Since 2001, under the auspices of Dr. Mark Batzer, the LSU Genomics Facility has provided services to the LSU Baton Rouge campus under a very generous operational model in which instrumentation, service contracts, and staff were provided without charge. In essence, clients reimbursed the facility solely for the actual costs of reagents or consumables used to provide their services.
With shifting funding sources and aging instrumentation, that generous operational model is being reconsidered along with an assessment of what services and instrumentation might be provided in the future. Thus, during Fall 2021, we submitted a survey to our clients in order to assess the facility's performance and future client needs.
Approximately 50% of our current clients completed the survey:
35 Faculty; 5 Staff; 11 Post-docs; 28 Graduate students; and one Undergraduate student. Below, we present de-identified results in the form of a brief synopsis, selected summary tables and graphs, and a listing of the testimonials and comments. Further, the raw survey data are included for those interested in parsing the data themselves.
Letter of Support: The majority of clients stated that they were willing to write a Letter of Support for the Genomics Facility.
Grant applications: Clients frequently cite the existence of the facility in grant applications, with some regarding that fact as crucial to the success of their applications.
Collaborations: Clients generally regard the facility as very important to the procurement of funding for collaborations.
Recruitment: Clients generally regard the facility as very important to personnel recruitment, with some specifically noting that prospective faculty expect such facilities at Tier 1 Universities.
Research: Clients regard the facility as very important to their ability to perform and publish high quality scientific research as well as to support graduate and undergraduate studies.
Current offerings: Clients are overwhelmingly pleased with the facility's current instruments and services, although some clients expressed strong interest in expanded offerings.
Current Instrumentation: Sanger-Sequencing (and Fragment analysis) services dominate client needs, but qPCR services are also in high demand. All other instruments and services have their dedicated constituencies, but at a lower usage level than either the ABI 3130xl or the two qPCR machines; however, some of those services are critical to the research programs of specific clients.
Prospective Instrumentation: All of the proposed instruments have sizeable constituencies, but the ABI 3500xl and "qPCR" instruments once again dominate the scene. However, some research on campus is difficult to perform without access to the other instruments... which are either very old or currently unavailable on the LSU campus. Very little interest was expressed by clients for instruments that were not specifically proposed on the survey.