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Higher Education: Research

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what criteria are used to take decisions on allocation of quality related research funding. (228636)

Within England, quality related research funding (QR) is allocated and distributed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The overall criterion for HEFCE QR funding is to fund excellent research wherever it is found. There are a number of components to QR funding as set out in the following table:

The components of quality-related research funding

£million

Mainstream QR allocated to reflect the quality and volume of research at institutions in different subjects

919.8

Research degree programme supervision fund

199.0

Charity support element

184.9

Business research element

61.7

London weighting

28.7

“Best 5” allocation

24.5

Supplementary funding to maintain QR in real terms

11.9

Special funding for research libraries

5.9

The criteria for mainstream QR are quality (as determined by research assessment exercises—RAE), volume, and subject cost weighting. There are three subject cost weightings: high cost laboratory and clinical subjects, intermediate cost subjects and other.

HEFCE measure the volume of research in each unit of assessment using three separate components. These volume components apply for departments rated four or above in the RAE and are weighted as follows:

research-active academic staff—1 x number of FTE research-active academic staff funded from general funds (including NHS funding for nursing and other subjects allied to medicine) and selected for assessment in the RAE

research assistants—0.067 x number of FTE research assistants

research fellows—0.06 x number of FTE research fellows.

More detailed information on allocation of funding is set out in HEFCE publication 2007/20 “Funding higher education in England: How HEFCE allocates its funds”, available on the HEFCE website:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2007/07_20/

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much quality related funding was awarded in the last funding round to universities to support (a) five star, (b) four star, (c) three star, (d) two star and (e) one star research. (228639)

Quality related (QR) funding in 2008-9 is allocated on the basis of the 2001 RAE. Scores in that exercise range from 1 to 5*. The amount of funding allocated at each rating level are as follows:

2001 RAE rating

2008-09 HEFCE research funding (£ million)

Percentage of total

1

0.0

0.0

2

0.0

0.0

3b

0.6

0.0

3a

0.9

0.1

4

190.9

14.1

5

650.2

48.1

5*

509.8

37.7

Total England

1,352.4

100.0

Figures only include funding streams that are allocated at the departmental level. These are: mainstream QR; research degree programme supervision funds; London extra costs; ‘best 5star' funds; and charities support funds.