MPLS Division: Guidance on completing the Financial Case
Submission of Post-Related Requests to MPLS Associate Heads
In making a submission for a post-related request to MPLS Associate Heads, departments need to reflect
the following points in their narrative academic case and business case spreadsheet.
The academic rationale for the proposal
What will the benefit to the department be? How does the post fit with departmental research and/or
departmental teaching needs? What might be the risks or opportunity costs of not doing this? What (if
any) other possible options have been considered (or tried)? Are there any potential CoI and/or IP
issues? If so, how will they be managed?
Refill or a New Post
From a personnel perspective, is the request for a refill or for a completely new post? (A new post is either one that is entirely new or one that has remained vacant for at least 2 financial years.) Does it constitute
new activity from a financial perspective? Is there a previous/departing post holder? For Joint
Appointments, which college is the post associated with?
To note: unlike the vast majority of research posts, Joint Appointment posts (Associate Professor posts
and Statutory Chairs) remain established when vacant, and remain attached to their college of
association even if the duties are covered in another way.
Colleges and College Associations
In refilling a Joint Appointment, have you consulted informally (and early) with the college? In particular,
in the event that there is a plan to adjust the research area of the post which might impact on college
teaching, is the college is content with the proposed change? If setting up a new Joint Appointment,
have you checked informally whether there may be colleges keen to associate with a proposed new
Joint Appointment post?
To note, however, College Association is determined by University Joint Appointments Panel after a post
is released, so the academic case should not prejudge the outcome.
Change of role for the previous/departing post holder
If the request involves an internal move into another role, are you able to expedite the case for a refill
by preparing the refill case alongside the case for the move? Either way, the refill case should be clear
that it is contingent on the approval of Division, Senior Appointments Panel etc., as applicable. For
example, approval to refill an APTF-U may be contingent on Divisional and SAP approval for the current
AP to move to an RSIV role.
How will the post be funded?
Replacement activities should be costed on an overall impact basis, whereas new activities should be
costed on an incremental basis. See the attached guidance for more details.
In all cases, the business case spreadsheet must show how the post meets PRAC planning parameters,
i.e., with an annual surplus being achieved by Year 3 and a cumulative surplus by Year 5.
What is the submission process?
MPLS Associate Heads meets most weeks on Thursdays. Requests to be considered at these meetings
should be submitted to Gwen Booth as soon as they are ready, but no later than close of play the
previous Monday. Any papers submitted later than this will be considered at the meeting the following
PRAC Business Case Spreadsheet – Guidance notes for completion of template
Replacement Posts (overall impact basis)
|General||The template should be used to illustrate the range of direct income and costs
associated with the proposal on a like for like basis to the post being replaced, to effectively provide a full income and expenditure statement for the replacement post. This should be on a standalone basis (not incremental to the post being replaced, e.g. the case would show the planned research overheads the new post holder is expected to generate in total, not the change in overheads relative to the previous incumbent). All direct income and costs relating to the activity should be included in the case. For a replacement post this is likely to include total teaching income, research overheads, REF related JRAM (normally a continuation of funding relating to outgoing staff member), staff costs, infrastructure and capital charges plus, any other direct non-staff costs as relevant, e.g. equipment or research allowance. Any material changes in income or costs of the activity being replaced should also be drawn out in the narrative which accompanies the case. Income is to be recorded as a positive value, expenditure as a negative value.
|T-JRAM||Provide an estimate of total teaching income across all levels of study that the
replacement activity will generate. For instance in the case of a replacement post
this may be share a of the department’s UG income based on numbers of classes
taught and a share of PGR related income based on number of students supervised.
|R-JRAM||Include any current and future REF income relating to the previous post holder, and if relevant an estimate of the income that will arise from REF 2021 (based on
current income levels). As the panel decisions are due to be made in December
2021, changes to the funding to the university will occur from the start of the
following financial year, being 2022/23 onwards.
|Charity and Business QR||Estimates of QR income for charitable or industry sponsored research should be
based on current implied rates of funding, based on the four year average of
qualifying income from the year following the year in which the associated research income is first recognised (as consistent with the HEFCE funding methodology). For replacement posts, in cases where there is no ongoing qualifying research, there will be a considerable delay before the new incumbent will generate the full level of implied funding associated with the charitable or industrial funding (as in the first year only one quarter of the qualifying income will yield an income stream, see calculation in note 1 below).
|Research Overheads||Research overheads should generally be based on a continuation of the funding
generated by the previous post holder, except in cases where there is a clear and
justifiable expectation of a change in future income, e.g. in the case of very senior
appointments; where there is a strong likelihood will be at a very different stage in
their career, or where the existing post holder is nearing retirement and has been
winding down their research activity, meaning future overheads a likely to be much
|Trust Funds||This line is used to reflect endowment income related to a proposal. Income must match the associated costs.|
|Other||This line should be used to show any other income associated with the proposal
such as donations, consultancy or non-research sponsorship.
|Salary||The expected salary costs associated with the proposal, including employers’ costs. Amounts entered should be derived from the university pay scales.
|Merit Awards||Standard university rates as given on the university website (address above).|
|Start-up costs||These can be significant and it is critical proposals reflect an accurate assessment of the amounts and timings of any start up costs, in terms of equipment needs/ space refurbishments/ dowry posts/ studentships, etc. Note, plans for major equipment purchases (>£50k) should be depreciated over the university’s standard 5 year term.|
|Support costs||Include any existing and incremental support costs that are or will be directly
related to the activity, e.g. the costs of a personal assistant. Costs must include
|Other costs||Any other directly attributable costs as relevant, e.g. research allowances, or
ongoing teaching replacement.
|Premises, infrastructure and capital charges||Include both the headcount and premises related charges associated with the replacement activity. Note, headcount related charges may differ depending on the estimated number of FTE associated with the case, e.g. different size of research group anticipated.|
|Research Income||This section is used to distinguish between the different types of funding associated with the proposal. Assumptions of total research income should be in line with overheads. Amounts of charitable and industrial funding should correlate with related time lagged QR income|
Note 1, Calculating forward projections of Charity and Business QR funding.
Funding is based on a 4 year rolling average of qualifying income. E.g. in a case where £50,000 qualifying recurrent income is expected to be received from year 20/21, the QR income would flow as follows from the following financial year (assuming a flat rate of implied funding at 19/20 levels). In 21/22 the allocation is based on an average of qualifying income over the last four years and in this example income prior to 20/21 was zero, so the average is £50,000/4=£12,500, giving an allocation of £2,250 (£12,500 x 18p). It therefore takes five years from the date the income was first received to achieve the maximum amount of annual funding.
|Implied rate of funding||18%||18%||18%||18%||18%|
New Activities (Posts and all other new activities) (incremental basis)
|General||The template should be used to illustrate the full incremental impact of the proposal to engage in new activities, such new posts or academic programmes. This means the case should only include the changes to current income and expenditure streams arising from the proposal. E.g. Charges associated with a new post holder occupying current space already paid for by a department should be ignored. The case may include teaching income, but only the element which is incremental to current income levels, relating to additional students. A post may fall into this new activities category, but only if is an entirely new post or one which has remained vacant for at least two full financial years. Income is to be recorded as a positive value, expenditure as a negative value.|
|T-JRAM||An estimate of additional teaching related JRAM income should only be included if the proposal will enable the department to increase its existing student numbers (within quotas and having sought college agreement)|
|R-JRAM||This relates to the Research QR expected to be generated from the REF from 2022/23. Current average rates of funding (RAE 2014) should be used (see comment above about the timing of REF2021 income flows to the university)|
|Charity and Business QR||Estimates of QR income for charitable or industry sponsored research should be based on current implied rates of funding, based on the four year average of qualifying income from the year following the year in which the associated research income is first recognised (as consistent with the HEFCE funding methodology). For new posts there will be no ongoing qualifying research, and so there will be a considerable delay before the new incumbent will generate the full level of implied funding associated with the charitable or industrial funding (as in the first year only one quarter of the qualifying income will yield an income stream (see calculation in the research income section above for replacement activities).|
|Research Overheads||Research overheads should be based on average rates of funding generated by existing faculty, unless it can demonstrated there is a clear and justifiable expectation of a change in future income, e.g. in the case of very senior appointments.|
This line is used to reflect endowment income related to a proposal. Income must match the associated costs.
|Other||This line should be used to show other income incremental associated with the proposal such as donations, consultancy or non-research sponsorship.|
|Salary||The expected salary costs associated with the proposal, including employers’ costs. Amounts entered should be derived from the university pay scales.|
|Merit Awards||Standard university rates as given on the university website (address above).|
|Start-up costs||These can be significant and it is critical proposals reflect an accurate assessment of the amounts and timings of any start-up costs, in terms of equipment needs/ space refurbishments/ dowry posts/ studentships, etc.|
|Support costs||Only the incremental costs associated with employing additional staff should be included in the proposal. Costs must include employers’ contributions.|
|Other costs||Any other incremental costs as relevant.|
|Premises, infrastructure and capital charges||These lines are only relevant where the proposal involves new space, or a change in the number of individuals associated with the post, e.g. larger research group anticipated, which will affect the headcount related infrastructure charge. Costs associated with existing space will be borne regardless of whether the proposal is taken forward and are therefore irrelevant.|
|Research Income||This section is used to distinguish between the different types of funding associated with the proposal. Assumptions of total research income should be in line with overheads. Amounts of charitable and industrial funding should correlate with related QR overheads and be time lagged, see Note 1 above.|