Rates are  calculated as defined by the SNSF

Eligible costs

The eligible costs are the basis to calculate the hourly rate of an instrument for academic use. Practically, the hourly rate is based on scientific support and consumables.
Scientific support
The scientific support is all the support a user requires to measure his/her sample and get meaningful results for the project. It may include introductions to the instrument, alignments of the instrument, support to setup the experiments, sample preparation advice, help with the interpretation of the data or even performing experiments for the user. This support differs for every user, sample type, project and instrument as well as it varies over time. The concept to assign hourly rates to scientific support for microscopes is based on the observation that:
  1. Each user gets an introduction, which is defined and more or less the same for every user (for a specific instrument)
  2. Each user get scientific support
  3. The amount of scientific support increases with the complexity of the instrument
The complexity  coefficient has been accepted by the SNSF. The AMI platform uses the following coefficients

Instrument

Coefficient

Introduction

Atomic force microscope

4

3 hours

Scanning electron microscope

4

3 hours

Laser scanning microscope

4

3 hours

Transmission electron microscope

6

6 hours

Focused ion beam

8

10 hours

These values are in accordance with other institutes, including the university of Zurich.
Consumables
Each purchase of the consumables is logged to the consumables database. For each purchase, the expected lifetime of that consumable is provided. For example, an SEM cathode emitter typically last for three years, so its costs (about 6000 €, including the working hours of the technician) are 2000 € on a yearly basis. The sum of all consumables is divided by the total hours the instrument is booked for scientific measurements. This yields the hourly consumables costs. Note: consumables bought by specific research groups (ie. not through the instrument specific account) are excluded from this calculation.
Energy, chemicals, acquisitions and other eligible costs
These categories exists pro forma in the database, but are not included in the calculations.
  • Energy is defined as the excess cost above normal energy use. This is not applicable for an instrument platform as AMI
  • Chemicals are covered by the consumables
  • Acquisitions: nothing additionally was acquired by an SNSF grant so far
  • No other eligible costs were logged

Non-eligible costs

Non-eligible costs are not part of the hourly rate calculation for academic use.
Salaries of the maintenance personnel
Currently, no one is employed as maintenance personnel.
Maintenance contracts
Maintenance contracts were signed for most of the instruments and are covered by the Adolphe merkle Institute.
Repairs
Repairs are covered by the Adolphe Merkle Institute (as faras they are not covered by the maintenance contracts), except repairs necessary due to gross misconduct by the user.  In this case, the PI of the user is contacted and asked to cover the repair. See also the request for Introduction form.
Depreciation
The depreciation is a linear function of the initial purchase costs and the expected lifetime. For example, Laser scanning microscopes are considered a life span of about 10 years (also according to the international standard). With purchase costs of 500 000 CHF, a depreciation of 50 000 CHF per year is calculated. The hourly depreciation costs is the yearly depreciation cost divided by the total hours the instrument is booked for scientific measurements. It is excluded for academic use.
Other costs directly associated with infrastructure
Again the cost is spread over the years, as was the case for consumables and repairs. In this case, it is assumed that the acquisition or add-on will remain for the remaining lifetime of the instrument, unless clear otherwise.
Indirect costs
None of the indirect costs are currently considered. They cover the costs for e.g. the heating of the rooms, the rent of the building, the costs for chairs and lab equipment, the accounting personnel salaries etc.

Day and night hours

Bookings for maintenance, introductions or media are included in any cost calculations. From each session booked by the user, the hours during the day (as defined by morning and evening) and the night are extracted. Weekends count as night-time. For each user and for each instrument, the day and night use is summed over the year and multiplied with the hourly rates of each cost array subcategory.

The capping system

The yearly cap is calculated according to these rules:
  • During night hours, no scientific advice can be requested. Therefore only consumables are invoiced for night hours.
  • During day hours, scientific advice is calculated according to the hourly rate.
If the total day hours booked in a year exceeds a pre-given cap (see below for details), the cap is activated. The cap is always calculated over one calendar year, starting in January.
Scientific advice
Only the hours defined by the cap are invoiced. Furthermore, an additional reduction of the scientific advice costs will be calculated at the rate of the hourly consumables costsThis means that the average hourly scientific costs is decreasing with increasing booking time. For example, if an instrument was used 250 hours, of which 200 during the day, with a 100 hour cap, then the invoice will list costs for consumables of 250 hours and scientific advice of 100 hours (the cap value) reduced with a value worth 100 hours of consumables.
Consumables
The consumables are not affected by the cap. E.g. if the hourly consumables cost is 1 CHF/hour, then the invoice will list 100 CHF for 100 hours, 500 CHF for 500 hours and 2000 CHF for 2000 hours. The reason is that there is no good explanation why consumables would become free of charge even when the instrument is used.
Examples
For a system with a consumables hourly rate of 5 CHF/h and a scientific advice rate of 20 CHF/h. The cap is set at 100 hours.
Day hours Night hours Total hours capped costs
50 10 60 1550 CHF
60 25 85 1825 CHF
100 100 200 3000 CHF
200 100 300 3000 CHF
500 100 600 3000 CHF
900 100 1000 5000 CHF
Note the point where the additional reduction matches the total scientific advice costs. This is reached in the above example after 500 day hours on a yearly basis. At this moment, all costs are generated by the consumables only and the scientific advice is free of charge. Note that from then on the cap is broken, and any additional booking hour will increase the total bill with the consumables rate.

TEM

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 6

Hourly rate(Consumables): 0.74 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 22.01 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 100 h/year
Contact: Dimitri vanhecke

SEM

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 4

Hourly rate(Consumables): 2.05 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 18.34 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 50 h/year
Contact: Dimitri vanhecke

LSM

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 4

Hourly rate(Consumables): 5.13 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 2.79 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 100 h/year
Contact: Dimitri vanhecke

AFM

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 4

Hourly rate(Consumables): 2 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 13 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 50 h/year
Contact: To be decided

3DDLS

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 8

Hourly rate(Consumables): 0 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 24.73 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 50 h/year
Contact: Sandor Balog

Cytoviva

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 2

Hourly rate(Consumables): 3.06 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 1.54 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 100 h/year
Contact: Dimitri vanhecke

SAXS

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 8

Hourly rate(Consumables): 0 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 15.79 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 100 h/year
Contact: Sandor Balog

GISAXS

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 0

Hourly rate(Consumables): 0 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 50 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 10000 h/year
Contact: Sandor Balog

FIB

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 10

Hourly rate(Consumables): 25.83 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 12.23 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 150 h/year
Contact: Dimitri vanhecke

AFM Park NX10

👤 0

⏲ 0h

factor: 10

Hourly rate(Consumables): 2 CHF / h
Hourly rate(Scientific): 9.19 CHF / h
Yearly cap: 100 h/year
Contact: Bodo Wilts