Internal DTU projects

I have heard that internal DTU projects do not pay for usage of Nanolab, how does that work?

You have heard correctly, the fundamental of this is that the DTU Executive board (President, Provost, Director etc.) has decided that Nanolab should be utilized as much as possible. That means that Nanolab gets base funding for providing access to the facilities for all DTU departments, the departments do not pay Nanolab.

The way this is handled practically is that the economy sections have the grand overview of the various projects at any given department. At the end of the month Nanolab forwards a specification for all the use of the facilities to the economy section of the department. The economy section knows the budgets and the book keeping of all projects and then check to see if the use of Nanolab falls under internal use or not. This is in many cases obvious when the usage is registered in LabManager to a given internal project number. However, it might also be less obvious, because in some cases an externally funded project does not have funds for cleanroom or e-beam characterization use, in this case the usage is then seen as internally funded and does not burden the externally funded project.

Depending on your department you might need to get approval from a superior for usage outside the budget of an externally funded project.

So if internal DTU use is free why should Nanolab service appear in budgets for external funding?

Internal use of the facilities is not free - of course it costs money to provide the facilities. However DTU’s executive board (President, Provost, Director etc.) have decided to pay for all internal use of the facilities. This is partly to send a strong signal that the facilities are meant to be used across DTU departments but also to avoid a large number of invoices being send and processed inside DTU. Such invoices would result in quite a bit of bureaucracy and no added value for the cost.

However when externally funded projects come into the picture the situation is quite different. A project proposal is essentially about accomplishing something and what resources are needed to accomplish this. Some of the resources available at DTU is the Nanolab facilities, and to make sure they are available in the future, DTU’s executive board asks principal investigators to include the cost for usage of the facilities in the budgets for externally funded projects.

To phrase it in another way: as long as DTU’s Executive board sees a reasonable relationship between the department’s usage of the facilities and the external funding secured, they are willing to proceed with the very flexible access to the facilities where internal projects do not pay for usage.

If DTU internal usage of Nanolab is not paid for by the department, why do you send an invoice?

We actually do not send an invoice for the usage of the facilities. What we do send, is a specification. The specification tells the department and the economy section how much Nanolab has been used and for what projects.

Nanolab does not know how your particular projects are funded or if you have run out of external funding or indeed if there are some special arrangements – this is what the economy section looks into. In the cases where the economy section sees usage which is for internal projects they simply do not burden the projects with this cost.

A small note here which may cause a bit of confusion, is that materials which have been used at Nanolab will result in an invoice. More details on the difference between materials and service can be found under“Why is the pricing policy different between materials and services?”