NCRC Research Services

NCRC Research Services

In 2011, when NCRC site leadership began looking at service provisions to support research, the guiding principle was to perform as many tactical functions that would enable researchers to focus on their priority work as possible. The focus was on providing an onsite services team that would benefit occupants directly by taking care of menial tasks, thereby allowing investigators more time to perform research. The decision was made to implement “Research Services” as a suite of services related to the support of wet lab research and the administration supporting the labs.

NCRC Administration partnered with Unity Lab Services (ULS), a part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., to provide the following services:

  • Autoclaving (dry goods/clean)
  • Bio-Hazardous Waste Removal
  • Dock Management
  • Glasswashing
  • Mail Sorting
  • Biological Sample Transport (Ann Arbor Campus)
  • U-M Packaging and Shipping Services (for hazardous materials)
  • Property Disposition Support
  • Laundry Services Support
  • Gas Cylinder Support
  • E-Waste Material Support
  • Dry Ice Recycling Storage
  • Locker Management
  • Universal Recycling Support for OSEH
  • Interlibrary Book Loan Support


Research Services began by supporting a few hundred occupants in 2011 and has consistently grown over the past five years to supporting over 2600 colleagues. It is projected that NCRC will continue to grow over the next 4 years to a total site population of approximately 3,500.

The NCRC Quality Of Life (QOL) Site Survey Report for 2016 continues to show an increase in satisfaction from the research services community, similar to each previous survey. Over the last 5 years satisfaction scores were as follows: 2012 (82%) 2013 (86%) 2014 (85%) 2015 (89%) 2016 (94%).

5/15 – 4/16 facts and figures around research services

From May 2015 – April 2016, 56,866 lbs. of bio hazardous waste was removed from the NCRC.

From May 2015 – April 2016, 113 Hazardous Material shipments, both domestic and international, were shipped with no regulatory citations, all of which arrived within the parameters set by the customers.

From May 2015-April 2016, 1871 biological samples were transported from the NCRC across the U-M Ann Arbor Campus.

From May 2015 – April 2016, 1008 cycles of glasswashing were completed. In addition, 455 cycles of “dry goods” autoclaving and 212 cycles of ethylene oxide sterilization were also completed.

As a result of the success of Research Services over the past 5 years, an initiative is underway to share best practices and scale the services beyond NCRC. The principles could apply to all services that fall under the Research Services umbrella however, they would be managed commonly and administered locally, specific to the needs of the site.

Today, the removal of biomedical waste for off-site sterilization is being implemented at the Medical School and LSI. LSI implementation of the biohazardous waste program began in February 2016 and to date 5,418.90 lbs. of waste have been removed, for a total cost of $1,029. Beginning March 15, 2016, the removal of bio hazardous waste was implemented at the Medical School. As of May 5, 2016 the team has successfully assisted in removing 8,537 lbs. of waste, for a total cost for $1,622. Follow up interviews with the customers have yielded a fair amount of positive feedback on the waste removal process and have resulted in a few adjustments to better suit the user needs and waste generation volumes. Recent results from a very simple survey asking overall, if the research community is satisfied with the biohazard waste disposal service resulted in an astonishing 85% of satisfied customers.

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