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Temperature Controlled Environments Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) As a research intensive University, the loss of temperature sensitive research materials due to spoilage can have a significant financial and reputational impact and cause considerable disruption to the University of Newcastle’s (“the University”) research endeavours.

(2) The Responsible Conduct of Research Policy articulates the University’s commitment to providing appropriate policy, systems, facilities and procedures for the safe and secure storage of research materials and for the maintenance of accurate records of where these materials are stored.

(3) The University is committed to measures that will protect research materials in temperature controlled environments in accordance with regulatory and commercial requirements and stakeholder expectations. This policy reflects this commitment while recognising that temperature controlled environment devices under the oversight of the University are situated at several diverse locations and are subject to the infrastructure and support mechanisms available locally.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This policy applies to all temperature controlled environments under the oversight of the University.

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Section 3 - Policy Principles

(5) Temperature controlled environment devices will only be installed where the infrastructure and maintenance supporting the device provide adequate protection for the research materials being held within the device.

(6) Temperature sensitive research materials will be stored in a fit for purpose device that provides adequate protection for the materials.

(7) Researchers will safely store and take reasonable care of any research materials acquired during, or resulting from, the conduct of their research and will support the annual valuation of materials.

(8) Each research storage device will be assigned a responsible officer drawn from the applicable faculty or research group.

(9) Faculties and research groups using temperature controlled environments for research materials will maintain a register of all devices under their oversight. The register will identify the responsible officer for each device and will confirm that the support necessary to adequately protect the device and its contents is in place. The minimum measures required for the protection of a device will be determined by the value of the contents and the potential inclusion of the materials in an insurance claim in the event of a material loss. The value of the contents, and other applicable information, will be updated and the register will be forwarded to the University’s insurance team in Assurance Services annually.

(10) Devices not included on the Faculty register, or materials without adequate protection, will not be subject to an insurance claim by the University in the event of a device outage.

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Section 4 - Responsibilities

(11) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) will be responsible for monitoring compliance with the policy.

(12) The applicable Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellors will be responsible for ensuring that a complete and accurate faculty register is forwarded to the University’s insurance team in Assurance Services by the end of August each year.

(13) A responsible officer will ensure that a device has adequate infrastructure and maintenance support and will undertake training in the use of a device to ensure the best practice use of the device.

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Section 5 - Essential Supporting Documents 

(14) Temperature Controlled Environment Training Module