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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

General guidance on Table 1: Research related activities

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Version 1.0 Produced 2013-04-03

  1. Table 1 provides analysis of collaborative and contract research.
  2. Head 1: Collaborative research involving public funding

  3. Income should be returned for research projects which have public sponsorship (grant in aid from a government or public body) to support research performed in collaboration with at least one other non-academic organisation (collaborator). Collaborative research with other HEPs should not be included. In the context of collaborative research, it is the collaboration rather than the nature of the research that is of primary importance. 'Collaborative research' must involve:
  • grant-in-aid from at least one public body, and
  • a material contribution (which may be cash or 'in-kind' if specified in the collaborative agreement and auditable) from at least one external non-academic collaborator.

The term 'non-academic organisation (collaborator)' should be understood to refer to charities, public and not-for-profit organisations as well as commercial business.

Where the material contribution is amended from the level in the original contract, and this amendment has been documented and is auditable the new amount can be returned under Head 1.

In-kind contributions should be ‘contractually explicit' i.e. the external partner should be aware of the financial values assumed for their contribution. In-kind contributions could for example include staff time, resources, materials, provision of data etc.

  • Collaborative research projects can involve complex financial arrangements - particularly where there are a number of organisations that are contributing and/or using resources. This survey aims to capture the direct income to the HEP - both grant-in-aid from the public sponsor, as well as any direct financial contribution from collaborators. In-kind contributions include contributions to the project from the non-academic collaborators (for example staff time, use of equipment and other resources, materials, provision of data etc) as described in the project collaboration agreement. Where the in-kind contributions cannot be attributed to a specific HEP (for example where there are multiple HEPs) the costs should be apportioned and care must be taken to avoid "double counting". Whilst it is recognised that in-kind contributions are difficult to capture systematically, only in-kind contributions that have been formally recorded, for example on Finance or Research Project Management Systems, should be returned.

  • Projects should be returned under one subheading depending upon the body the primary funder falls under, e.g. EU Government.
  • Where projects involve 'grant in aid' from more than one public sponsor (e.g. LINK Projects or TSB Collaborative R&D), the direct contributions should be shown against each sponsor category (e.g. research councils and government departments). The cash and in-kind contributions from collaborators should be apportioned between these public funders - dependent on the circumstances it is acceptable to assign all cash/in-kind contributions to a single public sponsor, split equally or apportion pro-rata.
  • Example 1:

    Collaborative multidisciplinary research centre

    £350K ESRC research grant income

    £450K BBSRC research grant income

    International collaborating HEP

    National Rail: £100K cash, data valued at £750K, secondment of staff to HEP £50K


    Here the public body (National Rail) is acting as a project collaborator rather than as a sponsor. Contributions involving international collaborating HEP are not returned.

    Example 2:

    Technology Strategy Board (TSB) Collaborative R&D Project (one year duration) involving EPSRC, TSB, 2 HEPs and 7 industry collaborators

    £250K TSB grant for collaborative R&D awarded to Big City University

    £350K EPSRC research grant awarded to Big City University

    £450K EPSRC research grant awarded to Campus College

    £200K cash contribution from companies to Big City University

    £300K cash contribution with £100k materials from companies to Campus College

    £500K costs of project activities outside HEPs (described in collaboration agreement - apportioned equally)

    Big City University
    Table example

    Campus College
    Table example


    Income should be returned in line with the audited/published financial statements. Income attributable to the survey year should be returned, i.e. the whole value of a multiple year grant should not be returned in the year it was awarded but apportioned over the years as required. While these data are available elsewhere, KTPs and CASE awards are central to many HEPs' KT strategy and therefore should be included.

    Sub-head 1a: BIS Research Councils, Royal Society & British Academy

  • Should include all research income from research councils covered by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. They are:
    • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
    • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
    • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
    • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
    • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
    • Medical Research Council (MRC)
    • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

  • Research income from the British Academy and the Royal Society should also be included in this row.
  • Further information on collaborative research and training undertaken by the Research Councils can be found at
  • Sub-head 1b: Other UK Government departments

  • Income from Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) should be included under this sub-head.
  • Sub-head 1c: EU Government

  • This sub-head should include all research income from all government bodies operating in the EU, which includes the European Commission but excludes bodies in the UK.
  • Sub-head 1d: Other

  • Other forms of collaborative research involving public funding could include charities, public and not-for-profit organisations as well as commercial business. 'Not for profit' describes non-profit organisations, which are mainly charities but there are other examples where organisations are neither public service nor private business but can't or don't become formal charities. See the Charity Commission website for trading status queries and issues
  • Head 2: Contract Research (excluding any already returned in Head 1 and research councils)

  • Head 2 should be used to return specific contract research. Income returned under Head 2 must be identifiable as the HEP meeting the specific research needs of external partners.
  • Awards and grants made for proposals from the HEP should not be returned in Table 1. In particular, basic research council grants should not be returned as contract research. These grants are basic research income and should be returned in Table 6b of the FSR.
  •   SMEs are classified as enterprises which:
    • employ fewer than 250 employees worldwide (including partners and executive directors), and
    • has either an annual turnover not exceeding 50m euros, or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43m euros, and  
    • conforms to the following independence criteria:

    An enterprise is considered independent unless 25% or more of the capital or of the voting rights is owned by an enterprise falling outside the definition of an SME whichever may apply, or jointly by several such enterprises. (This ceiling may be exceeded if the enterprise is held by public investment corporations, venture capital companies or organisational investors, provided no control is exercised either individually or jointly, or if the capital is spread in such a way that it is not possible to determine by whom it is held).

    SMEs include micro, small and medium enterprises, and sole traders.

  • Income from commercial and non-commercial organisations for contract research may include various projects relating to both subjects and non-STEM subjects.
  • Contract research income from charities can be included under Head 2 where the charity is contracting research for its own purposes.
  • Example 1:

    Client: BBSRC

    Project: Research and profile previous BBSRC grants and their effectiveness and recommend improvements to impact of funding

    Contribution: £50K

    Return: As £50K under Sub-head 2f Total value with non-commercial organisations.

    Example 2:

    Client: BBSRC

    Project: Mapping a genome

    Contribution: N/A

    Do not return: This is basic research and not relevant for the HE-BCI Survey as grants without collaboration should not be returned.

    Example 3:

    Client: Research Council

    Project: Any responsive mode grant

    Contribution: N/A

    Do not return: It is likely that most responsive mode grants are part of the core research funding arena and should not be returned.

    Example 4:

    Client: Non-STEM disciplines

    Project: Various including commercial application of social sciences etc. and a range of contributions to creative and cultural industries

    Contribution: Income returned in accordance with general guidance and rules.

    Return: Traditionally, information gathered regarding contract research may have been seen as focussed on the STEM subjects. This is not the case under HE-BCI as all relevant research benefiting the economy and society should be included.

    Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.