University Grants Committee - Research Assessment Exercise 1999

Guidance Notes*


    This document consists of the Guidance Notes, a set of blank forms numbered Tables 1 to 3, and Appendices A to G. The document is also accessible from the UGC website at the following URL:


    Each institution should issue this document to every member of its academic staff, and to every member of its administrative staff responsible for institutional governance or involved in research policy and support, in order that the principles, aims and methodology of the RAE are fully appreciated. Institutions may ask their staff members to obtain a copy of this document from the UGC Web.

    * The contents of this draft Guidance Notes are subject to the approval of the UGC in January 1999.

    (printed on 1 December 1998)


  1. In 1993, the University Grant Committee (UGC) began to move away from a historical-based model for the assessment of the public recurrent funding requirements of the UGC-funded institutions to a more performance-based funding model. Following detailed study aided by an expert consultant, the UGC adopted a zero-based model which relates the level of funding allocations both to the tasks that each institution is expected to accomplish during the funding period, and to the quality of its recent performance.

  2. In principle the funding of each institution is the sum of funding for its two principal activities, teaching ('T') and research ('R'), each carrying an implied overhead of administrative or support activity. It is the UGC's intention that public funds in support of research should be allocated preferentially to those institutions which demonstrate that they can use them well. There is therefore a need to assess research performance in some way so that it can be reflected in the funding level.

  3. The RAE is thus part of the UGC's performance-based funding assessment process. It aims to measure the output and quality of research of the UGC-funded institutions by cost centre as the basis for allocating some of the research portion of the institutional recurrent grant for the next triennium in a publicly accountable way.

  4. The first RAE was conducted in 1993, and the second RAE in 1996. The first RAE was essentially modelled on the UK system and was implemented with the help of external consultants. However, a quality threshold which was not overly stringent was used. The outcome of the exercise was a factor, expressed in terms of full-time equivalent active researchers (FTE-AR) by cost centre, applied as a multiplier to an assessed unit cost of research activity by discipline. The second RAE was adapted from the first RAE, but giving more recognition to the fact that Hong Kong was a smaller system locally -- external referees were also involved, in significant numbers, but they all functioned as normal panel members. A conscious decision was taken to adopt a higher quality threshold. The UGC subsequently concluded that the results of the second RAE revealed that there had been an overall and significant improvement in both the range and quality of research work being carried out by colleagues in Hong Kong.

  5. In retrospect, the RAE has been effective as a means of -

    1. informing funding;

    2. symbolising public accountability; and

    3. inducing improvement in research by raising the quality threshold for assessment.

Background to RAE 1999

  1. Since the RAE is expected to remain an important measure for determining the distribution of a significant part of the 'R' portion of the institutional recurrent grants, planning for the next RAE needs to tie in with the funding cycle of the next triennium 2001-2004.

  2. The third RAE will be undertaken by the UGC in the autumn of 1999. Like the second RAE conducted in 1996, the purpose of the exercise is to assess the research output performance of the UGC-funded institutions by cost centre, to be used as one of the bases for allocating some of the research portion of the institutional recurrent grant for the triennium 2001-2004.

  3. The UGC again wishes to emphasize that the research assessment exercise does not imply an interest in research to the possible detriment of teaching quality. The Committee recognizes that both teaching and research are important and are inter-related elements in the development of higher education. Indeed, a much larger portion of the recurrent grants allocated to institutions is and should be attributed to teaching. However, it is necessary for the Committee to adopt different approaches to look at teaching and research in view of the different nature of these activities.

Principles and Philosophy for RAE 1999

  1. The UGC considers that RAE 1999 should be conducted on basically similar lines to RAE 1996, but with improvements in several areas. The RAE will continue to rate cost centres, not individual staff members. It will determine the 'research indices' of all cost centres in each UGC-funded institution which will be aggregated to obtain an overall research index of that institution. However, the term 'active researcher' will no longer be used, in order to stress that the focus is on cost centres and institutions rather than individuals.

  2. The results of the last two RAEs directly informed funding, in that they were factored into the determination of a significant part of the 'R' portion of institutional recurrent grants. The UGC notes that this may have unduly influenced institutions' commitment to research versus teaching, and therefore wishes to clarify the principles and philosophy for RAE 1999.

  3. The UGC considers that research is not an isolated activity; rather it should support and illuminate teaching and learning. Moreover, in recognition of the wider scope of research and scholarly/creative activity intended to be assessed, but evidently not, or only partially, assessed in previous RAEs, the UGC wishes to redefine 'research' as well as to enlarge the assessment to cover other forms of scholarship inherent in the process and/or outcome of research.

  4. The aim in RAE 1999 will be to identify and measure, on the basis of outputs, the following kinds of scholarship :

    1. scholarship of discovery;
    2. scholarship of integration;
    3. scholarship of application; and
    4. scholarship of teaching.

    A brief definition of these four kinds of scholarship, adapted from the Carnegie Foundation's Special Report entitled 'Scholarship Reconsidered', 1990, is at Appendix A.

  5. Prior to the conduct of RAE 1999, each institution should submit, on the basis of a self-assessment, a Research Strategy Statement (RSS) to reflect its research philosophy, vision and priorities in relation to its role and mission and stage of development. It should state the institution's research focus areas, if any, and explain why they are selected. It should also state the institution's existing strength and standard, and, using the RAE 1996 results as its benchmark, describe the changes expected in three years, and in the long run. A template of an RSS is at Appendix B. Upon completion of the RAE, the resultant numerical research index will help the UGC to form a judgement about the appropriate level of an institution's recurrent funding for research. The research index will be viewed in the context of the institution's declared research strategy and in any case will not be the sole deciding factor.

  6. The UGC-funded institutions' principal functions are to teach and, to varying degrees, to undertake research. In principle, the funding of each institution should be the sum of funding for the two principal activities, teaching ('T') and research ('R'). In respect of research, it should be recognized that for the purpose of research funding assessment, there are some research activities which should be funded by the UGC, and others which should not, in which case the institutions concerned should obtain the necessary funding from the appropriate sources or seek full-cost recovery including on-costs, where appropriate, from the clients.

  7. It is envisaged that RAE 1999 will proceed along lines similar to RAE 1996, with improvements in several areas. The RAE will continue to rate cost centres, not individual staff members. It will determine the 'research indices' of all cost centres in a UGC-funded institution, which will then be aggregated to obtain an overall research index for that institution. However, each UGC-funded institution has its distinct role and mission, and it is to be expected that the amount and type of research activity will differ among institutions as a result. There is no expectation by the UGC that all academic staff should contribute to the institution's research index.

  8. The principles and objective of the third RAE are essentially the same as the second RAE, and therefore the general scheme of the second RAE will again be largely applicable for the purposes of the third exercise, i.e.:

    1. assessment will be based on research outputs;

    2. research outputs by cost centre will be assessed by different subject panels; and

    3. the subject panels will be expected to determine whether each output is up to a threshold standard which they will determine.

  9. Although the third RAE will again look at individual records, it is not intended to be an assessment of individuals' research performance. It will rather be an assessment of the institutions' research activity by cost centre. The subject panels will only produce a total score for each cost centre. If the score(s) of an individual researcher or researchers can be inferred from the cost centre's final research index (especially in the case of very small cost centres), the institution concerned should not to use the inferred information for internal evaluation of the performance of the researchers concerned, because staff appraisal must involve dimensions other than research, even research widely defined; even for research alone, methodologies that are appropriate for assessment in the aggregate for funding purposes may not be appropriate for individual assessments for the purposes of personnel decisions.


  1. In the second RAE, all subject panels worked to the same threshold definition although they exercised their judgement with due regard for the nature and culture in different disciplines. While the formal definition of threshold for RAE 1999 in terms of attaining excellence will remain largely the same as in RAE 1996, given the rising standards both in Hong Kong and elsewhere, it is likely that this will, in practice, translate into higher standards than for the previous exercise. The definition of the threshold is given in paragraph 50 below.

General Scheme

  1. The general scheme of the third RAE will be to determine the research index of a cost centre, i.e. the percentage of full-time equivalent researchers in each cost centre whose research work is judged to have reached the quality threshold. The index, p, is determined by the following formula:

    • p = 100% x A / T


      T = the total number of academic staff (in fte) in a cost centre who meet the criteria stated in paragraphs 23 and 24 regardless of the source of funding and whether they submit research output items for assessment; and

      A = the total number among these who are judged by the Panel to have reached the quality threshold, including fractional counts.

  2. These Guidance Notes therefore explain in detail the way in which assessments will be made, and the kind of information required and how it will be presented to the RAE panels for assessment. The following areas are covered by the Guidance Notes:

    1. the definition of cost centres (Section II);

    2. the convention for counting the total number of academic staff in each cost centre to arrive at the denominator T (Section III);

    3. the submission of data for each member of staff included (Section IV);

    4. the evaluation guidelines for the panels in its judgment of the submissions to arrive at the numerator A (Section V); and

    5. the handling of the results (Section VI).


  1. To bring departments onto a common classification system, institutions are asked to map their departments and research units onto a common list of 'Cost Centres' according to the list in Appendix C. The mapping should be the same as that used in the UGC's Common Data Collection Format (CDCF) returns. The Cost Centre forms the basis of the data we are now seeking.

  2. For each cost centre, an appropriate representative from the institution, e.g., Department Head or Faculty Dean, may choose to submit in the form of Table 1* a one-page summary giving a factual description of the research activities in the cost centre. The descriptive summary will not be assessed, but will provide a context for the panel's deliberations.


  1. All academic staff who meet both of the following criteria will be counted in the total T, and may submit information to be assessed:

    1. they are holding a paid appointment at the institution concerned for a continuous period of twenty-four months or more covering a particular census date (see paragraph 27), whether or not the period of continuous appointment is principally before or after the census date; and

    2. they do not hold concurrent paid positions at other institutions.

  2. For this purpose, academic staff include staff grades of 'Professor' to 'Assistant Lecturer' plus 'Senior Research Staff'. These correspond to Staff Categories 'A' to 'I' and 'M' as defined (see Appendix D) for the purposes of the Common Data Collection Format (CDCF).

  3. Institutions are required to submit in Table 2* the list of all academic staff who meet the above criteria regardless of whether they intend to submit items for assessment or not. The institutions' Table 2 returns will need to be submitted to the UGC Secretariat by 15 March 1999.

  4. Part-time staff, other than those remunerated on an hourly rate, should also be assessed. They may be expressed in full-time equivalent terms. Each staff member reported, whether he/she is full-time staff or part-time staff expressed in full time equivalent terms, will be counted against the cost centres to which he/she contributes and expressed as a fraction (employment fraction) in the cost centre. To illustrate, a full-time staff member counted against one single cost centre will be expressed as a whole unit '1'. A part-time staff member equivalent to 0.5 full time staff member contributing solely and equally to cost centres A and B will be expressed as 0.25 in cost centre A and 0.25 in cost centre B.

  5. The census date for the reported data is 31 December 1998, which is the middle of the academic year 1998-99.


Who to submit

  1. Institutions are invited to submit in respect of every member of staff listed in Table 2 that the institution feels has output for assessment material in accordance with Table 3* by 8 April 1999.

  2. [*Note: Tables 1, 2 and 3 are downloadable as Excel files]

  3. The UGC recognizes that research is only one aspect of an institution's activities, and understands that there may be valid reasons why some valuable and respected members of staff are not, for the period in question, active in research. For example, some staff could be heavily involved in course development, or in institutional administration. Therefore each institution is free to decide, in consultation with the individual, not to make a submission, and no stigma should be attached to any individual taking such a decision.

What to submit

  1. The material that the institution is invited to submit in respect of each eligible staff member will be :

    1. up to five (see paragraph 38) best research output items within the period of assessment, defined in paragraphs 33 to 34 below; and

    2. if considered appropriate, a separate submission of one exceptional research output item that meets the criteria in paragraph 33, but does not fit into category (a) above.

  2. The UGC expects the work submitted by each cost centre has a reasonable distribution given the nature of the subject, and the role and mission of the institution. It is suggested that each cost centre convenes a meeting of staff who are considering a submission to discuss the four scholarly categories in relation to the centre's role and mission ( the meeting may also be used to help coordinate the within-cost centre co-author problem discussed in paragraph 39). Staff could discuss their possible submissions in general terms, but ultimately individuals should decide for themselves what specific items to submit. The spread of the scores across the four scholarly categories may provide a basis for the UGC to consider the research performance of an institution against its role and mission. However, the scoring, and eventually funding, will be based on the work submitted for assessment without regard to the category.

Assessment period

  1. For the purpose of paragraph 30 above, the assessment period will be the four-year period from 1 January 1995 to 31 December 1998.

Definition of output

  1. All output items submitted for assessment must meet all of the following criteria:-

    1. it contains an element of innovation;

    2. the output and the process involved contribute to scholarship;

    3. it is publicly accessible; and

    4. it is of interest to peers and is generalizable.

    Provided that all the above criteria are fully met, it does not matter whether the research activities leading to the output items submitted for assessment are funded by the UGC.

  2. The following are considered to be items falling within category (a) in paragraph 30 above :

    1. any publication, patents, artifacts, etc., provided it was -

      1. published within the assessment period; or

      2. not yet published, but officially accepted for publication (without need for further amendments of any kind) in that period; in this case, a letter of acceptance will need to be attached; or

    2. other output that may or may not be in publishable form, e.g. drama, concert performance, video tape, computer software programme, buildings, or any creative work that can be evaluated for merit and an assessment obtained on either a public or confidential basis (RAE panels to decide on the basis of the criteria in (a) above, see also paragraphs 12, 30 and 43).

  3. On the other hand, proprietary research that does not result in output that is accessible to the public and the profession is not accepted as an output for this purpose.

  4. For the avoidance of doubt, the UGC wishes to stress that output items need not be restricted to papers in journals.

New Researchers

  1. New researchers, including senior professionals who have just joined academia, present a special case, since they may not have had time to produce significant or publishable outputs according to the RAE definition. Therefore, all staff who first took up an academic appointment (anywhere) only within the last three years i.e. on or after 1 January 1996, will be given special consideration by the RAE panels. Apart from the kind of output defined at paragraphs 34 and 41, doctoral dissertation research may be included by these new appointees in the lists of research outputs for assessment.

Quality criterion

  1. Although a maximum of five output items could be submitted, individual staff may wish to submit fewer items, even only one item. A researcher can be judged to be fully active on the basis of one single item of high quality. The UGC wishes to emphasize that the focus of the RAE is not on quantity, but on the quality of output. It is believed that in the majority of cases, a clear decision should be able to be made on the basis of three items.


  1. Research output items produced under joint-authorship are also accepted. The principal criterion (part from the quality of the item in question) is whether the cost centre in question has made a significant and substantial intellectual contribution to that item of research output. For this purpose, panels would need some idea of the fractional contributions to that item. Panels will specifically be asked not to use such fractions as a multiplier; rather where there is such a significant and substantial contribution (e.g., over 50%), the item would be accepted without discount, and where there is only a peripheral contribution, then the item should be discounted in total. In this regard, it should be emphasized that the RAE is to evaluate the cost centre, not individuals. In assessing co-authored items, the individuals are regarded as proxies of the cost centre -- hence the information required in paragraphs 35(c) and 36. As an example, if an item is co-authored by 10 staff members from the same cost-centre with one external one, the cost centre should be credited in full rather than 10/11 if the work is assessed to have met the threshold standard. It is not suggested that this fraction is used in any mechanistic way as a multiplier, but as one parameter in an overall qualitative assessment. As an additional example, if staff member A submits an item with co-authors B, C, D in his/her institution (and same cost centre), and X, Y, Z from another institution, and, assuming all co-authors contribute equally and that this item is not submitted again by B, C and D, the relevant fraction to be looked at by the panel for scoring purposes should be 4/7, not 1/7.

  2. As it is essential to score the cost centre as a whole, any possible double-counting should be avoided. The submitting academic staff members and their relevant institutions are requested to provide assistance to the RAE panels to identify research output items being submitted for assessment by more than one academic staff member within the same cost centre, within or across the UGC-funded institutions. Individual staff members should, as far as possible, ascertain from their co-authors if they are academic staff members of a UGC-funded institutions at the census date, whether their co-authors intend to submit the same item for assessment in the same RAE. The submitting staff members should provide a written explanation attached to the item to indicate the nature and degree of his/her contribution to that research output item, and declare to the best of his/her knowledge whether the research output item would also be submitted by others within and outside his/her institutions. The coordinator of submissions from each cost centre should star for the RAE panel's attention in the collated submissions items the multiple submission(s) from within the same cost centre of the same institution.

Exceptional item

  1. As regards paragraph 30 above, individual staff may submit an exceptional or additional item if he/she considers it to be appropriate. This is to cater for special situations where, for example, output items within the definition of paragraph 30 could not be produced during the assessment period. It is accepted that works of great impact could take more than three years to complete and they tend to be infrequent. Individual staff may also wish to submit a non-traditional output item (i.e. categories I, A and T; see paragraphs 30 and 42) as an exceptional item for assessment, even though this item may not be among the best 5 outputs produced during the period of assessment. In submitting an exceptional item for assessment, the individual concerned should provide a one-page justification together with adequate evidence to explain why it should be accepted for assessment.

Data required

  1. Each item falling within category (a) of paragraph 30 above should be labeled as D, I, A, T according to the four categories of scholarship of discovery, integration, application and teaching as set out in paragraph 12 above. The data required to be submitted include one copy of the full set of the output items to be assessed (all such copies will be returned after the assessment exercise); and in addition 5 copies of the following:

    1. in the case of a journal paper, the first page and the abstract pages (output items will be judged on their own merit and will not be judged simply on their category or venue of publication);

    2. in the case of a book, a short description of the book, the title page and table of contents and, where appropriate, a book review;

    3. in the case of a co-authored item, an explanation (by the individual) of the nature and degree of co-authorship of the individual submitting the item, the contribution of other co-authors from the same cost centre, and a statement (by the institution) declaring the number of staff members from the same cost centre who have submitted the same item for assessment (cf paragraph 40 above) [special forms for these purposes are at Appendix E1 and Appendix E2] ; and

    4. in other cases, sufficient information for the item to be assessed.

  2. For a submission in category (b) of paragraph 30 above, a description limited to one A4 page should be provided.

Sample submission

  1. A sample submission is shown in Appendices F1 to F3 [downloadable as Excel files].

Further information

  1. If an RAE panel requires any further information, it will approach the institution(s) concerned through the UGC Secretariat for assistance.



  1. Since the RAE covers the whole range of cost centres, with different types of academic research outputs, the cost centres are grouped into groups, each group to be assessed by a separate RAE panel. The groupings of the cost centres and a list of the RAE panels are shown in Appendix G (groupings and mappings under revision).

  2. Each panel will consist of local and overseas academics in the relevant disciplines and, where appropriate, also professionally qualified people from business, government and the arts. They will be appointed on an ad personam basis and will be expected not to represent the interests of their own institutions. Thus standards will ultimately be set and judgment made by academic peers and not by the UGC.

  3. To ensure that the non-traditional output items (i.e. those labeled I, A and T) receive adequate attention, a sub-group with suitable membership (including members drawn from outside academia, where appropriate) will be constituted under each panel to evaluate such items separately, and make recommendation to the full panel.

Threshold standard

  1. In its Review Report "Higher Education in Hong Kong", the UGC perceives two objectives for research in UGC-funded institutions:

    1. to participate in the global endeavour to extend human understanding and thus to keep the knowledge base in the institutions current; and

    2. to increase the proportion of work which is linked with the interest of the community and to carry out more of it with local partners, both active and passive.

  2. In view of the emphasis on quality, the operational definition of the threshold standard in the third RAE will be strict. The definition is:

    • "Quality of output equates to an attainable level of excellence appropriate to the discipline in Hong Kong, and showing some evidence of international excellence."

    Although the formal definition of the quality threshold largely remains the same, the UGC believes that the actual threshold will have risen in step with the advancement of research in the local and international environment since RAE 1996 for which the cut-off date for research output was 31 December 1995.

  3. Once the quality threshold (in terms of intellectual content and rigour in process and methodology) has been met, the panels would give special recognition to those items which have societal relevance which has achieved or is likely to achieve symbiosis with industry, commerce and government, and with local culture and society.

  4. The UGC will strive to ensure broad comparability across disciplines, but it will be up to each panel, with its subject expertise and knowledge of local situations, to translate this general definition into more precise benchmarks appropriate to each discipline or groups of discipline. Panels are also expected to interpret 'international excellence' with due regard to the nature of those subjects that may, by their nature, necessarily have a strong local or regional focus. In the case of publications or other outputs of a local nature, the panel should assess whether the item represents a contribution to the work of the international research community in terms of its intellectual content, as well as rigour of process and methodology.

  5. To minimize any possible divergence in judgement, all RAE subject panels should make reference to the following amplifications to the definition in paragraph 50 above:


    Attainable Reference is made to 'attainable' levels, not 'attained' levels. Thus, for a hypothetical subject in which reasonable norms common elsewhere are much higher than the standard shown by all academics in Hong Kong, then it is the former ('attainable') rather than the latter ('attained') which should prevail as the benchmark.

    International excellence

    This should not be equated with output items outside side of Hong Kong or the region; rather it is intended that evaluation should be made with reference to the best international norms in the mainstream of that discipline or sub-discipline. It is possible that in some particular disciplines, such norms are set by output items in Hong Kong or the region.

    International vs local

    An effort should be made to distinguish between

    1. a publication that is local because it addresses local issues, and
    2. a publication that is local because it does not meet the standards of rigour and scholarship expected inter-nationally in the mainstream of that discipline. In the former case, the item should not be discounted; in the latter, it should be.
  6. The RAE panels will view the submission as a whole, and will not score each item individually. In particular, panels will be asked not to define thresholds for each item or give fractions on n/5. Although each eligible staff member may submit up to 5 items (plus possibly an exceptional item) for assessment, each RAE panel should strive to make an evaluation on the basis of what it regards as the best 3. Thus, for those which do not quite reach the threshold on the basis of these 3 (or 4 if an exceptional item is submitted) items, RAE panels would not consider the 4th, 5th and/or the 6th item. It is believed that in the majority of cases, a clear decision should be able to be made on the basis of three items. Moreover the quality of each item will be judged on its own merits and not solely in terms of its category (e.g., a journal paper is not necessarily of higher or lower merit vis-à-vis book chapter, or a refereed article vis-à-vis an unrefereed one) or venue of publication. Individual RAE panels will attempt to draw up their own thresholds, calibrate with one and other, and consider common working procedures as soon as they are formed.

  7. It is expected that the panels will consider, first of all, a binary cut, i.e. whether the output of each individual concerned does or does not meet the threshold standard as defined.

  8. However, it is recognized that in some cases it may prove difficult to adopt a binary cut, in which case it will be up to individual panels to consider whether a fractional score (i.e. lower than 1) should be assigned. In assigning fractional scores, RAE panels are expected to give simple gradings. The panels will be instructed not to adopt a mechanical approach during the assessment.

  9. Output items will be judged on their own merits and will not be judged simply on their category or venues of publication. In many disciplines, an output item appearing in a quality venue, e.g. an article in a prestigious journal, or a musical composition performed in an internationally acclaimed concert hall, may be presumed to be of high quality, and there is no need for the panel to study the item in detail. However, panels should recognize that there could be quality output items in venues that may not be prestigious. In these cases and when in doubt, the panel (or designated member(s)) will study the item in question and not judge it automatically according to the venue.

  10. The RAE panels will have more overseas and independent referees, including professional members as appropriate. All panels will receive training before the actual assessment process begins, and be invited to describe in writing for dissemination the standards and criteria used, and a description of how these have been applied. The RAE Guidance Notes for Panels, when finalised, will be mounted on the UGC web for public information.


  1. As indicated earlier, the primary purpose of the RAE is to assess the research output performance of UGC-funded institutions by cost centre; it is not intended to evaluate the performance of individual staff within the institutions. The subject panels will only produce total scores for each cost centre in each institution.

  2. In RAE 1993 and RAE 1996, the results of each institution were forwarded to the institution concerned only and were not made known to other institutions or the public. This was to avoid misinterpretation by casual comparison of the results of different institutions since each institution has its distinct specified role and mission, and different institutions are at different stages of development. Nevertheless, to give a rough indication of the level of attainment of a particular cost centre across the whole sector, in RAE 1996 each institution was also given, alongside the research index for each of its cost centres, an average and median research index across the whole sector.

  3. RAE 1999 again is intended ultimately to assess the research output of a cost centre, not individuals, so it will not generate individually identifiable scores. Only the total score of a cost centre will be produced. The results of the RAE of individual institutions will be conveyed only to the Head of the institution concerned, together with the sector-wide average and median indices for the relevant cost centres. However, the sector-wide average and median indices for the relevant cost centres will not be conveyed in respect of cost centres which are only found in fewer than three institutions.

  4. The UGC fully recognizes that different institutions have different missions, discipline profiles and histories and the purpose of the exercise is neither to identify and compare the number of 'star' researchers nor to measure the research output with a view to giving a grading to institutions for research performance.

  5. The results will help the UGC form a judgement, in the light of other relevant factors, to inform funding in respect of the research portion of the recurrent grants for institutions in the next triennium 2001-2004.

Timetable for the submission of data for RAE 1999

  1. To summarize, institutions are requested to submit the following Tables and supporting documents in accordance with the dates shown below :

Date Table
15 March 1999 - Table 2 for each cost centre
8 April 1999 - Research Strategy Statement
- Table 1 for each cost centre
- Table 3 for each individual cited in Table 2 who wishes to make a submission

Form of submission

  1. The form of submission of Tables 1 to 3 and any other data submitted in accordance with these Guidance Notes should be forwarded by way of hard copies to the UGC Secretariat. Table 2 should be submitted with a soft copy. In view of the large volume of written submissions involved, institutions are requested to ensure that the submissions are complete, clearly labeled, and hard copies are in good, readable quality. The Secretariat may issue more operational guidelines with regard to the physical handling of RAE submissions.

UGC Secretariat
15 December, 1998

Appendix A

Scholarship as defined by the Carnegie Foundation*

The Carnegie Foundation considers that there is a more inclusive view of what it means to be a scholar -- a recognition that knowledge is acquired through research, synthesis, practice, and teaching. While scholarship means engaging in original research, scholarship now has a broader and capacious meaning. Beyond the age-old "teaching Vs research" debate, there are four separate, yet overlapping functions: They are the scholarship of discovery; the scholarship of integration; the scholarship of application; and the scholarship of teaching.

Scholarship of Discovery

The scholarship of discovery, at its best, contributes not only to the stock of human knowledge but also to the intellectual climate of an institution. It is a scholarly investigation, closest to the literal meaning of what academics speak of "research", that confronts the unknown and creates new knowledge. Not just the outcomes, but the process, and especially the passion, give meaning to the effort.

Scholarship of Integration

It is a serious, disciplined work that seeks to interpret, draw together and bring new insight to bear on original research. The scholarship is closely related to discovery. Such work is increasingly important as traditional disciplinary categories prove confining, forcing new topologies of knowledge. This scholarship also means interpretation, fitting one's own research -- or the research of others -- into larger intellectual patterns. A variety of scholarly trends -- interdisciplinary, interpretive, integrative, are examples of scholarship of integration.

Scholarship of Application

It is a dynamic process of creating new intellectual understandings arising out of theory and practice. The term itself may be misleading if it suggests that knowledge is first "discovered" and then "applied". The process is in fact more dynamic; new intellectual understanding can arise out of vital interaction between theory and practice, and one renews the other.

Scholarship of Teaching

It is a process that transforms and extends knowledge while transmitting an intelligible account of knowledge to the learners.

Appendix B

Institution's Research Strategy Statement


The role and mission of my institution on which base the UGC assesses my institution's academic plans and cost estimates is:

Institution's existing research policy

Having regard to the role and mission of the institution and stage of development of my institution, our current research policy is as follows:

Research Funding Sources

My institution derives funding for research from the following sources, and the breakdown by funding source as a percentage total of overall funding is as follows:

Changes Expected

In RAE 1996, my institution's scores by cost centre were:

In the medium term, the institution expected the following changes in research priorities:

In the long run, the institution hopes to achieve:

Head/Deputy Head of Institution

Appendix C


for academic departments etc.

1 clinical medicine 30 surveying, land
2 clinical dentistry 31 surveying, other
3 clinical vet studies 32 mathematics & statistics
4 nursing 33 comp studies/science (incl. IT)
5 other para-medical 34 law
6 biological sciences 35 accountancy
7 pre-clinical studies 36 public administration
8 psychology 37 business studies (incl. management)
9 other biological sciences 38 catering
10 agriculture 39 hotel management
11 physics & astronomy 40 economics
12 chemistry 41 geography
13 materials science 42 social work
14 earth sciences
(incl. oceanography, meteorology)
43 other social sciences
15 other physical sciences 44 Chinese language & literature
16 mechanical engineering 45 English language & literature
17 electrical engineering 46 Japanese language & literature
18 electronic engineering 47 other languages
19 chemical engineering 48 translation
20 production engineering
(incl. manufacturing & industrial engineering)
49 communication & media studies
21 marine engineering 50 history
22 biotechnology 51 other arts/humanities
23 materials technology 52 art
24 textile technology 53 performing arts
25 civil engineering 54 music
26 other technologies
(incl. nautical studies)
55 other creative arts
27 architecture 56 design
28 building technology 57 education
29 planning 58 physical education

Appendix D

STAFF GRADES, Modes and Funding Sources

Academic Grades

Academic, Senior Academic, Junior
A. Professor E. Principal Lecturer (P), junior
B. Reader F. Senior Lecturer (P)
C. Senior Lecturer (U) G. Lecturer (U)
D. Principal Lecturer (P), senior H. Lecturer (P)
I. Assistant Lecturer
J. Instructor
K. Demonstrator/Tutor/Teaching Assistant
L. Other, including language assistant, field work supervisor etc.
Research Staff (Staff who spend essentially all their time on research)
M. Senior Research staff ("leaders", N. Junior Research staff ("followers"; usually Post Doctoral) usually Graduate)
Non-Academic Grades
O. Admin, Senior P. Admin, Junior (including secretarial)
Q. Technical, Senior R. Technical, Junior
S. other, including "Mod 1"
Staff Mode Source of Staff salary funding
F: Full-time W: wholly from General Funds (WfGF)
P: Part-time P: partly from General Funds (PfGF)
N: not from General Funds (NfGF)

Appendix E1

Record of co-authored research output items which have been
submitted for assessment by more than one staff member from within the same cost centre
(one form per Cost Centre)

Cost Centre:

Total number of staff members in Cost Centre eligible for assessment

in Fte :

in head-count:

Total number of items submitted for assessment:

The following items have been found to have been submitted for assessment by more than one staff member from within the cost centre:

Item Description & References Names of staff members who have submitted the same item for assessment under the same cost centre*

(add rows if necessary)

* Staff members listed above should each complete and attach a form (Appendix E2) to his/her Table 3 submission explaining the nature and degree of his/her contribution to the research output item in question.


Cost Centre Co-ordinator


Appendix E2

Additional Information on Co-authored Research Output Item
(to be completed by each co-author if the item has been submitted

by more than one staff member from within the same cost centre)

Description of the Research Output Item

Total Number and names of co-authors listed in the research output items

Number and names of Co-authors within the cost centre who have submitted the item for assessment

Nature of involvement by the staff member submitting the item for assessment

An estimate by the staff member submitting the item on the extent of contribution to the successful publication of the research output item:

Other remarks, if any


(name of staff member claiming credit
from the item under assessment)


Appendix G

RAE Panels in RAE 1996

(No. of panels and grouping of cost centres to panels for RAE 1999 under revision)

Cost Centres Panel Titles Panel No.
1 clinical medicine Biology & Life Science 1
2 clinical dentistry    
3 clinical vet studies    
4 nursing    
5 other para-medical    
6 biological sciences    
7 pre-clinical studies    
9 other biological sciences    
10 agriculture    
22 biotechnology    
11 physics & astronomy Physical Sciences 2
12 chemistry    
13 materials science    
14 earth sciences
(incl. oceanography, meteorology)
15 other physical sciences    
32 mathmatics & statistics    
17 electrical engineering Engineering & Information Technology 3
18 electronic engineering    
33 comp studies/science (incl. IT)    
16 mechanical engineering Construction & Other Technologies 4
19 chemical engineering    
20 production engineering
(incl. manufacturing & industrial engineering)
21 marine engineering    
23 materials technology    
24 textile technology    
25 civil engineering    
26 other technologies
(incl. nautical studies)
27 architecture    
28 building technology    
29 planning    
30 surveying, land    
31 surveying, other    
34 Law Business & Professional Studies 5
35 accountancy    
37 business studies
(incl. management)
38 catering    
39 hotel management    
8 psychology Social Sciences & Education 6
36 public administration    
40 economics    
41 geography    
42 social work    
43 other social sciences    
49 communication & media studies    
57 education    
58 physical education    
44 Chinese language & literature Humanities 7
45 English language & literature    
46 Japanese language & literature    
47 other languages    
48 translation    
50 history    
21 other arts/humanities    
52 art Creative Arts, Performing Arts & Design 8
53 performing arts    
54 music    
55 other creative arts    
56 design