Research Space Policy

Effective: December 1, 2023

Responsible Office: UFCVM Office for Research and Graduate Studies

Reason for Policy:

Research is a critical mission and access to appropriate research space is one of the key drivers for success. To optimize the effective use of research space, support the diversified needs of our researchers, and sustain growth of our research portfolio, the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has developed an internal research space policy to ensure a transparent and equitable distribution process that aligns with general UF policy (

Policy Statement
Research space is a valuable commodity that is managed by UF for state and federal inventory purposes, as well as for negotiations on Federal F&A rates. For these purposes, research space may be categorized as follows:

  • Active Research Space is defined as research space that aligns with the unit and University of Florida expectations for research productivity and that fulfills specified metrics (see section 4). Such research spaces may be exclusively assigned to faculty members with demonstrated space needs and sufficient funding; other spaces may be shared among multiple faculty members with limited needs, insufficient funding, or who may be better served by a co-working environment based on shared technology and collaborations.
  • Protected Research Space is defined as space allocated to tenure-track faculty prior to a tenure decision, or to newly-hired faculty at the discretion of College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) administration. Such research space may be allocated for a specific time period and made available to these faculty members, recognizing the location or size of the space may be changed as appropriate as long as it does not interfere with their research effort.
  • Available Research Space is defined as space that is either unassigned or has extra capacity as “Active Research Space”. Such space remains in the control of the CVM and may be reallocated as needed for recruitment, expansion of existing programs, or made available for shared use or new strategic priorities.
  • Shared Research Support Space is defined as shared spaces, such as general glasswasher, autoclave, freezer spaces or specialized small equipment rooms. These support spaces are for community use and do not count towards the assignment space of individual researchers.
    Designating these space categories is critical for implementing the following guidelines and metrics, including moving space from one category to another category following the procedures laid out within this document.
    General Guidelines
  • Research is critical to all CVM missions. Faculty are expected to engage in research and scholarship and the institution is committed to make every effort to accommodate these activities assuming the questions and methodologies are timely and rigorous. For those faculty (>5% research assignment) lacking sufficient funding to qualify for an independent research space, a request for a bench assignment in a shared laboratory may be made to the Research Space Committee.
  • In determining the allocation of research space to a faculty member, the scope, type, and effective use of the research space should be carefully considered. It is understood that some types of research (e.g., animal, biological/biomedical, and health sciences) require more or less space and specialized equipment than others. Also, some types of research are better suited to enclosed rooms dedicated to a single investigator while other types of research are better suited to a large open bay arrangement that is shared among multiple investigators engaging in transdisciplinary collaborations and approaches to complex biomedical problems.
  • Many investigators may require access to more than one type of research space to accommodate multiple procedures or approaches (e.g., behavioral testing/imaging, physiology, microscopy). In this case, the net assignable space in sq ft (NASF) is calculated as the sum of all areas assigned to individual faculty members for research purposes.
  • Because space belongs to the University, there is a need for common metrics to ensure equitable allocation among UF health entities, as well as between and within CVM departments. Presently, NIH funding represents the single largest source of external funding for the health system as a whole. For this reason, UF guidelines and most UF Health policies assess the laboratory space allocations necessary to support the research of investigator’s with R01-scale funding based on either indirect costs (IDC), direct costs (DC), or research expenditures (RE) per NASF. Importantly, this is not to say that other types of federal, state, and private funding are of secondary importance. In this regard, CVM is unique within the organization in terms of the broad scope of research activities conducted and the funding streams supporting them. Accordingly, other sources of extramural research support (e.g., non-NIH, gift, and development funds, endowments) should also be strongly considered in the actual space assignment to faculty.
  • The buildings where the research is conducted should be considered. Within CVM, there are clear differences in the quality of research space and support facilities due to the ages of the various buildings, leading to more competition for space in newer buildings or those slated for renovation. Additionally, the investigator’s proximity to clinical space,
    animal vivarium, specialized equipment, and/or collaborators should be strong considerations.
  • There is recognition that some CVM research space will undergo major renovations over the next few years (e.g., Basic Science Building). During this time, plans need to be developed to accommodate displaced faculty with appropriate space with minimal disruptions.
  • Finally, there is a need for regular and ongoing review of space allocation in order to plan for future growth and space needs as the CVM Strategic Plan is finalized and the research trajectory continues to evolve.
    Specific Research Space Metrics
    The primary goal of research space allocation in the College is to support the growth and vitality of externally-funded faculty research programs that provide tangible support for our core missions in research, education, and clinical care. Because research space is a valuable asset, both quantitative and qualitative metrics are needed to ensure equitable and effective use of research space. While generally conforming with UF and UF Health guidelines, there is recognition that the CVM has different needs requiring additional or modified metrics for equitable space allocation. In all cases, priority is given to externally-funded research programs (i.e., inclusive of federal, state, industry, philanthropic funding sources). Given our diversified research funding portfolio, the primary metric for space allocation is based on a 3-year average of the awarded direct costs (DC) or research expenditures (RE) per net assignable space in sq ft (NASF). More specifically, CVM has established a target range of $200-400 per NASF. Because external funding level alone is not necessarily indicative of research significance or the amount of space required to successfully conduct a funded research project, other factors may be considered to dial up or down within this range. Such factors may include: team funding (e.g., MPI, co-I status on grants), research density (e.g., number of supported research FTEs), research productivity (e.g., publications, bibliometrics), number of DVM/graduate trainees working in the space, and alignment with strategic priorities.
    In recognition of the importance of the research mission, space assignment for scholarly activity, including unfunded research or lapse in funding, is available to faculty researchers. Based on availability, those requiring laboratory space that have an annual research assignment of >5% may receive 125 sq ft in a shared laboratory space. The use of shared space has the added advantage of providing access to additional expertise, equipment, and staff that may enable them to perform experiments, generate data, and write a competitive grant application.
    Research Space Management Process
    According to the specific research space metrics above, each supervisor (i.e. department chair) will review the faculty member’s research space allocation to establish a baseline need and as part of the annual evaluation cycle. Subsequently, each supervisor will identify those faculty members whose performance meets minimum standards for “Active Research” space above, those whose performance exceeds the standards that may be requiring more space to expand
    their research programs, and those whose productivity falls below minimum standards that require possible recategorization and reassignment of their space. Those faculty who have “Protected Research” space are not subject to this review except under extenuating circumstances (e.g., specific research or infrastructure needs).
    The CVM Research Committee is a standing regular faculty committee that serves as an advisory group to faculty, the associate Dean for research, and to the Dean on matters relating to the administration of college research policies. As one of these duties, the Committee shall perform annual assessment of available research infrastructure including laboratory facilities and create recommendations and forward same to the Dean. Accordingly, the Committee is charged with reviewing annual research space allocations made by the department Chairs, as well as considering new space requests as they arise. Recommendations are to be based on the verifiable, quantitative metrics cited above that are intended to ensure research program growth and success, and are to be forwarded for final determination to the Dean.
  • Active Research Spaces Near or Above Maximum Range. Faculty members can request additional research space assigned to them based on open space being available. Requests for review must be supported by supervisor and made in writing to the CVM Research Space Committee, documenting how activity in the current research space exceeds the criteria. The Committee will review and make a recommendation to the Dean to make the final decision on additional space.
  • Active Research Spaces Near or Below Minimum Range. Faculty members can lose space assigned to them based on prolonged lapse in research funding. In this event, the supervisor and CVM Research Space Committee will strive to support the continuity of successful programs subject to a temporary lapse in funding. Prior history of funding and the years since prior funding will be considered. Whenever possible, a phased step-down approach to gradually reduce space allocation will be implemented when funding has lapsed for 3 years. In this instance, a faculty member will be given a minimum of three-months’ notice.
  • Active Research Spaces for New Hires. Designated research space for new hires should be identified and approved in advance of an offer letter. The allocation of space to new faculty must include a research space plan that is approved up through the Dean level.
  • Conflict Resolution Process: The Dean is the final arbiter of research space conflicts.


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