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Briefing Note 2a

Research Students

1. This briefing note gives clarification on the guidance for returning research students in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and should be read in conjunction with Briefing Note 2b Research Studentships and RAE 2001 Guidance on Submissions (RAE 2/99).

2. Research student counts should be returned on both forms RA1 and RA3 of the RAE submission.

3. For the purposes of the RAE a research student is defined as an individual registered to study for a research-based higher degree, that is one that is awarded primarily on the basis of a substantial thesis (or equivalent) submitted by the student and resulting from the student's original research. Regulations on the appointment of examiners should stipulate that the student's work is examined by at least two examiners, individually appointed for the student, one of whom is normally an external examiner. Students undertaking taught Masters programmes are for the purpose of the RAE excluded from being returned as research students.

Staff Details RA1

4. RA1 includes a count of the number (FTE) of research students supervised by each research active individual (A, A* and C) at the census date (31 March 2001) or in the case of A* staff who have left an institution, on the last day of their employment. For the purposes of RA1, the count should include all students being supervised regardless of where the student is registered. Jointly supervised students should be split between the staff concerned, in proportion to the amount of supervision provided by each member of staff.

Research Students RA3a

5. The following information is required on research students in the submitting department:

  1. Head count of students on research-based higher degrees for whom the year of programme of study falling on 1 December in each of 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 is full time.

  2. Head count and FTE of students on research-based higher degrees for whom the year of programme of study falling on 1 December in each of 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 is part time. The FTE should be the FTE for the year of programme of study falling on the relevant date and not an estimate of the student's activity on the date.

  3. Total number of research doctoral degrees awarded (the date of approval for conferment of the degree rather than the subsequent award ceremony) in calendar years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

  4. Total number of research Masters degrees awarded (the date of approval for conferment of the degree rather than the subsequent award ceremony) in calendar years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

6. Research student head counts and FTEs may only be recorded if the student is registered for the year of programme of study. Students undertaking full-time study should be returned as 1.0 FTE while students studying part-time, should be returned with an FTE value that reflects the amount of study they are undertaking compared to a full time student.

7. In England and Northern Ireland research students should be returned by the institution where they are registered and should not be split between institutions. In Wales and Scotland research students should be included under the institution where they are carrying out their studies. If a student is carrying out their studies at two institutions then the student and corresponding studentship may be split pro-rata between them. These differences reflect between the countries in the way in which students are currently counted for funding purposes.

8. In RA3, students should be submitted to the same Unit of Assessment (UoA) as their supervisor, whether or not their supervisor is returned as research active. If returned as research active the supervisor can be category A, A*, B, C or D in accordance with the definitions given in paragraph 3.8 of RAE 2001: Guidance on Submissions.

9. If a research student is jointly supervised, within an institution, by members of staff being returned to different UoAs the research student should be included in the counts for both submissions, with the student being split pro-rata. The institution concerned should decide the exact pro-rata split between the UoAs.

10. For further information please contact:

The RAE team,
Northavon House,
Bristol BS16 1QD

Email: rae@hefce.ac.uk

Last updated 12 July 2000

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