Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Annex A


  1.  In 2004-05 HEFCE distributed £1,081 million of grant for research to HEIs in England within the overall block grant. The great majority of this was distributed as quality weighted "QR" grant, allocated by reference to

    —  Institutions' quality ratings for research in 68 subject units of assessment (UOA) in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

    —  A composite measure of research volume including eligible staff submitted for assessment in 2001; and annually updated figures for numbers of research assistants, research fellows and research students, and research income from UK based charities, in units counted for funding.

    —  Cost weightings for academic subjects, in three bands, based upon the pattern of actual observed expenditure. The amount of funding to be allocated in relation to each UOA is calculated by reference to these weights and to the volume of eligible research returned in the UOA.

  2.  An element within the QR grant (some £75 million) is allocated to support the costs of providing for students undertaking postgraduate degree programmes. In the context of our policy for a closer link between funding for these programmes and the quality of provision, the Council will be changing the way in which this element is calculated, and also taking research student numbers out of the general volume measure above, with effect from 2005-06.

  3.  QR grant is now allocated by reference only to units rated 4 or above in the 2001 RAE, except for some £17.5 million of "research capability" grant to units rated 3b and 3a in seven subject units of assessment and a small sum allocated in relation to postgraduate research students in units rated 3a (we are phasing this out).

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