Office/Desk Allocation Principles

The office/desk allocation process in the AWB is managed by the Director of IT & Physical Resources (DITPR) on behalf of the Head of Department. The DITPR seeks input from the Head of Administration, the Head of Department, HR, Academic Administration and others as necessary.

Initial principles for desk allocation were developed as part of the new building working groups prior to occupation of the Andrew Wiles Building in 2013. These principles were subsequently adjusted as the shape and size of the department has changed.

The current desk allocation principles are summarised below.

  1. In all cases the allocation of space is dependent upon appropriate space being available, and individuals are expected to move to a different office should the department request this.
  2. Academics will be placed within or as close as reasonably possible to others in their primary research group.
  3. Full-time Professors and Associate Professors (including RS4s), permanent Departmental Lecturers and permanent Senior Research Fellows are allocated a single occupancy office.
  4. Full-time Statutory Professors are allocated a larger office subject to availability.
  5. Full-time long-term externally awarded grade 8 independent Research Fellows are allocated a single occupancy office subject to space availability. The allocation of space will be influenced by the number in post at any one time, as well as the number in different research groups.
  6. Where an academic with a single occupancy office is reducing to 60% FTE or less contractually, then a conversation with the HOD about their space and facilities needs is required.
  7. Where an academic with a single occupancy office is away from the department for a term or more on sabbatical or other paid leave, then the individual is expected to leave the desk space sufficiently clear and tidy that it can be used as a visitor desk.
  8. Where an academic is on unpaid leave from the department, and hence for that period is 0% FTE for the department, then the desk/office space will be used by the department for other purposes. Where the unpaid leave is for 1-2 terms, the individual is expected to leave the desk space sufficiently clear and tidy that it can be used by another person. Where the unpaid leave is for longer than 2 terms and a backfill post is created, the expectation is that the backfill post will be given that office space, and thus further clearance of materials from the office may be required depending on the duration and operational needs of the backfill post.
  9. Fixed-term DLs, fixed-term Research Fellows employed by the MI (e.g. Hooke and Titchmarsh Fellows), and part-time DLs or Research Fellows employed by the MI, are allocated a desk in a shared office for 2 or 3 people.
  10. PDRAs, externally contracted research fellows, and college JRFs are allocated a desk in a shared office, typically for 3 people, subject to space availability. The department will prioritise its employees and students, and does not guarantee to provide space for JRFs or externally contracted research fellows.
  11. PSS staff are allocated to single occupancy or shared office space according to operational needs.
  12. For all staff, desk allocation ends at the end of their staff contract or affiliation with the department.
  13. Standard Maths DPhil students are allocated a desk in a student shared office for up to 4 years (or less if they finish early), typically for 4-6 people.
  14. Oxford DPhil students of CDTs led by the MI are provided access to a hot-desk office during their 1st year, and for the following 3 years allocated a desk in a student shared office in line with standard Maths DPhil student provision.
  15. Some other CDT/DTC programmes in the University involve research groups in the department and send students to Maths for short projects in their 1st year. A standard DPhil desk is allocated for the duration of the project, subject to space availability. In subsequent years those students then choose a department for the remaining 3 years of their course. Those that choose Maths are then allocated desk space for the 3 years in line with standard Maths DPhil student provision.
  16. PhD students who join the department for 1-3 terms through the University recognised visiting student scheme (and pay the corresponding fees) are allocated a standard DPhil desk subject to available space. Those on exchange schemes for which fees are waived may be allocated to other space as appropriate, including the mezzanine study room.
  17. For all DPhil students their desk allocation ends at the end of their 4th year. DPhil students are reminded of this in their 4th year and asked to provide further information should they not expect to finish on time and wish to request a desk – no guarantee of such a desk is given and desks are then allocated on a case by case basis in discussion with Academic Administration dependent on the reasons for extending.
  18. MSc students on longer-format separate MSc courses (MFoCS, MMSC, MCF) have access to a hot desking room in the office area for each cohort.
  19. MSc students on shorter-format MSc courses (OMMS, MTP), which share substantial elements of the 4th year undergraduate programme, have access to the same facilities as undergraduates – this includes being able to use the mezzanine study room and circulation space tables when the building is open.
  20. Undergraduate Summer Internship/Project students may hot-desk in the mezzanine study room.
  21. Retired academic staff are offered access to space in line with the policy on provision for retired staff ( Provision is in shared offices on an allocated or hot-desk basis.
  22. Visiting academics: Academic staff in the department complete the online visitor application process to request that the department host a visitor. For a visiting academic a desk is allocated where requested in a shared visitor office similar to a typical student office, and subject to availability. Desks are allocated at the point the visit is approved unless it is dependent on a funding application in which case a desk is only allocated once the funding, and hence visit, are confirmed.
  23. Visiting PhD students: Where the visitor is a short-term visiting PhD student (not entering via the recognised student route) then a desk may not be allocated or they may only be allocated to the mezzanine study room.
  24. Visiting Research Fellow or similar: Where an individual holds a visitorship (VRF title etc) then they typically visit the department infrequently and no desk is allocated. If they visit more frequently they may be given access to a hot-desk room.
  25. Collaborators, co-supervised students or PDRAs, whose primary department is elsewhere in the University are not allocated a desk. It remains the responsibility of their primary department to provide such facilities. Such individuals may be granted card access to the AWB to facilitate easier engagement with people based here and can then use the mezzanine study room, tables in the circulation space, common room or other comfortable seating areas should they need to sit and work alone on occasion.
  26. In all cases, individuals should occupy only their allocated portion of the space, and are responsible for keeping it tidy. At the point a desk allocation ends the individual is expected to clear their desk space. On the rare occasion this fails to happen effectively, the department will follow up with the individual but if prompt action is not taken, then FM will clear the space and ultimately dispose of the items.

[As approved by Department Committee 29.11.2023]

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