Research Facilities

Postgraduate Arts Research Centres

The Postgraduate Arts Research Centres (PGARCs) provide physical resources and a stimulating research environment for research students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. In 2014 there are four postgraduate centres associated with the Faculty: PGARC Fisher, PGARC Old Teachers’ College (OTC), PGARC Woolley and PGARC Wallace. PGARC Fisher and PGARC OTC offer shared facilities to postgraduate research students in the early years of their candidature; PGARC Woolley and PGARC Wallace offer dedicated desks to students in the final stages of their research degrees. Information about the facilities and details of the eligibility requirements and the application process are below.

PGARC Fisher

PGARC Fisher is located on Level 2 of the Fisher Stack, and you gain access to the space by the external door at ground level, located behind the coffee stall. Entry to PGARC Fisher is gained via your student swipe card once you have applied for and been granted access. The card allows entry 24 hours a day, seven days a week. PGARC Fisher provides 38 desks with computers. A further six desks have just a large monitor on them for those people who prefer to use their own laptop. There are also lockers, a kitchen/breakout space, toilets and access to a printer and MFD with a scan function.

Please note: PGARC Fisher is a clear desk, hot desk space. This means that you must completely clear the desk you have been using if you are leaving the facility for longer than a lunchbreak, and at the end of each day.

PGARC Old Teachers' College

PGARC OTC was completed in December of 2011 and is on Level One of the Old Teachers’ College. This project was partially funded by a grant from the Federal Government’s Better Universities Renewal Funding (BURF) Scheme. This facility provides over 70 non-dedicated desks with computers, lockers, kitchen, lounge space, and access to printers and photocopiers. Entry to PGARC OTC is gained via your student swipe card once you have applied for and been granted access. The card allows entry 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

PGARC Woolley and PGARC Wallace

Postgraduate research students in the final stages of writing their thesis are eligible to apply for a dedicated desk in PGARC Woolley or PGARC Wallace.

PGARC Woolley is located on the fourth floor of the John Woolley Building (A20). It provides 39 dedicated workstations, each with a lockable file drawer. There are also kitchen and toilet facilities, a telephone and a lounge area. Access is by security swipe-card, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

PGARC Wallace is a university initiative, developed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education), Campus Infrastructure Services (CIS) and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). It is a campus-wide facility being used as a pilot for facilities for postgraduate research students. At present it has been reserved for the use of HDR students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, but some conditions of use vary slightly from the other Faculty-based PGARC facilities. PGARC Wallace is located on the ground floor of the Wallace Theatre (A21). It provides 23 dedicated workstations (3 of these are accessibility desks), with two lockers assigned to each. There are also kitchen and toilet facilities and a telephone. Access is by security swipe-card, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Eligibility and Application Procedure

All enrolled students may apply for access to the PGARC OTC and Fisher facilities from the beginning of their candidature.

Students undertaking an MPhil or MA (Res) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences may apply for a dedicated desk when they have completed one year full-time (or part-time equivalent) of their candidature. Doctoral students may apply when they have completed two years full-time (or part-time equivalent). There is sometimes a short waiting list for dedicated desks.

Please note: dedicated desks in PGARC Woolley and Wallace are allocated automatically as they become vacant: students cannot choose where they will be allocated a desk.

Desks in PGARC are only available to enrolled students; this means desks are not available to students who have suspended their candidature.

Apply for PGARC access

Applications are processed once a week. Applications submitted by 5pm on Monday will be processed by Wednesday of the same week.

Please note: email confirmation of your application will be sent to you. If you do not receive an email within 2 days, please contact

PGARC Management

The Director of PGARC is .

There is also a student committee, consisting of elected representatives from each of the PGARCs. Student committee members, in collaboration with students who use the facility, do a number of things including:

  • organise social and scholarly events
  • welcome new students and give orientation tours of the PGARC facilities
  • identify issues with students or use of the facility to the PGARC Director
  • identify administration or infrastructure issues to the Faculty Secretariat

We are currently updating the communications systems (email and mailing list) for the Student Committee. To get in touch with the Student Committee, please send an email with "Attention Student Committee" in the subject line to Laura Ginters and she will forward it to the Student Committee for you.

Useful Contacts for PGARC Fisher, OTC and Woolley

  • Security: +612 9351 3847 ( 24 hours )
  • Emergencies: +612 9351 3333 ( 24 hours )
  • Report computer problems: . For urgent matters, call 9351 6000.
  • For all administrative queries about paper supplies, stationery, lockers etc as well as issues relating to faults with air conditioning, lighting or plumbing, please contact .

Useful Contacts for PGARC Wallace

  • Report computer and printer (including paper) problems to . For urgent matters, call 9351 6000
  • For locker allocation and problems with lockers, please contact: .
  • For faults with air conditioning, lighting or plumbing log a request through Campus Assist (x17838) and note the reference number. If not resolved within a fortnight, please contact .

Occupational Health and Safety

It is important that you are aware of Occupational Health and Safety issues relating to your place in the PGARC facilities. Please consult the University’s Risk Management Office for comprehensive OH&S guidelines.

Information about Workplace Ergonomics and the best way to set up and use your workstation is also important and you are encouraged to review this information.