Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

MSD IT Services strives to provide effective, efficient, and high-quality IT and Digital services which underpin the research, teaching, and administrative needs of the departments within the Oxford University Medical Sciences Division in support of the division's strategic aims and objectives. MSD IT Services provides services to all its users offering easy access to the university network, the internet, application software, storage, printing, and data. We provide secure data storage with the knowledge that the information stored on the network will be protected from deletion and unauthorised access. This provision is independent of platform and all services are be offered to all members of the departments, regardless of geographical location within Oxford, and status within the Division.

MSD IT Services – What we do and what we provide

Medical Sciences Division IT Services addresses the IT and Digital needs of the Medical Sciences Division Departments at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford City Centre, Old Road Campus, and Warneford Hospital sites. There are 23 FTE staff managed wholly by MSD IT.  MSD IT provides baseline essential departmental IT provision including file, print, network (including WiFi), firewall, secure storage and customer support.  Departments can provide their own staff in addition to this to support more bespoke requirements. MSD IT Services is keen to work with departments in recruiting, supporting and managing such staff, and working with them as MSD IT Associates.

MSD IT operates a Service Desk, available in person, by email and by telephone We can be called on 01865 280030, or, or visited at any of our three sites (JR: behind Cairns Library, ORC: Boundary Brook House, and City Centre: Anna Watts Building.)

Hours of service: Weekdays (excluding public holidays and the three working days between Christmas and the end of the calendar year) from 9am until 5pm.

Out of hours cover: MSD IT Services does not operate outside office hours. Whilst our systems, networks, and services have a level of resilience appropriate to business needs where these have been communicated to us, we cannot guarantee service continuity in cases of outage caused by hardware or software failure, or by external factors outside our control such as power and cooling. Our staff will sometimes be able to remediate issues out of hours but this is done on a good will, reasonable-efforts basis and must not be depended upon. Customers should not run or plan out of hours critical research or other activities that depend on our services without having had a discussion with us and a plan in place about what to do in case of out of hours outage.

Good practice expected from users of the systems: Apart from adhering to codes of conduct stipulated by the University, the MSD IT requires users to behave in such a way as to prevent the spread of viruses/worms/trojans etc. and to keep themselves secure from intrusion and hijacking of their local machine.

To these ends, MSD IT automates many processes to force updates and keep antivirus software up to date. In order for this method to work users should reboot their machine at least once a day. It is therefore good practice to shut your computer down overnight.

MSD IT Services will also send broadcast emails to warn users of specific threats, but will do all it can to protect users without the user needing to take any action.

Personal laptops present another risk. Anyone planning to connect to the wired network should seek advice from MSD IT Services firstly to allow a legitimate connection and secondly to ensure that no harm is caused to the users or other peoples' machines.  Those using the eduroam WiFi service do not need MSD IT authorisation but should nonetheless strive to keep their IT equipment secure.

Staffing - Skill Sets

MSD IT staff divide into two skill set types, systems and customer support.


The skills of the systems support staff include a detailed knowledge of all operating systems used within the Division. Additionally these staff will have a deep knowledge of networking, backup, email, system configuration and administration.

User support

MSD IT customer support staff have good interpersonal skills, along with a deep understanding of the needs of researchers, educators and professional services staff. Our staff have excellent skills with regard to hardware, peripherals and making them work together along with general skills regarding networking and software applications.

Response Time

We aim to respond to all incidents and requests within 8 working hours and aim to resolve them within another 8 working hours. If a visit or more detailed work is required these times my extend, depending on staff availability and workload (including drop-in customers).


Most jobs are prioritised by time of receipt. Higher priorities are given to incidents affecting large numbers of people, especially if the problem is preventing them from working. The level of priority works in this order with highest priority first:

  • All users affected
  • Several departments affected
  • One department affected
  • Small groups affected
  • Few users affected

Additional priority will also be given in situations where an incident is threatening the ability to meet a critical deadline for a compliance, governance, data sharing, or funding application issue.


Many training courses are provided and advertised by central IT Services. MSD IT has no resources to run its own training courses, however it may from time to time arrange outside trainers to run courses not otherwise available. These will be charged at cost. MSD IT is open to suggestions for other courses that could be run in a similar way.


Each Department is charged for MSD IT services through the Division according to its size and requirements. The running costs for MSD IT are administered through the MSD Divisional Finance Team and the costs are shared between all participating departments.  Additional personnel may be hired by Departments and for groups of Departments to supplement support from MSD IT, and/or to cover services not offered by MSD IT.

MSD IT Services also offers some services which are charged at the point of use, including 2nd Tier Storage Provision and the REDCap service, along with several software licencing deals negotiated 

GOVERNANCE and Line of reporting

MSD IT reports to the Divisional IT committee, which in turn reports to the Divisional Board and the Dean of Medical Sciences. The Director of MSD IT Services reports to the Medical Sciences Division's Head of Risk and Commercial Strategy. The Associate Head of Division for Digital and Information also has oversight of MSD IT Services' operations.