Definition of a User Facility
The Office of Science defines a user facility as follows: A user facility is a federally sponsored research facility available for external use to advance scientific or technical knowledge under the following conditions:
- The facility is open to all interested potential users without regard to nationality or institutional affiliation.
- Allocation of facility resources is determined by merit review of the proposed work.
- User fees are not charged for non-proprietary work if the user intends to publish the research results in the open literature. Full cost recovery is required for proprietary work.
- The facility provides resources sufficient for users to conduct work safely and efficiently.
- The facility supports a formal user organization to represent the users and facilitate sharing of information, forming collaborations, and organizing research efforts among users.
- The facility capability does not compete with an available private sector capability.