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Briefing Note 3

Category A* Staff

1. This briefing note gives clarification on the guidance for returning Category A* staff in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and should be read in conjunction with the RAE 2001 Guidance on Submissions (RAE 2/99).

2. Category A* has been introduced as a new feature for the 2001 RAE to address concerns regarding the impact on departments of losing staff in the run up to the census date.

3. The category of A* applies only to academic staff who transfer employment between UK Higher Education Institutions which are eligible to make RAE returns within the period from 1 April 2000 and 30 March 2001 inclusive. The dates define the period within which the transfer of contract, (or any part of that transfer), takes place. In other words, anyone in post in the new HEI on or before 31 March 2000 is Category A, anyone taking up their post on or after 1 April 2000 is Category A*. Category A* does not apply to staff who transfer from a post which is not normally included within Category A to one which is, for example a research assistant who takes up a lecturing post.

4. Both the former and current employing institution may select the member of staff for submission and each institution is invited to supply details of up to two pieces of research output produced by each category A* staff member during the assessment period. The same, overlapping or different outputs may be listed by each institution and the institutions are not expected to agree between themselves which outputs will be returned. Each institution may also use RA5 to comment on the full body of work from which the two selected outputs are drawn.

5. Category A* staff will count fully in the judgement of quality for both institutions. They will be assessed separately in the context of each of the submissions in which they appear. Panels are required to make an assessment of the quality of research presented in each submission. Cross-referencing between submissions in respect of A* staff will not form part of the assessment process (other than for data checking and verification). Category A* will only be counted for funding volume purposes in the employing institution at the census date.

6. The research income associated with Category A* staff should be returned by the institution which has incurred directly related expenditure.

7. Research students and studentships associated with Category A* staff should be returned according to the guidance issued in briefing notes 2a Research Students and 2b Research Studentships. However it should be noted that in RA1 the count of the number (FTE) of research students supervised by Category A* staff should refer to:

  1. the number of students supervised on the last day of their employment where Category A* staff have left an institution.


  2. the number of students supervised at the census date (31 March 2001) where Category A* staff have joined an institution.

8. For further information please contact:

The RAE team,
Northavon House,
Bristol BS16 1QD

Email: rae@hefce.ac.uk

Last updated 23 May 2000

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