School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Staff annual reminders and FAQ's

Absence arrangements, any length of time (faculty) 

For absences of two weeks or less outside term time you do not need to formally request leave however you should still apply for travel insurance and fill in a risk assessment for all work-related travel (see relevant sections). It is up to individuals to ensure that any duties you have while you are away are covered and that any affected people are informed. 

It is important that you also make sure that the School Office knows whenever you are away for any length of time. You can do this by contacting the reception email: or by writing it on the whiteboard in the Office yourself. If there are particular duties that are being covered it would be good to mention it to your departmental course coordinator as well.

Please also make sure that you set an “out of office” email reply if you will not be regularly checking email and a similar message on your phone if you have set up messaging.

Academic Availability for upcoming year

Academic Availability for upcoming academic years must established by November. If anybody needs flexible working arrangements they should discuss with line manager and complete the appropriate HR form by the end of October.

Associate / Doctoral / School Tutor support

In both Maths and Physics there is an academic lead for tutors who is on hand to provide support and advice to tutors. For 2020/21 contacts are Maths: A|li Taheri, Physics: Barry Garraway

Booking MPS rooms

If you wish to use bookable MPS spaces such as 5C11, 4C10, Pev II Foyer or 3C19 you must book these with the school office. All bookings are subject to policy.

Conference planning

If you wish to request school office support for a conference or large meeting contact first refer to the online event planning guide. Events are time consuming to plan, so please get in contact with the office via the online form as early as possible.

Coursework returns

Coursework should be marked and marks released to the students 10 working days after submission. Please note only weekends, bank holidays and closure days are excluded from this.


A reminder to all staff about the importance of meeting deadlines.

 Driving at work, bring documents for checking

Please note that if you drive for work purposes (this includes driving to conferences, meetings, away days, training courses, visiting students on placements etc.) but not normal home to work commuting you will need to have your driving licence/counterpart, car insurance (business travel cover required) and MOT certificate checked annually. Please see the university policy. To get your documents checked please scan and email them to the School Administrator. Without these checks, which won’t take long, you are not approved to drive for work purposes and cannot claim a mileage allowance.

Email protocol

Please see staff resources for reminder of MPS Email protocol.

Employing casual staff (students or otherwise)

All casual staff without an HR contract must have their right to work checked before they commence work. Please ensure you do not employ anyone casually without first getting their RTW checked at the school office as they will be working illegally and may not get paid.

Employing Tier 4 students as casual staff

Please contact the Deputy School Administrator well in advance if you are employing a Tier 4 student as casual staff in any capacity. Specific Tier 4 paperwork must be completed, and returned to HR for checking, by Wednesday of the preceding week at the latest.

Exam board rule - zero marks

Please be aware that a module mark of zero cannot be condoned - for an honours degree, students must achieve a mark >0 in every module.

Expenses Policy

All colleagues should refer to university expenses policy to ensure they are compliant, before spending money or submitting an expenses claim.

Expenses forms

All colleagues should ensure they are using the most up to date forms on the finance website.

Eye test

All Persons identified as DSE Users can arrange to have a free bi-annual eye test, please contact the School Administrator to take advantage of this. Policy linked here.

General Data Protection Regulation / Information Asset Register - New!

For information on GDPR visit

MPS Information Asset Register

Please contact the School Administrator if you are storing any personal data in hardcopy or electronically, to ensure that this listed in the MPS IAR. If your dataset it already listed in the IAR then you must advise us of any changes to ensure the register is updated. This includes changes to how you store or use the data, or if you have now destroyed the dataset. 

What is an information asset?

An information asset is a set of information that is managed as a single unit for the purposes of sharing, maintaining, securing, and understanding it easily and efficiently.

For the purposes of the Information Asset Register, an asset can be understood as a ‘pot’ or ‘repository’ of data held by an individual/team, Professional Services division, or School which contains personal data. An example might be, for instance, a database of contacts or a spreadsheet containing staff or financial data; this also includes physical assets, like a cabinet containing personnel files.

Kitchen cleanliness

A reminder to all staff to be respectful to our community and space by maintaining basic standards of kitchen cleanliness. This includes: Washing up, drying up and taking away your cutlery and crockery. Wiping the surfaces if you have made mess or spilled something. Not emptying coffee grounds into sinks. Covering food in fridges, using either Tupperware, cling film or tin foil. Removing and throwing away out of date food. To support this, we employ an undergraduate student to spend 30 minutes a week on each staff kitchen to give it a general clean.

Leave of absence

Faculty leave of absences forms can be found at MPS staff resources. They should be filled in electronically and submitted to your line manger via email.

Locking Doors

Colleagues are reminded to lock doors for offices or any other room they are vacating. In relatively recent times a laptop was stolen from a room left unlocked for just 10 mins; the university isn’t responsible for personal property.

Mentoring (Professoriate commitment)

Head of School email: 

As you know, a part of our commitment within the Athena Swan charter is to support the career development of junior colleagues.  I’m sure we’re all happy to do this, but in particular the Professoriate have a “leadership” responsibility, and as such if a request to act as mentor comes your way at any time I would like to ask you please to consider it an important part of your role. 

Mobile numbers - voluntary

Content for new row

Currently faculty give contact numbers to the school office for use during exam periods or when they are abroad. These are then destroyed due to GDPR. On many occasions recently it would have been useful to have faculty mobile numbers, for instance when there was an urgent matter and colleagues were not at their emails. If you are happy to have your mobile number stored confidentially, for emergency use only, please email Head of School's Coordinator who will keep a spreadsheet, shared only with the School Administrator in a protected drive. 

Near misses (H&S)

Please report all near misses to the Technical Services Manager.

Parking permits

The school office will no longer sell parking permits, either for cash or using sub project codes.

For visits of three hours of less visitors can pay by phone -

 For visits of more than three hours colleagues will need to organise access to a parking voucher well in advance:

  • Seminar groups should buy a set of vouchers from their seminar budget. These take some time to order and arrive so colleagues should do this as soon as as possible.

  • Research group coordinators will hold these vouchers

  • Colleagues who are expecting visitors to their group or seminar should contact the research group coordinator well in advance to arrange getting a voucher

  • School office can help colleagues purchase these via the finance system

  • If you or your group have a lot of visitors related to grant funded research you may wish to purchase your own book

  • If you are expecting a visitor that does not fall into the above categories please contact the school administrator a minimum of a week in advance

PEEPS (including temporary)

Please contact the Technical Services Manager to organise any required PEEPS.

Respectful communications

It is our expectation that all communications should be respectful, for staff and students. If feel you have received an inappropriate email, or been communicated with in a less than respectful manner you may wish to consider initially responding with the following `'In our School, we communicate in a respectful manner and aren't able to respond to this message. You are welcome to rewrite your message in a more appropriate manner.’  

For additional support in this area you may wish to visit the Dignity and Respect Policy or contact colleagues who are available to support you, these include but are not limited to; your supervisor or line manager, Head of Group, Head of Department, Directors and Members of the Executive, Head of School and our Equality and Diversity Champions - Cassandra Churchwell and Alessia Pasquazi

Risk Assurance Platform

As with all university schools and departments, MPS maintains a Risk Assurance Platform, to help manage and mitigate present and future risk. If you identify a specific risk, or potential risk, please contact the School Administrator.

School Executive Structure Chart

 Graphic depicting structure of executive 2019

School Department Structure Chart

Graphic depicting generic departmental structure 

School student charter and guiding principles

A reminder of our charters and guiding principles that outline our commitment to engaging, collaborating and supporting each other based on core values of equality, social justice, mutual respect, honesty, transparency and accountability: Student charter and Staff guiding principles.

School strategy

The draft school strategic planning workbook is available on staff resources for review and comment from any member of our community. Link here.


All staff must report absence due to sickness to their line manager, and also to the School Administrator who collates data for HR sickness absence reports.  You can do this by emailing your line manager, CC to the School Administrator. You do not need to give details regarding the nature of your sickness to anyone other than your line manager.

Student meetings

In the interested of health and safety colleagues are advised that they should not block vison panels when having one to one meetings with students. If your door does not have a vision panel it is advisable to have the door ajar or find an alternative space to meet.

Teaching timetable - downloadable!

Please ensure you download your teaching timetable and add it to your calendar. This will make it easier for you and for your colleagues who will be able to see easily if you are available for meetings. You can do this by going to :

Sussex direct > Teaching > Timetable > teaching timetable > click on ical > To import into Outlook or iCal, save the exported .ics file on your desktop, and then double-click on it.

Travel Insurance (UK overnights as well as abroad)

Travel insurance must be arranged for any travel outside of the UK and also for any UK travel that includes an overnight stay. Travel insurance is applied for online.

Travel Risk Assessments

Risk assessments must be completed and signed off in advance of travel. You can find the form in MPS staff resources. These should be filled in electronically and then submitted via email to your line manager.

Visitors (academics and otherwise)

Refer to the MPS visitor policy. Contact the School Administrator as early as possible to discuss any non-standard cases, such as those coming to do paid casual work, staying for an extended time, or requiring a desk.

Visitors (taught student, informal summer placement)

There is no university provision for taught students to visit the department outside of formal agreements such as our formal research placements, or summer schools. It may not be possible for all non-standard requests to be accommodated, however where possible the School Administrator will offer advice and support. Contact the School Administrator as soon as possible if you are considering hosting a taught student outside of formal registered arrangements.

Where to go for support (wellbeing, stress, bullying)

All members of our community are encouraged to come forward with any concerns they have whether it be about themselves, or the behaviour of others. If you want to speak to someone you should feel empowered to speak to whoever you are most comfortable with. There are various colleagues available to support you, these include but are not limited to; your supervisor or line manager, Head of Group, Head of Department, Directors and Members of the Executive, Head of School and our Equality and Diversity Champions – Cassandra Churchwell and Alessia Pasquazi