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HESA FSR with HE-BCI survey collection 2013/14

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HESA FSR with HE-BCI survey collection 2013/14

FSR Tables 5a and 5b - Research grants and contracts


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Version 1.1 Produced 2014-08-29

  1. These tables should include all income in respect of externally sponsored research:
    • where the research project scope has been agreed with the sponsor at the outset in the grant or contract awarded to the higher education provider (HEP), and/or
    • where the research project scope has been agreed in a forum where collaborating external organisations are represented and able to influence the direction of the project, and be involved in decisions on the particular research projects to be undertaken by the HEP. In such an arrangement the income (and income-in-kind) from external organisations for membership fees necessary to be part of the collaboration will be regarded as research income, provided all other criteria for that income to be returned to the FSR as research income are satisfied.

    The research specified should be carried out by the HEP, or its subsidiary undertakings, and should conform to the conventions of the Frascati definition of research (see section 'Conventions to be used in the FSR' in the ‘Coverage of the record’). The income returned should be that for which directly related expenditure has been incurred and should be stated at the full value, including any recovery of indirect costs whether retained by the HEP, a department, or at the disposal of an individual within a department. Where a research grant or contract is made for a number of different purposes including research (for example research, training and clinical work) only that portion of the grant or contract against which research has been conducted should be returned as research income. The overall total should be the same as that recorded in the financial statements and should include income attributable to a share in joint venture(s).
  2. Each row represents the standard academic and non-academic cost centre codes as defined in the section on cost centres in the Introduction. The FSR does not require HEPs to return information by research unit of assessment.
  3. Where projects are funded from a number of sources the income should be allocated between the respective headings so that all the income is fully included, but only once. Where an organisation makes a grant on behalf of other organisations in the form of a joint award the grant should be split between those sources according to their contribution. Conversely where a body makes an award in its own right the award should be recorded according to the status of the organisation and not its funders, an exception is made where charities are funded predominantly from central government.
  4. Capital grants for the purpose of research (i.e. grants for land/buildings/equipment used for R&D purposes in accordance with the Frascati definition of research (see paragraphs 16-21 in the Introduction document) should be returned as research income on Table 5a and 5b. Any income released from a deferred capital grant account that relates to research grants and contracts from sources other than the four UK funding bodies should be returned in Tables 5a and 5b, and not in Table 6b. All other income released from a deferred capital grant account should be returned in Table 6b (sub-heading 1aiv, 1av, or 4e as appropriate).
  5. Grants for the refurbishment of research facilities should be treated as capital grants for the purpose of research. If the grant has been capitalised it is the amount released from the deferred capital grant that should be returned. However, if the refurbishment grant has not been capitalised the income should be returned in full in the year it was receivable.
  6. Grants from the Research Capital Investment Fund (RCIF), a joint initiative of the funding bodies and the former Department for Innovation Universities and Skills (DIUS) have been allocated through the four UK funding bodies and should be returned in Table 6b as Funding body income. Where the expenditure has been capitalised, the income to be returned is the amount released from the relevant deferred capital grant account. Where the expenditure has been capitalised the associated depreciation should be returned according to the advice given under Table 7. Where it has not been capitalised the expenditure should be returned under Other operating expenses (Column 4) also described under Table 7. This also applies to other research capital grants.
  7. Grants from the UK Research Partnership Investment fund (UKRPIF) have been allocated by the four UK funding bodies with co-investment from private sources. The element of the UKRPIF awarded from the UK funding bodies should be returned in Table 6b as Funding body income. The element of the UKRPIF awarded from co-investors should be returned as research income on Table 5b under the relevant source (see paragraph 8 below). Where the expenditure has been capitalised the income to be returned is the amount released from the deferred capital account.
  8. Income awarded through initiatives funded jointly by HEFCE and other sources, such as the UKRPIF, should not attract additional financial support from the charity support element or the business research element of HEFCE research funding. HEFCE decides its level of contribution to these initiatives at the time of their establishment, taking sustainability into account. So that amounts allocated through the UKRPIF do not influence subsequent HEFCE research funding, the portion of UKRPIF grants from UK charities should be returned under Table 5b column 3 ‘UK-based charities (other)’ and not under column 2 'UK-based charities (open competitive process)'. Similarly UKRPIF grants from EU and non-EU charities should be returned under columns 9 and 12 respectively. The portion of UKRPIF grants from businesses should be returned under columns 5, 8 or 11 as appropriate; HEPs in receipt of such funds will be required to complete questions on HEFCE’s UKRPIF Annual monitoring return to establish the income that should be deducted from the FSR figures for HEFCE’s calculation of the QR business research element.
  9. Tables 5a and 5b should include all research grants and contracts income (including tuition fees for research studentships and fellowships) associated with the contract. Grants for research studentships or fellowships that are associated with a research grant or contract should be returned under the same column as the grant or contract.
  10. Income for general research fellowships (not awarded as part of a research grant or contract) should be returned as research income (in Tables 5a and 5b) under the relevant source.  
  11. Income for general research studentships (not awarded as part of a research grant or contract) should be returned in Table 6a under Head 4 (Research training support grants). Income for general research studentships awarded by charities (as part of an open competitive process) should be returned in Table 6a Head 4a.
  12. Income awarded by The Royal Society, British Academy or The Royal Society of Edinburgh and funded from non-government sources should be returned under one of the UK-based charities headings only where the HEP has received confirmation from the awarding body that the grant or contract was not government funded.
  13. Research income from Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) should be returned in Table 5b (under the appropriate source), apart from any portion in respect of studentships or tuition fees.
  14. Income for open access funding from RCUK should be included as research in Table 5a, split across Research Councils (Columns 1a - 1h) and the cost centres under Head 1.
  15. Income from endowments that have been given to the HEP for the purpose of research will not appear in Table 5b Heads 1 to 4, unless the donation is to be applied to the cost of a tangible fixed asset that is to be used for R&D purposes, in which case the release from the deferred capital account can be returned as income. For other types of endowments the income will be accounted for as an endowment fund in accordance with the SORP and the transfer of this income from the endowment fund to the income and expenditure account will be included under Table 1 Head 8 (Transfer from/(to) accumulated income in endowment funds). To allow data users to identify this subset of the endowment fund awarded to HEPs for the purpose of research and spent on research, this income should be identified in Table 5b Head 5.
  16. Where a HEP acts as a contractor that subcontracts work to another HEP or organisation, this income should be included in Heads 1, 2 and 3 of Tables 5a and 5b, consistent with the audited financial statements. To allow data users to identify the research income received and spent by the HEP making the return, and relating to the work actually being undertaken by it or its subsidiary undertakings, income passed onto subcontracted HEPs or organisations should therefore be deducted in Head 7. The figure in Head 7 should be entered as a negative value.
  17. Where a project is undertaken by several HEPs or organisations and one HEP acts as the 'lead HEP', the lead HEP may show the gross income and expenditure in their published accounts. To allow data users to identify the research income received and spent by the HEP making the return, and relating to the work actually being undertaken by it or its subsidiary undertakings, income which has simply been passed onto partner HEPs or organisations should therefore be deducted in Head 7.
  18. Total research grants and contracts (Head 4) will still remain to be the figure that links into Table 6b of the return.  
  19. Table 5a: Research grants and contracts - breakdown of income by BIS Research Councils, The Royal Society, British Academy and The Royal Society of Edinburgh and cost centre

  20. The sources of income representing the columns in Table 5a are as follows:
  21. Column 1a: Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

    Column 1b: Medical Research Council (MRC)

    Column 1c: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

    Column 1d: Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

    Column 1e: Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)

    Column 1f: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

    Column 1g: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

    Column 1h: Income from The Royal Society, British Academy and The Royal Society of Edinburgh should be included under this column.

    Income from European Social Fund grants should not be included in Table 5a but under Head 4 (Other income) of Table 6b.

    Table 5b: Research grants and contracts - breakdown of income by cost centre

  22. The sources of income representing the columns in Table 5b are as follows:
  23. Column 1 BIS Research Councils, The Royal Society, British Academy and The Royal Society of Edinburgh

    This column requires no direct entries - all entries are calculated automatically from Table 5a.

    Columns 2 and 3 UK-based charities (open competitive process) and UK-based charities (other)

    Should include all research grants and contracts income from:

  • all charitable foundations, charitable trusts etc., based in the UK which are registered with the Charities Commission,
  • exempt charities not covered in Columns 1 and 4,
  • those organisations recognised as charities by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) in Scotland.


Income from UK-based charities should be split between those with an Open competitive process for the allocation of funds and Other charities. This split will be used in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

For income from charities to be treated as awarded through open competition and peer review, and therefore included in Column 2:

  • There should be evidence that a particular income stream or grant was available to more than one HEP through direct competition. This should be within a process where no credible candidate was excluded, and the income awarded to the HEP which demonstrated the highest quality research proposal according to external peer review.
  • However, grants will also be accepted as complying with open competition and external peer review in circumstances where it can be shown that the charity took external expert advice on its choice of HEP to receive a grant and either:

    • The charity had made it known that it was open to grant applications from other HEPs and these would present a competing call on the funds, even though the charity did not issue an open invitation to bid for the particular grant in question.
    • The charity restricted the funding opportunity on a reasoned basis that there were particular requirements of the project that could only be met be a limited number of HEPs. This could arise, for example, where a project required highly specialist expertise or facilities, or a specific regional focus.


HEFCE-funded HEPs and HEPs in Northern Ireland who receive recurrent funds for research should also read the additional guidance notes on income from charities.

Column 4 UK central government bodies/local authorities, health and hospital authorities

Should include all research grants and contracts income from UK central government bodies, UK local authorities and UK health and hospital authorities, except Research Councils and UK public corporations. This should include government departments, and other organisations (including registered charities) financed from central government funds. Research grants and contracts income from non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), including the British Council, should be included under this column.

Column 5 UK industry, commerce and public corporations

Should include all research grants and contracts income from industrial and commercial companies and public corporations (defined as publicly owned trading bodies, usually statutory corporations, with a substantial degree of financial independence) operating in the UK.

Column 6 EU government bodies

Should include all research grants and contracts income from all government bodies operating in the EU, which includes the European Commission but excludes bodies in the UK.

Grants from the Trans-European Mobility Scheme for University Studies (TEMPUS) and European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS) and similar grants should normally be returned under Head 4g (Other operating income) of Table 6b. However, where a portion of a grant from one of these sources was granted for research and spent on research, that portion may be returned as research income and returned under this column.

Columns 7, 8 and 9 EU

Should include all research grants and contracts income from all non-government bodies operating in the EU, outside the UK.

Column 7 EU-based charities (open competitive process)

Should include all research grants and contracts income from an EU body with exclusively charitable purposes consistent with the definition set out in the Charities Act 2011 and which exists for the public benefit in a manner which is consistent with the Public Benefit Guidance published by the Charity Commission for England and Wales (http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Charity_requirements_guidance/Charity_essentials/Public_benefit/default.aspx).

For income from charities to be treated as awarded through open competition and peer review, and therefore included in Column 7:

  • There should be evidence that a particular income stream or grant was available to more than one HEP through direct competition. This should be within a process where no credible candidate was excluded, and the income awarded to the HEP which demonstrated the highest quality research proposal according to external peer review.
  • However, grants will also be accepted as complying with open competition and external peer review in circumstances where it can be shown that the charity took external expert advice on its choice of HEP to receive a grant, and either:

    • The charity had made it known that it was open to grant applications from other HEPs and these would present a competing call on the funds, even though the charity did not issue an open invitation to bid for the particular grant in question.
    • The charity restricted the funding opportunity on a reasoned basis that there were particular requirements of the project that could only be met be a limited number of HEPs. This could arise, for example, where a project required highly specialist expertise or facilities, or a specific regional focus.


The split between 'EU-based charities (Open competitive process)' and other charities income in 'EU other' (column 9) will be used in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Column 8 EU industry, commerce and public corporations

Column 8 should include all research grants and contracts income from industrial and commercial companies and public corporations (defined as publicly owned trading bodies, usually statutory corporations, with a substantial degree of financial independence) operating in the EU outside of the UK. Such income received from a multinational company should be coded depending on the location of the office making the award, e.g. a multinational with a French subsidiary making the award would be coded as EU. The guidance for Column 8 is as per Column 5 but excludes the UK from the EU.

Column 9 EU other

Column 9 should be used for all EU-based non-competitive charities and any other EU income that cannot otherwise be allocated more specifically.

Columns 10, 11, 12 Non-EU

Should include all research grants and contracts income from overseas bodies operating outside the EU.

Column 10 Non-EU-based charities (open competitive process)

Should include all research grants and contracts income from a Non-EU body with exclusively charitable purposes consistent with the definition set out in the Charities Act 2011 and which exists for the public benefit in a manner which is consistent with the Public Benefit Guidance published by the Charity Commission for England and Wales (http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Charity_requirements_guidance/Charity_essentials/Public_benefit/default.aspx).

For income from charities to be treated as awarded through open competition and peer review, and therefore included in Column 10:

  • There should be evidence that a particular income stream or grant was available to more than one HEP through direct competition. This should be within a process where no credible candidate was excluded, and the income awarded to the HEP which demonstrated the highest quality research proposal according to external peer review.
  • However, grants will also be accepted as complying with open competition and external peer review in circumstances where it can be shown that the charity took external expert advice on its choice of HEP to receive a grant, and either:

    • The charity had made it known that it was open to grant applications from other HEPs and these would present a competing call on the funds, even though the charity did not issue an open invitation to bid for the particular grant in question.
    • The charity restricted the funding opportunity on a reasoned basis that there were particular requirements of the project that could only be met be a limited number of HEPs. This could arise, for example, where a project required highly specialist expertise or facilities, or a specific regional focus.


The split between 'Non-EU-based charities (Open competitive process)' and other charities income in 'Non-EU other' (column 12) will be used in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Column 11 Non-EU industry, commerce and public corporations

Column 11 should include all research grants and contracts income from industrial and commercial companies and public corporations (defined as publicly owned trading bodies, usually statutory corporations, with a substantial degree of financial independence) operating outside of the EU. Such income received from a multinational company should be coded depending on the location of the office making the award, e.g. a multinational with a US subsidiary making the award would be coded as non-EU. The guidance for Column 11 is as per Column 5 but from outside the EU.

Column 12 Non-EU other

Column 12 should be used for all Non-EU-based non-competitive charities and any other Non-EU or other overseas income that cannot otherwise be allocated more specifically.

Column 13 Other sources

Should include all research grants and contracts income not covered by Columns 1 to 12. This should include income from other UK HEPs.

Contact Liaison by email or on 01242 211144.