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Policy Statement

This policy applies to the purchase, maintenance, testing, regulatory compliance, and disposal of research equipment (as defined below) at St George’s, University of London (St George’s).

St George’s houses a substantial range of research equipment. The effective and correct management of these assets impacts research productivity positively by:

-        facilitating access and collaborations;

-        allowing the effective allocation of the university funds;

 ensuring regulatory compliance, thus protecting the university reputationally and legally.

Policy Definitions

Equipment

For the purpose of this policy, equipment means all the non-consumable, physical assets used to carry out research work in a laboratory or in the field

Owner

The person or organisation that controls the use of the equipment and is responsible for its maintenance, especially regarding any statutory requirements that may apply to the equipment

Statutory or Regulatory Requirements

All laws applicable to a piece of equipment, including but not limited to its maintenance and testing

Equipment Database

Database containing information regarding all equipment over pre-determined threshold value at St George’s

St George’s               St George’s, University of London

JRES                          Joint Research and Enterprise Services

The Institutes            Infection and Immunity Research Institute (IIRI)

Molecular and Clinical Science Research Institute (MCSRI)

Institute for Biomedical and Medical Education (IMBE)

Population Health Research Institute (PHRI)

Contents

1.1 Scope of Document

This document is a policy that applies to everyone accessing and using research equipment at St George’s including Research Groups in IIRI, IMBE, MCSRI and PHRI.  It is also applicable to Research Operations staff.

1.2  Equipment Provided by the University

Equipment that is fully provided and maintained by St George’s includes, but is not limited to:

-        -20°C walk in freezer rooms

-        anemometers in CL3 facilities

-        autoclaves

-       back up freezers -20°C/-80°C

-       cold rooms

-       CO2 incubators in communal laboratories

-       DNA extractor

-       drying cabinets

-       floor standing bacterial shakers/incubators

-       gel documentation machine

-       glass dishwashers

-       health and safety equipment e.g. oxygen monitors, CO2 monitors

-        microbiological safety cabinets

-       Nanodrop UV spectrophotometers

-       other chemical and gas detection equipment (e.g. formaldemeter, CO2 analysers, etc.)

-       self-filling liquid nitrogen cryogenic storage

-       scintillation and gamma counters

-       ultra-centrifuges

-       water system

The above listed equipment is available to all researchers without a charge and is fully maintained by the Research Operations staff. This list will be assessed periodically (every two years) by the Research Committee to ensure that the equipment required for achievement of strategic research aims is fully supported.

Faults and malfunctions must be reported to Senior Technician (Equipment maintenance) (from November 2021).

1.3  Equipment in Research Facilities

Equipment in Image Resource Facility (IRF) can be accessed at a charge, however for externally funded research grants this charge will be determined by the funder’s eligibility criteria. Academic staff must check with both the Research Operations staff and their JRES Research Funding Officer about the costs before applying for research funding.

1.4  Equipment Not Funded by the University

Equipment commonly used and expected to be purchased via research grants include, but is not limited to:

-       bench-top centrifuges

-       CO2 incubators and gas pressure reduction valves

-       fridges and freezers

-       laminar flow hoods

-       other small equipment e.g. water baths, gel tanks, power packs etc.

-       PCR machines

Should staff purchase equipment that is under regulatory arrangements such as small autoclaves, safety cabinets, Research Operations staff must be notified, as such equipment must be included in the annual statutory servicing schedule and users must be trained to use the equipment correctly.

Research Operations staff must be notified about purchases of large equipment requiring significant laboratory space, so that such equipment can be considered in space allocation.

It is important to note that not all funders will allow purchase of equipment, and academic staff must check the terms and conditions of their grant (or check with their JRES Research Funding Officer) about funding eligibility before purchasing equipment.

JRES staff are available to provide guidance and support in helping research staff to include equipment funding in grant applications.

1.5  Purchase of Equipment

All equipment purchases must follow the university’s procurement policy. Research Operations staff are available to help with this process, please contact Senior Technician (Equipment maintenance) (from November 2021) in the first instance.

1.6  Equipment Servicing

Equipment provided by St George’s (see sections 1.1, 1.2 above) will be fully serviced and maintained by St George’s.

Servicing of equipment purchased by research staff via research funding is the responsibility of the research staff for the duration of the research grant (exceptions include pressure vessel testing and microbiological safety cabinets servicing and testing).  As above, academic staff must check cost eligibility in the grant terms and conditions (or check with their JRES Research Funding Officer).

Academic staff are responsible for all aspects of equipment belonging to them that is not shared, equipment that is not grant funded or where grant funding has expired. Restrictions imposed by the funders may apply after the grant has expired and academic staff must check in the grant terms and conditions (or check with their JRES Research Funding Officer) for details.

Recurrent cost of servicing for any individual equipment beyond the life of the research grant on which the equipment has been purchased is not guaranteed by the university. If academic staff do not wish to keep such equipment or cannot afford the maintenance, the long-term use will be assessed and determined by the Research Operations staff.

If academic staff are looking to buy any multi-user equipment, a discussion with Research Operations staff must take place at an early stage to arrange important aspects such as training, access, regulatory matters etc.

1.7  Equipment Database

Curating the equipment database will be the responsibility of Research Operations via LabCup (link TBC) software.

All equipment over a threshold value of £350 will be recorded in LabCup. All equipment over the value of £1000, whether owned by the university or a group(s), must be entered into the Equipment Database. The value threshold must be reviewed periodically. Although all such equipment is available to view via LabCup (link TBC) software, labelling will be clear about the access and booking of available equipment.

1.8  Equipment Disposal

Academic staff who own the equipment are responsible for informing Research Operations staff when planning to dispose of equipment.

Research Operations staff must be notified of requests for equipment disposal by contacting Senior Technician (Equipment maintenance) (from November 2021) / SHE Office.

Research Operations staff will periodically arrange for disposal of unwanted/unused equipment.

1.9  Equipment Audits

Research Operation staff will carry out a rolling equipment audits in Jenner Wing to assess the robustness of the equipment database.

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