Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy

Information about Laptop provision

Support information
Please contact Aleksander Wawrzynczak for more information or if you have any special requirements.


The provision of computer equipment within the Univeristy is mainly enacted and handled by CIS.
Due to "One device per user" policy the Central University will only fund and provision either a single laptop or desktop for each member of staff, PDRA and research PhD/MSc student. However, the type and specification of the device allowed depends on requestee position - e.g. they will not fund Mac computers for PhD students normally due to high costs of those devices.


More information about device allowance can be found here. If you require more than one device - e.g. a laptop and desktop - the University will only fund one of them. It is possible to order a second one, but that one would have to be funded using different method, such as research grant.


All devices purchased by CIS remian the property of Durham University, despite of the funding source, and must be returned after graduation in case of students or at the end of the contract in case of employees.


CIS has a clearly defined "standard" specification for devices they provision. The current "standard" CIS offerings for laptops can be found here.
At the moment the standard specification for devices inlcudes:
  • 16GB RAM
  • either 256GB or 512GB SSD storage, depending on the device
  • Intel i5, equivalent AMD or standard M[X](e.g. M3) Apple chip
If higher specification device is required to carry out your role, CIS will require "business justification" to be provided with request for the device.


Operating Systems
Users are generally not allowed to install their own operating system on laptops and desktops provided by the University (including devices purchased using research grant). All devices should be managed, CIS provides laptops with centrally managed Windows and macOS.
CIS does not have a centrally CIS managed Linux build for laptops at the moment, this is only available for desktops. This is being worked on by CIS and centrally managed Linux LDS builds may or may not be available at the time you're reaeding this.


If you require Linux for your role, CEA & ICC can issue a non-centrally managed Linux build (i.e. managed by the CEA & ICC IT research support personnel and not by CIS) with Fedora for your device.


Request processing time
The lenght of the processing normally heavily depends on whether you are reequesting a "standard" specification device, or a higher specification device which are considered "bespoke".
  • The turnover time for "standard" devices is usually around one week.
  • The turnover time for "bespoke" devices is usually between a month and two months.
This is because CIS normally pre-purchases a small number of "standard" devices that remian on standby in University supplier's stock.


Loan laptops
  • CEA & ICC keep one or two laptops that can be provisioned as loans, if needed. However, those are usually in high demand, so there is a high change those won't be avilable. Still, if you require a loan device - we encourage you to get in touch with Aleksander Wawrzynczak.
  • CIS can also provide a loan device if needed. However, the Opertaing System options might be limited, as they don't have a centrally maanged Linux OS build for laptops. Because of this, CIS normally only offers loan laptops either with Windows OS or macOS - if any MacBooks are available. To request a loan laptop from CIS, please raise a ticket via CIS Service Desk Portal.

Contact Details

Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy,
Ogden Centre for Fundament Physics - West,
Department of Physics,
Durham University,
South Road,
Durham DH1 3LE
Tel: 44 (0)191 3343635