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Research output (table R1)

Table R1 provides four indicators of annual research output. The indicators here look at numbers of PhDs awarded and amount of research grants and contracts obtained, relative to the academic staff costs of an HE provider and relative to the funding council allocation of quality related (QR) research funds to that HE provider. Table R1 was discontinued in 2015 - further information can be found below.

UK Performance Indicators 2012/13: Research output

Release date: 3 July 2014

Our research output indicators look at:

  • Numbers of PhDs awarded
  • Amount of research grants and contracts obtained.

Tables included:

  • Table R1 - Share of research output per share of research input, weighted by cost centre 2012/13
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Following the findings of the recent fundamental review of the UK Performance Indicators (UKPIs), the UK Performance Indicators Steering Group (UKPISG) is able to confirm the discontinuation of Table R1 of the UK Performance Indicators (Research output). The table will not be published in 2015 and subsequent UKPI publications.

The review, commissioned by the UKPISG, engaged with a wide range of interested bodies and organisations and determined that these measures are under used and not widely understood. Having issued an invitation to comment on future changes to the UK Performance Indicators in December 2013, the UKPISG has considered further evidence of support for the removal of this table.

In their consideration of the timing of the removal, the UKPISG acknowledges the requirements associated with the UKPIs' classification as Official Statistics, as well as the availability in 2015 of results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). On the basis that respondents to the "invitation to comment" indicated use of RAE/REF data in combination with measures derived from the Higher Education Information Database for Institutions (HEIDI) to provide suitable research-related measures for their purposes, the UKPISG believes that the required information will continue to be made available to HE providers in 2015 via more efficient methods.

Recognising that existing measures derived from the REF (and its predecessor, the Research Assessment Exercise) are not available on a suitably frequent basis to meet users’ needs with regards to UKPIs in the longer term, the UKPISG considers that they will seek the introduction of replacement research-related measures at the earliest opportunity. While no firm commitment can be made as to the timing of the replacement(s), the UKPISG sees the development of replacement UKPI measures as an important requirement and has committed to explore some of the suggestions raised in response to the "invitation to comment". The UKPISG will work with the UK Research Councils and other appropriate organisations (including academic research experts), groups, committees or departments to establish an expert group that will explore new and current measures of research activity that could be appropriate for use in the UKPIs and/or of interest across a range of stakeholders.

Table R1 provides four indicators of annual research output. They are not intended to replace the Research Assessment Exercise, which remains the most reliable indicator relating to quality of research. The indicators here look at numbers of PhDs awarded and amount of research grants and contracts obtained, relative to the academic staff costs of a HE provider and relative to the funding council allocation of quality related (QR) research funds to that HE provider. Each indicator is expressed as the proportion of output relative to the rest of the sector per proportion of input relative to the rest of the sector. To take account of the different patterns of input to output in different cost centres, the ratios are obtained for each cost centre, and then combined to give the single indicator.

Please note that from 2012/13, the cost centres changed which has resulted in a larger number of cost centres. Due to this change, the research indicators for 2012/13 may not be strictly comparable with those prior to this. See Technical document for more details.