As part of TRAC (the Transparent Approach to Costing), Universities are required to allocate staff time by type of activity, split into Teaching, Research and Other activities so that the salary costs can be attributed to these categories.

As well as improving public accountability, this provides an improved understanding of costing and pricing issues on all activities within the University. The time allocation schedule (TAS) data is also a cost driver for the institution's indirect cost rates, which form an important part of full Economic Costing of research projects.

TAS School Coordinators

Each school has a nominated TAS co-ordinator. If you have any queries on how to complete the time allocation schedule or require an electronic/ paper copy of the form, please contact your School co-ordinator on the email address given below.

School Administration Officers

Business School Nicky Duncan
Divinity, History and Philosophy  
Education Carol Ann Hickman
Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture Jon Cameron
Law Sarah Duncan
Social Sciences Pam Thomson
Biological Sciences Melanie McCann
Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition Fiona Ashby
Psychology Rhona Moore
Engineering Joyce Clark
Geosciences Ann Simpson
Natural and Computing Sciences Julie Timms


For general queries please check the relevant Frequently Asked Questions page:

If your issue isn't resolved then feel free to email


TRAC is the methodology used by higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK for costing their activities. HEFCE has supported the development and implementation of TRAC in HEIs since its inception and seeks to ensure that TRAC is fit for purpose in meeting institutions' and stakeholder needs.

In June 2010, a joint task group of Universities UK and the Research Councils UK, which was chaired by Sir William Wakeham, produced a report on full economic costing for research in higher education.

This report made a series of practical recommendations to funding bodies and universities and colleges. In particular, these recommendations looked at the financial sustainability and efficiency and effectiveness of the sector. The Wakeham review of fEC: Financial Sustainability and Efficiency in Full Economic Costing of Research in UK Higher Education Institutions requires research organisations to consider their cost base over the next three years with a view to more efficient practice.

Implementation Strategy

Time allocation is a key driver of costs and, although like a number of institutions, the University of Aberdeen has historically collected time sheet data at a high level, we recognise that the data collection process could be greatly improved.

Each permanent core funded member of academic staff in the selected schools will be asked to complete a 24 hour 7 day week timesheet for one week of the pilot project in 15 minute intervals. The purpose of the survey is to gain robust estimates of the time spent on Teaching, Research, and Other. Therefore only activities relating to University business should be recorded in the diary.

Data Protection

Information collected /held by the University must comply with the data protection principles which are set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. In order to ensure that this happens, the University has developed a Data Protection Policy.

In addition:

  • The purpose of collecting time allocation data is to satisfy the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) requirement for robust data collection and subsequently to determine an appropriate split of pay costs within the academic departments across 'Teaching', 'Research' and 'Other' activities.
  • Data is collected from individuals with the sole aim of obtaining satisfactory data at department, college and university level.
  • Data is NOT collected from individuals to determine individual effort.
  • Data entered by an individual will not be available to the others. However, in order to provide some data validation, Heads of School will be asked to confirm the data entered by an individual are reasonable, and a small number of DIT and finance staff will have access to the data. All Institutional and external use of the data will be aggregated and individuals will not be separately identifiable.
  • Time allocation schedules must be completed at least once a year. Data will be kept for two reporting periods of three years i.e. up to six years.

TRAC Helpdesk