Transparent approach to costing (TRAC)

Introduction by Matthias Ruth

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and chair of the University’s TRAC Oversight Committee, I am responsible for the oversight of Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) activities.

Why do we have to produce an Annual TRAC and TRAC for Teaching return?

The Annual TRAC return provides two key sets of data. One of these are the indirect and estates rates which are used in research bids. The other is a wealth of information about the University and the key activities in which we engage. This information supports government departments such as BIS in their decision making and it enables the Office for Students (OfS) to benchmark the University of York against our peers and the sector as a whole.

How can you help?

Part of the TRAC process is asking every academic from every department to complete Time Allocation Surveys (TAS) on 3 randomly selected dates per year. The information is collected in this format because there are no other mechanisms available to properly reflect the activities that colleagues in very diverse roles have carried out over the course of a year. The latest TAS form can be found here.

Want to know more?

More information can be found on the TRAC website, which includes details of the history of TRAC, the TRAC guidance and details of the TRAC Development Group (TDG).  TDG, which is chaired by Professor Neville Ford, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Chester, works to develop and advocate TRAC and provides support to the sector through the TRAC Support Unit. It also produces a number of publications each year, including TRAC - A guide for senior managers and governing body members, which you may find interesting.

Matthias Ruth
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research
+44 (0)1904 326707

TRAC Oversight Committee

The TRAC Oversight Committee is responsible for the oversight of the TRAC process and ensuring compliance with the national TRAC guidance.

The committee meets five times per year, and its terms of reference are as follows:

  • The committee will govern and oversee the TRAC process.
  • The committee will have responsibility for the design of the TRAC model, including the TAS process and the review of the drivers used within the model.
  • The committee will review the Annual TRAC return including charge out rates and the TRAC(T) return to confirm compliance with the TRAC requirements.
  • The committee will be responsible for the review of the University's results against the benchmarking data provided by the Office for Students (OFS).

The terms of reference will be reviewed at the first meeting for each submission cycle.

TRAC Oversight Committee members

Contact us

TRAC (Group Financial Accounts)
Group Financial Accounts, Heslington Hall

Academic Members
Professor Matthias Ruth, PVC (Chair)
Professor Tracy Lightfoot, PVC Teaching, Learning and Students
Professor James Moir (Chemistry)
Dr Aine Shell (Music)
Professor Lesley Stewart (Centre for Reviews and Dissemination)
Finance and Planning Members
Simon Donoghue (Director of Strategic Planning and Performance)
Mark Gunthorpe (Associate Director and Head of Research Services)
Emma Montgomery (Head of Research Grants Operations)
Ruth Clark (Group Financial Controller)
Helen Brown (Senior Accountant)
Adele Shipley (Accountant)
Hannah Bond (Finance Assistant)

Contact us

TRAC (Group Financial Accounts)
Group Financial Accounts, Heslington Hall