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Introduction and purpose

This policy outlines the process for allocation of space at St George's, University of London (St George's). As a finite resource, efficient and effective use of space is crucial in advancing the University's strategic priorities.

The allocation of space will be organised in a consistent and transparent manner, with strategic, functional, and quantitative needs taken into consideration. Nevertheless, the application of space allocation set out in this policy may be limited within specific buildings on the estate. It will be used to inform new development but will not necessarily affect existing as-built office environments.

Principles of Space Management

1. All University space is the property of St George’s;

2. The Estates and Facilities team led by the Director of Estates and Facilities is responsible for maintaining the space in conjunction with key Directorate colleagues;

3. Requests for any space must be reviewed and approved by the Space Management Group;

4. Heads of Centres/Directorates are responsible for managing space efficiently within their respective teams in accordance with this policy;

5. Periodic reviews will be conducted to assess space allocations. A proactive approach will be adopted to maximise the efficient use of all space, allowing the Space Strategy Committee to prioritise allocation based on evolving needs. It is acknowledged that:

- individual staff have different work allocation for research, teaching and administrative tasks, which will be considered carefully in implementation of the Policy.

- changing research funding landscape and technology advances may influence the optimisation of allocated space in response to the current and emerging needs.

- changes in teaching obligations may influence the optimisation of allocated space.

6. This policy is firmly grounded in supporting the University's strategy. Therefore, it allows the Senior Leadership Team the necessary flexibility to make strategic space decisions, even if they don't fully align with specific sections of the policy, enabling agile decision-making and the effective balancing of competing priorities.

Space allocations

Teaching room bookings are handled by the Timetabling Team. Easy to accommodate requests for space (desk space, bench space, small offices) will be managed by the Research Operations team (Jenner Wing), Education Operations team (Hunter Wing, Levels 4, 5, and 6) or Estates and Facilities (all other areas). Complex requests for space that may require significant disruption will be managed by Estates and Facilities. Decisions regarding space allocation will be considered and approved by the Space Management Group. The following statements are provided as general guidelines to assist in decision-making processes. These statements may not be applicable to all situations and will depend on particular circumstances that will be assessed by the staff managing space and the Space Management Group. Normally, the following overarching principles will be applied:

- In all cases, if required, all members of staff are expected to share offices;

- If staff already hold an office elsewhere (e.g., Trust), allocation of space will usually be within a hot-desking area;

- Single occupancy offices should only be allocated based on requirements of the role;

- Single occupancy offices should be allocated only if staff members are on campus 0.6 FTE or more days each week or at the discretion of the University’s authorities in accordance with paragraph 6 of the Principles of Space Management;

- Staff members that are on site less than 0.6 FTE / 3 days each week (part time tutors, part time lecturers or staff on site less than 3 days) will be allocated a hot desk within an agile working zone or shared work station in a shared office;

- Staff who have been formally approved to regularly work off campus, will not generally have a dedicated single occupancy office;

- Staff with approved working off site arrangements should, either be allocated a shared work station similar to staff with a fractional FTE or provided with access to a hot desk while on campus depending on their specific circumstances;

- Staff visiting for more than six months may be provided with a dedicated workstation within a specific area if they will be on site more than 0.6 FTE / 3 days;

- Staff visiting for less than six months will be located in shared open plan spaces or existing shared offices. These staff members will not be provided with a permanent workstation or single occupancy office;

- Bookable meeting rooms will be configured and allocated per zone;

- Space needs of research-focused clinical academic staff will be considered similarly to those of

non-clinical academic staff;

- All research staff without funding to maintain a research group may be asked to share office, regardless of seniority;

- Shared workspace/hotdesking will include a desk space (usually 1 m) with a possibility of either under desk pedestal, cabinet, shelves or drawer cabinet, depending on the space configuration.

Teaching and Research staff

· Institute Directors will be offered a single occupancy office;

· Full-time (not honorary) non-clinical and clinical Professors will usually be provided with a single occupancy office;

· Non-clinical and clinical Readers (not honorary) will usually be provided with a single occupancy office but may be required to share office depending on space availability;

· Non-clinical and clinical Lecturers and Senior Lecturers (not honorary) will be offered a shared office;

· Part-time Academic Staff at all levels of seniority will usually be allocated multi-occupancy office space, although grant income or the volume/nature of educational responsibilities will be factored into allocations;

· Academic staff holding Honorary Clinical positions and Clinicians with academic contracts will be allocated space according to the above seniority level and part-time allocation principles considering the amount of time that they spend on researchor education-related activities;

· Emeritus Staff will be given access to a shared workspace/hotdesking in a multi-occupancy office, but this allocation must be signed off by an Institute Director;

· Academic visitors are generally not allocated a workspace/hotdesk, but such request of space will be considered on a case-by-case basis;

· Post-doctoral research associates, research fellows, research nurses, clinical fellows, PhD students and other contract researchers will normally be allocated a workspace in a shared area (usually 1 m), unless clearly specified otherwise in grant applications;

· MRes, MSc and BSc students should be able to share desk spaces in the proximity of the laboratories where they are carrying out their research projects. This allocation will depend on space availability. Desk space will be distributed rationally on an annual basis. This will be agreed between Research Operations Staff and the Course Directors considering student allocations and type of project.

St George’s Professional Services Support Staff (PSS) (administrative and technical) and Trust-contracted Support Staff

· Full-time senior PSS Staff (Professorial and Senior) working on site 0.6 FTE or more will be offered single-occupancy offices or shared/multi-occupancy office space;

· Full Time or Part-time Administrative Staff on site more than 0.6 FTE will be allocated their

own workspace in a multi-occupancy office;

· Full Time or Part-time Administrative Staff on site less than 0.6 FTE will be allocated a workspace/hot-desk in a multi-occupancy office (usually 1 m), with separate secure lockable personal storage space;

· Trust-contracted Support Staff should sit in the Trust. If this not practicable, they will be allocated a workspace/hotdesk in a multi-occupancy office by agreement on a case-by-case basis, and if the space is available.

Research laboratory space allocations

Laboratory space allocation will be discussed between the Institute Managers and/or Institute Directors in consultation with Director of Research Operations and follow the process for space allocation described above.

All researchers, including PhD students will usually be allocated bench space of 1 m, whilst the type of research will be taken into consideration and play part in the final bench space allocation. Such principles will be extended to shared spaces as appropriate.

BSc/MSc/MRes students undertaking research projects will be accommodated in laboratory space appropriate to the context of the research group to which they have been assigned, on a case by case basis. Desk space allocation cannot be guaranteed and will follow the length of time required i.e., order of priority of PhD, MRes, MSc, BSc students. Writing-up space can be found in the Library if necessary.

It is expected that sharing of facilities and equipment both within and between Research Institutes will be promoted so as to enable efficient space utilisation.

The needs of individual groups will be considered depending on requirements for delivery of funded research. Such requirements may include, but are not limited to:

- Number of staff in the group, funded by research grant(s) or commercial funding;

- Space allocation for equipment bought via external funding; however, purchases of large equipment should be discussed in advance of grant application submission or cannot be guaranteed space;

- Use of tissue culture facilities.

Multi-user laboratory spaces: Researchers will be allocated bench space based on research grant income and the number of permanent/contracted members of staff that they manage or the number of PhD students that they supervise. There will be no permanent bench allocation based on the potential number of MRes, MSc, or BSc students that they may supervise.

Bench space for MRes, MSc, and BSc students in multiuser laboratories will be distributed rationally on an annual basis. Students will preferably be allocated space in the same laboratory as their supervisors, but not necessarily next to their bench. This will be agreed between Research Operations Staff and the Course Directors considering student allocations and type of projects.

Teaching Rooms

To facilitate the effective management of teaching space all generic learning spaces on campus will be centrally managed by the Timetabling team within Registry. Use of teaching rooms will be reviewed frequently across the academic year based on occupancy and void data. Teaching spaces are owned by the University and all teaching activities taking place in these spaces must be included in the central web data collector, to facilitate student timetables and to enable the whole teaching estate to be managed and maintained effectively. Further details can be found in the Timetabling Guidance 23-24 document.

Implementation of the Policy

The Policy is implemented and monitored by the Space Management Group, including administrative and academic representatives from all areas of the University. Space Management Group reports to the Space Strategy Committee, which in turn reports to the Executive Board.

Process for requesting/changing space allocation

The procedure should adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Space Allocation section.

The Space Management Group will review the decisions and consider requests for space that may not readily align with the specified categories. The Space Management Group shall approve and make decisions based on the optimal and efficient utilisation of the requested space.

All space requests should be submitted via Online Space Request Form. Any queries regarding submitted requests or further questions can be directed to

Appeals will be considered and resolved by the Space Strategy Committee. Appeals necessitating immediate decisions will be addressed through the Chair's initiative in consultation with the Senior Leadership Team.

Teaching Space

All teaching activities taking place in generic teaching spaces must be included in the central web data collector. The requests will be centrally managed by the Timetabling team within Registry. Use of teaching rooms will be reviewed frequently across the academic year based on occupancy and void data.

Research Space

Changes in research space allocation will follow trends in research grant income, particularly the awards associated with increase in staff numbers and requirements for larger laboratory, equipment, and storage space.

Alterations in research space allocation will be arranged rationally, aiming for minimal disruption, in discussion with affected staff and according to St George’s responsibility to enable delivery of funded research.

Requests for new space allocations, changes in the current space allocations or usage of space must outline the rationale for the request and any specific requirements or special considerations.

Vacating Space

Individuals vacating space together with their line managers are responsible for organising a timely clearance of all items from the allocated office and laboratory space, e.g., equipment, chemicals, books, records, supplies, fridges, freezers and communal storage spaces. If the clearance is not completed within the agreed time, St George’s will arrange for disposal of all items and will pass any clearance charges to the incumbent.

It is the responsibility of the individual leaving to ensure that all data records are either disposed of, archived via the JRES, or handed over to a new custodian as appropriate during the leavers notice period, as per University’s Managing Leavers Records Procedure and records management. If data records are not dealt with as set out in these instructions, and have met retention requirements for being eligible for disposal, they will be destroyed.


Storage space may be allocated for the following, but will solely depend upon storage space being available:

  • Usable equipment or equipment that will be used within 24 months (or on a case-by-case basis, depending on complexity);
  • Laboratory consumables within the expiry date;
  • Paper records and printed materials according to the advice of the university’s Records Manager and available allocated space;
  • Older recorded materials such as VHS tapes will need to be digitised and stored on shared network drives.

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