The link below provides contextual data for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. The results of the REF 2014 itself are published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) at www.ref.ac.uk.

Download the REF 2014 contextual data

What is in the table?

The table shows the total full-time equivalents (FTE) of staff identified as eligible to be submitted to the REF 2014 by HE provider and REF Unit of Assessment.

Staff at HE providers can also access this data through heidi.

Important Health Warnings

1.   The FTE figures shown in the contextual data are the closest possible approximation to REF definitions of FTE that can be achieved with the HESA Staff record, but the definitions are not exactly the same.

In the REF, FTE refers to a ‘snapshot' value at the REF reference date of 31 October 2013. In the HESA Staff record FTE is a retrospective measure which accounts for both the full-time equivalence of any contracts held and the proportion of an academic year served. Therefore a staff member who was full-time on 31 October 2013 but who left their post half-way through the academic year 2013/14 may be recorded as 1 FTE in the REF submission but would typically represent 0.5 FTE within the HESA Staff Record.

To compensate for this difference, FTE in the contextual data is scaled up according to the proportion of year served. For those staff members who left within the year, HESA has calculated what FTE they would have represented if they had been in-post for the whole academic year. In the above example therefore, the 0.5 FTE for half of an academic year would be assumed to be equivalent to 1.0 FTE over a whole year.

The REF contextual data in the download is defined as:

  • Staff holding academic contracts for which the academic employment function is recorded as ‘research' or ‘teaching & research'
    AND
  • Staff holding contracts that were active on the REF census date of 31 October 2013
    AND
  • Staff who were not recorded as research assistants
    AND
  • Staff whose scaled ‘full-year' FTE is 0.2 or greater (to align with the REF 2014 eligibility criterion).

2.   Research assistants are generally excluded from REF, but may be submitted in exceptional circumstances (see Assessment framework and guidance on submissions). HESA holds no data on Research assistants who may have been included under these criteria. The contextual data therefore excludes these staff.

3.   Please note that the eligibility of staff members for submission to REF does not necessarily imply they are research active.

4.   There are known to be staff employed by the Colleges of Oxford, Cambridge and the University of the Highlands and Islands, and the Institute of Zoology who are eligible for submission to REF but are not included in the HESA Staff Record.

5.   Published REF guidance states that: "Academic staff who are on unpaid leave of absence or on secondment on the census date and are contracted to return to normal duties up to two years from the start of their period of absence or secondment are eligible to be returned as Category A, provided that any staff recruited specifically to cover their duties are not also listed as Category A." Staff recruited to cover these secondments or periods of absence cannot be separately identified from the HESA Staff record and may therefore be included in the published FTE of eligible staff, over inflating the FTE for HE providers with such appointments.

6.   It should be noted that it was possible for eligible staff to be returned in the HESA Staff record without a REF Unit of Assessment. FTEs for these staff have been included in the table and are shown as 'UoA not recorded'.

7.   The multiple submission letter 'Z' is used where a HEP did not make a multiple submission in that REF Unit of Assessment. 

8.   On 2 December 2014, Institute of Education merged with University College London (UCL) and became UCL Institute of Education. Both providers made separate returns to the HESA Staff record in 2013/14 and are therefore shown separately in the contextual data. In the REF 2014 results published by HEFCE, the submission to Unit of Assessment 25 Education made by Institute of Education is presented as one of two multiple submissions made by UCL to that UoA. 

9.   In discussion with HEFCE, the University of Sheffield changed their multiple submission letters in the following Units of Assessment. The contextual data has been updated to reflect these changes.

  • UoA 03 - multiple submission letter C has changed to B
  • UoA 13 - multiple submission letter B has changed to A
  • UoA 13 - multiple submission letter C has changed to B

10.   Data for Cardiff University has been suppressed and shown as '..'. This is due to a miscoding which failed to identify around 595 staff members as research assistants in the HESA Staff record submission from the University. Replacement scaled FTE figures have been provided by Cardiff University can be downloaded here.

11.   Data for 11 Units of Assessment at Queen Mary University of London have been suppressed and shown as '..'. This is due to a miscoding which failed to identify 82 staff members as research assistants in the HESA Staff record submission and a further 21 staff with an incorrect academic employment function. Replacement scaled FTE figures have been provided by Queen Mary University of London can be downloaded here.

12. Due to a miscoding the University of Aberdeen failed to identify 410 staff members as research assistants in the HESA Staff record therefore the reported scaled FTE of eligible staff is higher than it should be. Replacement figures have been provided by University of Aberdeen and can be downloaded here.

13. Due to a miscoding Aston University failed to identify 109 staff members as research assistants in the HESA staff record submission. Replacement figures have provided by Aston University and can be downloaded here.

14. Due to a miscoding Heriot-Watt University failed to identify 191 staff members as research assistants in the HESA staff record submission. Replacement figures have been provided by Heriot-Watt University and can be downloaded here.

15. Due to a miscoding The University of Leicester failed to identify 56 staff members as research assistants in the HESA staff record submission. A further 5 staff members were incorrectly recorded as UoA1 and UoA2 when their correct code was UoA3. Replacement figures have been provided by The University of Leicester and can be downloaded here.

16. Due to the incorrect coding of academic employment function of 10 staff members (7 FTE) in the HESA staff record submission for Liverpool Hope University, the reported scaled FTE of eligible staff is higher than it should be. These staff members are included in “UoA not recorded”. One further staff member (1 FTE) did not have a UoA recorded when they should have been returned as UoA 35Z Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts.

17. Due to a miscoding the University of Northumbria at Newcastle incorrectly recorded the UoA of 11 FTE. These staff members were recorded as UoA 36Z when they should have been reported as 36A (10.5 FTE) and 36B (0.5 FTE). Replacement figures have been provided by the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and can be downloaded here

If you have any queries about the contextual data for the REF 2014 please contact [email protected]

Updated 2015-08-05