All universities are required by Government to demonstrate a transparent approach to costing. This requires a full understanding of the costs associated with research, teaching and ‘other’ activities. The Staff costs represent around half of our total cost base and we need to conduct the surveys in order to determine how these costs are divided between teaching, research and other activities.
It is essential that we achieve a high response rate in order to ensure we accurately reflect to OfS and UKRI the costs incurred in our respective activities, which then in turn can have a direct bearing on the funding we receive. Your participation in this survey is therefore essential to achieving this. College’s survey is called TOAST which stands for The Original Academic Staff Time survey.
The last survey took place in the 2017-18 academic year and we are now required to undertake the survey again. The next TOAST survey will take place during the 2021-22 academic year, starting in October. The survey data must be sufficiently robust and must also satisfy an external audit process.
A short TOAST presentation 21-22 is available which provides background information, details on how to complete the survey and where to go for support. Please feel free to use this in your departments and divisions if this would be helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who will take part in TOAST?
All Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Readers and Professors in academic departments and divisions are required to complete the TOAST survey. The list of those being surveyed is based on a staff list extract taken in August 2021. Those joining after that date will not be included in this year’s survey.
When is TOAST taking place?
The survey will begin in October 2021 and will last for a year. During the year each member of academic staff will be asked to report on their activities for three randomly selected separate weeks by completing a 24-hour diary, allocating hours to each activity they have undertaken.
When will I know to complete the survey?
You will be sent an e-mail prior to your survey week outlining how to access the on-line survey and directing you to guidance and FAQs.
Can I change the week in which I am required to complete the survey?
No, your assigned survey week cannot be changed. The survey weeks have been determined to provide a comprehensive view of the College’s activities over a year. Therefore, you should make every effort to complete your survey for the designated survey period.
Is my return truly anonymous?
Yes, your return is completely anonymous. There will be no analysis on an individual basis and only those working on delivering the TOAST survey will have access to the database output.
Where can I find out more?
Information on how to allocate your time can be found here: TOAST time allocation 21-22
Complete set of frequently asked questions can be found here: TOAST FAQs 21-22
Definitions of the activities in which your time can be allocated to can be found here: TOAST activities list 21-22
What if I have any further questions?
Please send an e-mail to TOAST@imperial.ac.uk.