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Executive summary


1.   This document asks higher education institutions (HEIs) to update information on their research activity.

Key points

2.   The updated data will inform our distribution of research funds for the 2010-11 academic year.

3.   The only change in the guidance this year is that an individual who is both an academic member of staff and a postgraduate research student can now be reported to this survey with a full-time equivalent total which is greater than 1.0. Also, following a verification exercise in which research income from charities reported to the 2008 Research Activity Survey was compared with that reported to the 2007-08 Higher Education Statistics Agency Finance Statistics Return, we have clarified some of the guidance concerning the reporting of this research income.

4.   All HEIs that made submissions to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008) should complete this survey. Where an institution wishes to make a nil return it should inform us by letter or e-mail.

5.   The data reported to this survey must be provided according to the RAE2008 'Units of Assessment' definitions.

6.   This document provides:

  1. Guidance notes for completing the Research Activity Survey 2009 (RAS09).
  2. Definitions used in the RAS09 survey (Annexes A and B).
  3. Examples of the survey tables (Annex C).
  4. Details of how to obtain workbook templates and upload data (Annex D).

7.   We will make workbooks available to nominated data contacts at institutions in November 2009.

Action required

8.   Survey data must be uploaded to the HEFCE extranet by noon on Monday 14 December 2009.

9.   Survey data must be signed off as correct by the vice-chancellor or principal of the institution by Wednesday 13 January 2010.

Date: 1 September 2009

Ref: 2009/33

To: Heads of universities in Northern Ireland, Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Research funding, Finance, Data collection

Enquiries should be directed to:

Jennifer Crook, tel 0117 931 7395, e-mail