Data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency on 23 January show that 7,540 people worked as part-time researchers in 2012-13, up from 6,770 three years earlier.
The growth in part-time research-only contracts has outstripped that of research-only contracts overall. Part-time contract numbers have jumped 11.4 per cent since 2009-10 but the total number of research-only contracts has risen by just 4.6 per cent over the same period. Full-time positions have increased by 3.3 per cent, from 33,700 in 2009-10 to 34,810 in 2012-13.
A total of 42,350 academics are employed on research-only contracts at UK higher education institutions.