Time Allocation Survey

Time Allocation Survey

We ask you to take a little time to read this note and to complete your return which is only required once each year.

As part of the implementation of the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) and Full Economic Costing (fEC) methodology, the University carries out an annual Time Allocation Survey (TAS). All academic staff whose duties include teaching and research at the University are asked to complete the survey by estimating the time they spend on these and other activities.

Data from the survey are used to apportion costs between teaching, research, and other activities.

The analysis of teaching costs supports the University's case for sustainable rates of funding and fees. The research costs underpin the indirect cost rates included in research grant applications to the Research Councils. Significant income depends on getting this right.

A high rate of return across all areas of the University is essential to ensure the quality of the data. A low rate would make the University vulnerable in the audits undertaken by the Research Councils and HEFCE. The Research Councils could substitute their own much lower rates of funding if they consider the calculation of the University's rates to be insufficiently robust. If the University's calculation of teaching costs is open to doubt there is a risk to the University's ability to teach at current standards.

The survey is anonymous and will remain so. Data are only available in aggregate format.

Each member of staff is randomly allocated one survey week in each academic year. That week may be in or out of vacation and may or may not be a typical week. It is important that the actual work for that week is reported, and that it is not adjusted to represent a norm or a different week.

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TAS Letter from the PVC
An example of the online TAS form is available here:- More information on the survey is available on the TAS website here:-
To aid those completing the form, both brief and detailed definitions of the activity categories are available via links on the online form next to the relevant categories. In addition, you can use the TAS Hours Tracker to help in making the return, by enabling a daily record to be kept, please note that this tracker is not the return and it is not required to be completed. A list of Frequently Asked Questions is also provided which will be continually updated during the course of the exercise. Any queries regarding the Time Allocation Survey should be referred via email to: TAS.Administration@admin.cam.ac.uk