Commonwealth Campuses Research Collaboration Development Program

Data Center Racks

The Data Center Racks at The Institute for CyberScience.

(Updated August 19th, 2019) - To encourage and support both independent and collaborative research projects between Penn State Commonwealth Campuses and core multi-user faculty and research facility staff at the Interdisciplinary Institutes at University Park and at the College of Medicine, the Office of the Vice President of Research (OVPR), in collaboration with the Provost’s Office, the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses (OVPCC), the College of Medicine, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Eberly College of Science, and the College of Health and Human Development are initiating year two (2019/2020) of the Commonwealth Campuses Research Collaboration Development Program. Through this program, Commonwealth Campus faculty are provided the opportunity to submit research proposals that will require access to Penn State’s shared facilities (equipment, instruments, capabilities, and/or expertise). In 2019, it is expected that 20 awards of up to $10,000 will be made through competitive selection process.

To view the "Frequently Asked Questions" document, click here.

For questions, please contact: Odette Mina,

The goals of this program are to:

  • Build the foundation for collaborative research environment.
  • Build relationships between researchers at UP and CoM facilities/institutes and faculty and students at Commonwealth Campuses.
  • Accelerate research and strengthen opportunities for submission of high-quality publications and proposals.
  • Increase opportunities for engaging with funding agencies and industry.


All full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members at Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses are eligible to apply.  [Waivers for non-tenure-track faculty may be requested when petitioned by the faculty member’s Associate Dean of Research in advance of the concept paper.]

Informational Events:

Informational sessions will be held via Zoom:

  -  Session 1: September 13th, 2019 from 12:15 to 1:30pm. This presentation will also be webcast at or you can listen by telephone by dialing  646-876-9923.

  -  Session 2: September 20th, 2019 at 12:15 to 1:30pm. This presentation will be webcast at or you can listen by telephone by dialing: 646.876.9923.  

  -  Session 3: October 4th, 2019 at 12:15 to 1:30pm. This presentation will be webcast at or you can listen by telephone by dialing: 646-876-9923. 


Shared facilities participating in this pilot:

See full list at bottom of page.

  • Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences (Huck)
  • Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE)
    --- The Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories (EESL)
  • Materials Research Institute
    --- Materials Characterization Lab (MCL)
    --- Nanofabrication Lab (Nanofab)
  • Institute for CyberScience (ICS)
  • Social Science Research Institute (SSRI)
  • College of Medicine (CoM)



Review Criteria:

Phase 1 concept papers will be reviewed by institute/facility researchers based upon the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit
  • Availability of the required resources and/or other research supports
  • Approach, including technical feasibility and research methods
  • Qualifications of the applicant
  • Likelihood of external funding

Phase 2 Proposal Review Criteria:

  • Proposals will be evaluated by the Institute/Facility Leadership. The evaluation criteria specific to each institute/faculty are listed on the application sites.

Funding and Allowable Costs:

In 2019, it is expected that awards of up to $10,000 each will be made, with total number of awards not to exceed 20.

The program will consist of two types of support for the Commonwealth Campus Faculty:

  • Equipment use time and facility staff time
  • Consumables, if necessary
  • Travel expenses to and from campuses and Interdisciplinary Institutes.

For SSRI applications, $500 will be provided for the UP mentor. 


Project Duration:

All projects must be completed within one year of the start date. Any unspent funds remaining at the end of one year must be returned to the program / OVPR.


Reporting Requirements:

Within 3 months of the end date of the project, the Commonwealth Campus faculty member/facility staff will submit an initial report to the OVPR.

The Commonwealth Campus faculty member/facility staff should participate in the Commonwealth Campus Grant Writing Workshop in May.

Within 1 year, a follow-up report is required and should include quantitative outcome measures:

  • # Publications
  • # Grant proposals
  • # Presentations (At UP, CoM, and Commonwealth Campuses)



Application and Review Process:

This program requires a two-phase application process, consisting of a pre-proposal concept paper and a proposal. 

Phase 1 - For ALL Applications

Click here to complete the Phase 1 application:

Concept Paper: Submission window is from August 15th, 2019 through November 30th, 2019, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

  1. Faculty must submit a concept paper specifying the main scientific question(s) to be addressed (maximum of two paragraphs). If known, please identify the institute or core facility and any required capabilities/expertise.
  2. For SSRI, faculty should suggest potential UP mentors.
  3. Concept papers will be reviewed by facility/institute staff and matched with an internal Subject Matter Expert (SME). A response will be provided within 10 days of submission.
  4. Preliminary Discussion.  A conversation between the faculty and SME will occur to explore/develop the concept.  If required, the program will provide “pre-proposal” funding to determine feasibility (e. g.  cover up to ~ 1 day of staff time + instrument time for ~$1000).  The decision to provide the pre-proposal funding will be made by the facility directors/faculty in conjunction with facility technical staff. 
  5. The outcome of the pre-proposal work will be reviewed by the faculty member, SME, and core facility/institute leadership.  The faculty member will be encouraged to submit a proposal if the results are positive.

Phase 2:

Submission window is from November 1st, 2019 through March 16th, 2019.

Phase 2 Proposal for IEESL, Huck, Nanofab, MCL - Commonwealth Campuses & Shared Facilities & Collaboration Development Program:  website unavailable

Phase 2 Proposal for Institute for CyberScience (ICS) - Commonwealth Campuses & Shared Facilities & Collaboration Development Program: website unavailable

Phase 2 Proposal for the College of Medicine (CoM) - Commonwealth Campuses & Shared Facilities & Collaboration Development Program:  website unavailable

Phase 2 Proposal for the Social Sciences Research Institute (SSRI) - Commonwealth Campuses & Shared Facilities & Collaboration Development Program: website unavailable


Facilities List

The Description of Proposed Research section must include information related to how each of the capabilities selected will be used (if this is a seed proposal to explore a technique please state “preliminary exploration” in the research description section). Proposers should contact Institute core facility staff in EESL, MCL, Nanofab, and Huck for assistance in selecting the best capabilities. (Click here for a list of links to facility web pages:


Materials Research Institute

Materials Characterization Laboratory

Electron & Ion Microscopy

  • TEM (S/TEM, EELS, EDS, in situ (liquid, heating, electrical biasing)
  • FIB
  • EPMA

Surface Analysis

  • Auger
  • Tof-SIMS
  • XPS
  • AFM (topography, mechanical, electrical, magnetic, other)
  • Optical Profilometry
  • Molecular Spectroscopy
  • FTIR (micro-FTIR, ATR, DRIFTS, reflection, transmission, variable temp)
  • micro-Raman
  • UV-Vis-NIR (diffuse reflection, specular reflection, transmission)

X-Ray Scattering

  • WAXS (powder, high resolution, micro-focus, high temp)
  • SAXS

Particle Analysis

  • Laser Diffraction (Malvern Mastersizer 3000)
  • Zeta Potential (Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS)
  • Image based analysis (Malvern Morphologi G3)

Thermal Analysis

  • TGA
  • TGA-MS
  • DSC
  • SDT

Electrical / Dielectric Characterization

Materials Processing

  • Furnaces
  • Grinding/milling
  • Dicing / sawing


  • Nanoindentation
  • Surface Area
  • Porosity
  • Density
  • Contact Angle
  • Optical Microscopy

Nanofabrication Lab

Deposition and Growth

  • Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD)
  • Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
  • Evaporation (Thermal or Electron Beam)
  • Electroplating
  • Oxidation and Annealing
  • Sol-gel Complex Oxide
  • Sputtering


  • Dry Etching (Plasma Based)
  • Wet Etching
  • Vapor Etching (XeF2 release)


  • Resist Coating Benches (Spinner/Hotplate)
  • Track Coater
  • Spray Coater
  • Contact Print Lithography
  • Electron Beam Lithography
  • Laser Writer Direct Write
  • Photomask Fabrication
  • Projection/Stepper Lithography
  • Soft Lithography (PDMS)
  • 3D nanoscale printer (Nanoscribe)
  • L-Edit CAD Software
  • Lithography Modeling Software
  • Surface Modification (HMDS, adhesion promoters)
  • Deep UV Flood

Characterization (In Cleanroom)

  • Optical Microscopy
  • Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • Ellipsometry/Reflectometry
  • Four-Point Probe Resistivity
  • Profilometry

Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences 


  • Sanger sequencing
  • Real time PCR
  • short read (Illumina) genome scale sequencing
  • long read (PacBIO) genome scale sequencing
  • epigenetics
  • metagenomics
  • genotyping

Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry

  • Proteomics
  • Quantitative proteomics
  • Post translational modifications
  • Accurate mass determinations
  • Microbial identification (biotyping)


  • Targeted metabolomics (LC-MS)
  • Untargeted (comprehensive) metabolomics (GC-MS/LC-MS)
  • Quantitative analyses (GC-MS/LC-MS)


  • Light microscopy (confocal, live cell etc)
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Transmission light microscopy
  • Histology and sample preparation

Flow Cytometry

  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluorescence-activated cell sorting

Cryo-Electron Microscopy

  • Single particle analysis
  • Cryo-tomography
  • Electron diffraction cryo-EM

X Ray Crystallography

  • Protein characterization (dynamic light scattering, bio-layer interferometry, circular dichroism)
  • Robotic crystallization
  • Structure determination
  • Small angle X ray scattering

Automated Biological Calorimetry

  • Isothermal titration calorimetry
  • Differential scanning calorimetry

CSL Behring Fermentation Facility

  • Microbial bioprocessing (growth, isolation, purification)
  • Biomass pre-treatment

High Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  • In vivo and ex vivo magnetic resonance microscopy

Transgenic Mouse

  • Design and production of transgenics
  • Re-derivations
  • Animal husbandry and surgeries



Institute for CyberScience

  • ICS Advanced CyberInfrastructure (ICS-ACI) & ICS High Performance Research Cloud

Institutes for Energy and the Environment

Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories

Radiocarbon Laboratory

  • Accelerator Mass Spectrometer

Center for Quantitative Imaging

  • MicroCT Scanner

Laboratory for Isotopes and Metals in the Environment

  • ICP-MS
  • TIMS
  • GC


  • GC/MS
  • SFS
  • LC/MS (expected availability later in 2018)

Solar Energy Laboratory

  • (Expected availability later in 2018)

Water Quality Laboratory

  • AAS-Flame and Furnace
  • Mercury Analyzer
  • IC
  • Conductivity Meter
  • Stable Isotopes Water Analyzer
  • Total Organic Carbon Analyzer
  • Radiometer
  • Turbidimeter
  • pH



Social Science Research Institute

College of Medicine


  • DNA/RNA Extraction Robotics and Library Prep
  • Illumina, IonTorrent, and BioNano genome and exome scale sequencing
  • Transcriptomics/RNA Sequencing
  • Digital PCR and TaqMan assays
  • Epigenetic Analyses
  • Sanger sequencing

Zebrafish Functional Genomics

  • State-of-the-art Pentair Aquatic Habitats recirculating aquaria
  • Maintenance of multiple wildtype zebrafish
  • Design and microinjection to create mutant zebrafish strains
  • Leica, Zeiss, and Olympus Fluorescence microscopes

Macromolecular Synthesis

  • Oligonucleotide and modified oligonucleotide design & synthesis up to 140 bases length
  • Peptide, heavy isotope peptide, and modified peptide synthesis up to 45 amino acid length

Proteomics and Small Molecule Mass Spectrometry

  • Discovery and targeted Proteomics
  • Quantitative proteomics – SILAC, isobaric tagging, label-free, and DIA/SWATH quantitative proteomics
  • Post-translational modifications and stoichiometry
  • Bioinformatics and Biostatistics analyses of quantitative proteomics results
  • Targeted Assay development for quantitation of drugs and metabolites, PD/PK studies

Advanced Light Microscopy

  • Live-Cell and Whole animal Multiphoton Microscopy
  • Live-Cell Deconvolution Microscopy
  • Second Harmonic Generation Imaging of Cellular Structures

 Flow Cytometry

  • Flow cytometry (multiple 4-, 10-, and 16 -color Becton-Dickinson FACS Analyzers)
  • Cell sorting: 17-color BD FACS Aria SORP high-performance 4-way cell sorter

 Transmission (TEM) and Cryo-Electron Microscopy

  • Sample sectioning, embedding for TEM
  • Single particle analysis by CryoEM
  • Tomography by CryoEM