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NUCore: Simplifying Core Facility Management in Higher Education

NUCore is an open-source core facility management application for universities, developed in collaboration with a consortium of research institutions, where costs are shared for features that benefit the broader community. It integrates key processes—order placement, billing, and reporting—into a single, intuitive platform.

Since 2009, Northwestern University and TXI have partnered to continually develop and improve this software. Here’s how it makes life easier for administrators and researchers.

Intuitive Order Management

NUCore offers a cart-based ordering system that makes it easy to purchase research materials, order services, and make reservations. Once logged in, users can see orders in progress, their order history, payment sources for each transaction, and which services are available for a given facility—all with a single click.

The app also offers additional homepage menus based on each user’s organizational role (e.g., billing and reporting menus for administrative staff). This declutters the user experience and ensures that users only see what they need.

Frictionless Billing

Billing administrators waste hours every week correcting failed transactions. That’s why we designed NUCore to validate payment sources at multiple checkpoints. And thanks to an integration with university payment processor portals, NUCore also makes it easy to accept credit card payments while remaining PCI compliant.

Comprehensive Data Repository

For a quick snapshot, NUCore offers two reporting tools:

  1. General reports: These provide insight into the amount and cost of each activity.

  2. Instrument utilization reports: These summarize the amount and time booked for each activity, along with information about instrument downtime and daily reservations.

These reports can be exported with varying levels of detail or viewed as Tableau dashboards for more interactive analysis.

The NUCore journey

NUCore Saves Time and Money Across Core Facilities

Today, NUCore supports 170 core facilities across six institutions with over 16,000 active users. At each core facility, the app creates opportunities for huge cost savings. At Northwestern University, for instance, the app supports nearly 50 percent of all sponsored award dollars at a cost of just one cent for every dollar transacted.

TXI, a digital consultancy, partners with Northwestern University to build NUCore. As a consortium partner, we collaborate on the design and development of features to meet the needs of various stakeholders, including research facility staff and administrators, principal investigators, and financial administrators.

As a trusted advisor, TXI has transformed NUCore's evolution by fostering collaboration among leading institutional figures via the NUcore consortium. This consortium brings several benefits to member institutions, including sharing costs for large and impactful customized features, exchanging ideas to address end-user needs, and supportive delivery management such as roadmap creation, risk mitigation, and release planning.

Want to see how NUCore can transform your core facility management? Check out the demo site to get a sense of the layout, then get in touch with us for a free test account to access the admin functionalities.

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