The future of development research funding will depend on the outcome of the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise.
Introduced to help new universities in building up their research provision when the common funding model was introduced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England in 1992, the DevRcategory was worth Pounds 16m - or 2.5 per cent of total funding for research - in allocations for the current academic year. The largest recipients are Plymouth (Pounds 930,854), Manchester Metropolitan (Pounds 849,705), Coventry (Pounds 746,717), Middlesex (Pounds 740,315) and De Montfort (Pounds 723,747).
Brian Fender, chief executive of HEFCE, said this week that DevR had always been intended as a transitional pump-priming measure, with no intention that it should become a permanent feature of the funding scene.
He said: "It will certainly continue in the last year of the current cycle - there would be no point in stopping it before then."