Full-time equivalence (FTE) R&D data are a measure of the actual volume of human resources devoted to R&D and are especially useful for international comparisons. One full-time equivalent may be thought of as one person-year. In other words, 1 FTE is equal to 1 person working full-time on R&D for a period of 1 year, or more persons working part-time or for a shorter period, corresponding to one person-year. Thus, a person who normally spends 30% of time on R&D and the rest on other activities (such as teaching, university administration and student counselling) should be considered as 0.3 FTE. Similarly, if a full-time R&D worker is employed at an R&D unit for only six months, this results in an FTE of 0.5.
OECD (2002), Frascati Manual: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development, §331-333.