HDR space management policy process

Purpose

To ensure that all HDR candidates enrolled at RMIT have access to on-campus, non-laboratory workspace to facilitate the good progress and completion of their research.

Definitions

Refer to the Higher degrees by research policy.

Process steps

1. Overarching principles

1.1. RMIT recognises the importance of nurturing emerging researchers and encouraging a scholastic community through the provision of fit-for-purpose workspace and facilities.

1.2. HDR workspace allocation is in alignment with the Infrastructure policy [under development] governing workspace allocation for the staff of the University.

1.3. The normative allocation by Schools of space to HDR candidates is by means of bookable and shared-use space.

1.4. Each School enrolling HDR candidates develops and maintains a transparent HDR space management plan that is publicly available and its principles should inform all space allocation decisions within the school.

1.5. Where possible HDR candidates should be located within their enrolling School.

1.6. The school or college must provide access to appropriate, bookable, shared workspace with secure and appropriate storage that, where possible, is within close proximity to the desk space, in addition to the non-bookable space for candidates to be able to complete the agreed program of research. The facilities:

1.6.1. Must comply with relevant Occupational Health and Safety regulations and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research; and

1.6.2. Should allow for after-hours access, noting that not all University buildings have air conditioning outside standard business hours.

1.7. The space/accommodation needs of HDR candidates are variable depending on:

1.7.1. Mode of enrolment;

1.7.2. Discipline of research and/or requirement for fieldwork;

1.7.3. Specific requirements of the project which may entail the need for specialised space along with the need for space for reading, analysis and writing;

1.7.4. Stage of candidature such as commencing, mid-candidature and final write-up phase; and

1.7.5. Other variables such as space availability in the enrolling school, provision of a laptop computer by the enrolling school and need (for example access to space for work in the candidate’s living arrangements)

2. Specific steps for school space management

2.1. Schools make and review space allocations regularly in order to accommodate the changing needs of candidates, and to address the needs of commencing candidates. It is recommended that this occurs at least twice a year.

2.2. Schools should manage space on a shared-use basis, which is to be allocated primarily in advance or bookable for a minimum of six months. Other space may be non-bookable, but the school’s management principles should allow those candidates who need a regular work space to know in advance when they can use that space.

2.3. Space allocations need to recognise and provide appropriate secure lockable storage options for candidates.

2.4. Decisions about space allocation should be made on grounds informed by the principles outlined in section 1 above. Candidates seeking space should provide their details and outline need on a pro-forma at least once a year or as needs change.

2.5. The responsible management of HDR space by Schools necessitates regular monitoring of usage. The space entitlement will be withdrawn when the candidate is not using an allocated space during periods of approved leave, or absence due to fieldwork.

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