a fee for using the Xlab, beginning July 2007.
How would fees be determined?  Any fee structure would take into account whether or not computer support is needed, the number of sessions and set-ups, and the number of subjects involved.  As a very rough measure, investigators should figure on $60/hr of lab time, including set-up and testing, ?less than your auto mechanic charges.
Would everyone have to pay?  Yes.  Xlab would offer some help to UCB graduate students and new investigators through its grants program.  But established faculty should begin to build Xlab costs into funding proposals.
Why doesn?t the University pay for the Xlab? Xlab already receives substantial University support?from the Dean of Haas, from the California Management Review, from the College of Letters and Science, and from IBER.  It just isn?t enough to maintain the Xlab as a first-rate facility.
Comments?  Send constructive comments to Barbara Mellers <mellers@haas> or Bob Barde <barde@haas>


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