Submission from Professor Pat Roche, Astrophysics,
I thought it would be helpful to summarise our
estimates of the impact of the STFC funding cuts on the Physics
Department at Oxford University. This is one of the largest Physics
departments in the UK and has been rated 5* in the RAE exercises.
The impact on us may not be completely representative of other
departments, but is an indication of the effects of these cuts
on a department that has programmes well aligned with the high
priority areas identified by previous PPARC and STFC roadmaps.
We estimate that Oxford Physics will lose 30-40
STFC-funded positions over the next 3 years. This will result
in a loss of 25% to 33% of our grant income from STFC, and a loss
of overhead to the Physics Department of £1.0 million to
£1.5 million p.a.
To put this into perspective, HEFCE has provided
additional funds to Oxford Physics to support teaching of this
`high cost and vulnerable laboratory-based subject'. The amount
allocated by HEFCE to Oxford for physics is £772,000 p.a.
for the next 3 years. The net losses to Physics from the STFC
funding crisis could be more than twice this welcome HEFCE support.
While the exact numbers will have to await the
outcome of the STFC planning process, the financial impact on
Oxford Physics is expected to be extremely serious. Coupled with
the termination of whole research areas and the attendant loss
of morale, this is indeed a disaster for Physics.