Recharge centers are Washington University operating units that provide products and services for a fee, primarily to other Washington University departments. Recharge centers recover their costs through charges to benefiting users. In some cases, these services/products may also be offered to external (non-Washington University ) customers. Examples of services/products offered include, but are not limited to: novel technologies, equipment, sample and data collections, informatics, analysis tools, consultation, evaluation, specialized technical training, and expertise. Access to the services/products may be restricted or prioritized for targeted user groups or open to all investigators. When a fee will be charged for a service/product, it is necessary to apply university, school, department and funding agency policies and procedures. The information provided in these guidelines is meant to assist you in understanding, establishing and managing such a recharge process.

Guiding Principles

These Guiding Principles are designed to help a faculty member, department administrator or center director understand the key issues involved in managing a recharge center.

  • Identify a product or service that customers may wish to purchase
  • Develop a rate to recover the full costs of providing that service – not to make a profit
  • Apply sound cost principles
  • Apply charges consistently
  • Understand the differences between an internal customer and an external customer
  • Establish and maintain an effective billing/invoice process
  • Comply with applicable regulations and policies