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Executive summary

Purpose

1. This consultation proposes changes to the allocation method for the research degree programme (RDP) supervision fund from 2012-13 and invites comments on those proposals.

Key points

2. In 2011-12 HEFCE allocated £205 million for the RDP fund. The funding is distributed by reference to numbers of home and EU students in the first three years of their programme.

3. In this consultation we invite comments on proposals:

  • to increase the value of the RDP supervision fund by up to £35 million
  • for options to link the allocation of RDP supervision funding to quality, meeting HEFCE's aim of supporting the supervision of students in higher-quality research environments
  • that the value of an institution’s RDP grant relative to its mainstream QR grant provides a useful indicator of the sustainability of postgraduate supervisory activity at whole-institution level, which we might take into account in future funding.

4. We expect to publish an analysis of responses to this consultation at the end of 2011.

5. The consultation responses and outcomes arising from them will be considered by the HEFCE Board at its meeting in October 2011. Any proposed changes to the method for allocating RDP funding for 2012-13 onwards will be announced shortly after the Board meeting.

Action required

6. Responses to this consultation should be made online by Monday 20 June 2011 using the electronic response form.

Date: 1 March 2011

Ref: HEFCE 2011/09

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Postgraduate programmes, Planning, Research funding

Enquiries should be directed to:

Alice Gambell, tel 0117 931 7134, e-mail rdp2011@hefce.ac.uk