Room allocation policy

Informatics policy on room allocation for staff and students.

The aim of the School’s room allocation policy is to provide space for Informatics staff and students in as fair and equitable a manner as possible. There is no perfect algorithm for allocating space to people or activities, nor is there a single optimal allocation of people to rooms.  Instead we must reach an allocation that is the best balance we can reasonably achieve between (often) conflicting constraints. We achieve this by setting a broad policy for allocation that leaves room for practical adjustment.

Basic principles

  • We seek to give single occupancy offices to academic staff who need a secluded environment in which to work; and to those in other roles for which sharing a room is impractical (e.g. because the role demands frequent confidential discussions).
  • We encourage social groups, while recognizing that the larger such groups become the more difficult it becomes to keep everyone in close proximity.
  • We discourage territoriality, so no group should feel that it has a right to exclude others from its space.
  • We offer hot-desking facilities to all visitors, but are unable to guarantee dedicated desk space, due to reduced availability. Eminent visitors will be given dedicated space for the duration of their visit, where possible.

Allocation responsibility

The complex range of office spaces and users makes it impossible for a single person or team to take oversight of all allocations. The following are responsible for different office types for staff allocations:

Research Support Offices – visitors, visitor offices and hot-desking spaces

Human Resources – research staff and research staff rooms

Knowledge Management [in support of Graduate School] – all PGR students and PGR student rooms

Head of School and/or Director of Professional Services – allocation of admin, computing and academic staff, and all single occupancy offices

Availability of space

The growing number of PGR students and research staff appointments means that space is at a premium. The School is committed to making flexible use of existing space whilst maintaining the character of the Forum. As such, attempts will be made to increase office capacity where possible and repurpose alternative spaces as opportunities arise.

Allocation of PGR student space

See: Student desk allocation policy.

Allocation of research staff space

See: Research staff allocation policy.

Allocation of visitor space

The restricted availability of space in the Forum means that we need to be cautious in our commitment of dedicated space to visiting staff and students. Strategy Committee has agreed on the definition of four visitor categories, see:

School visitor policy

The assignment of room and desk facilities to each of these categories is summarized below:

Visiting research students

Whilst registered as a matriculated student on EUCLID, Visiting Research Students are entitled to access hot-desking facilities throughout the Forum.  Exceptional allocation to a dedicated student desk can be arranged, but is dependent on availability and the agreement of the Director of Graduate School, or delegate.  Staff organizing the arrival of a group of visiting research students, or a summer School should contact the Knowledge Management team to discuss desk availability well in advance of the proposed visit date.  Visiting UG and PGT students registered on courses and programmes administered by ITO are not granted access to the Forum, therefore should make use of the ITO teaching facilities.

Visiting researchers

Within the duration of a sponsored visit recorded on the University Visitor Registration System, Visiting Researchers are entitled to access hot-desking facilities throughout the Forum.  Exceptional allocation to a dedicated research desk can be arranged by the relevant Research Support office, but is dependent on availability and the agreement of the HR team.

Eminent visiting researchers

Within the duration of a sponsored visit recorded on the University Visitor Registration System, Eminent Visiting Researchers are entitled to a dedicated visitor room and desk space for the duration of their visit, although there are only a limited number of these rooms.  Alternative arrangements will be made by the Research Support office in collaboration with colleagues in HR.   

Visiting Interns (grant funded, and non-funded)

Within the duration of a sponsored visit recorded on the University Visitor Registration System, Visiting Interns are entitled to access hot-desking facilities throughout the Forum.  Exceptional allocation to a dedicated student or researcher desk can be arranged by the relevant Research Support office, but is dependent on availability and the agreement of the Knowledge Management and/or HR teams.

Future actions

  • We will more carefully enforce the existing School policy of moving PhD students beyond their 4th year of study into hot desk space.
  • We will look across the current occupancy of offices to spot anomalies in room provision and opportunities to make better use of space.
  • We will increase the availability of hot-desks and dedicated visitor space, in recognition that there will be less availability in student and research staff areas.
  • We will work to increase capacity of student rooms, possibly using different desk configurations or by purchasing different desk shapes, as funds allow.

 

Policy Approved by: Strategy Committee 25/06/2014

Last Reviewed: 25/06/2014