Performance-Based Research Fund

The Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) is designed to encourage and reward excellent research in New Zealand’s degree granting tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and allocate funding based on research performance. As a capped pool of $315 million per year, the PBRF is the main system of Government funding of tertiary education research capability.

Operation of the PBRF

Find out more about the operation of the PBRF on the Tertiary Education Commission website.

PBRF – Tertiary Education Commission(external link)

The Review of the Performance-Based Research Fund

The aim of the Review was to examine ways government can continue to support research excellence by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the PBRF settings and to ensure the benefits of this research are shared across New Zealand.

This Review of the PBRF commenced in July 2019, following the appointment of an independent PBRF Review panel by Ministers. The panel members were:

  • Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith - Chair (University of Waikato)
  • Professor Wendy Larner (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • Dr David Phipps (York University, Canada)
  • Professor Ian Town (Ministry of Health)
  • Associate Professor Yvonne Underhill-Sem (University of Auckland)
  • Associate Professor Marcus Williams (Unitec Institute of Technology)

The panel submitted a final report which included recommendations for changes to the PBRF.

Targeted consultation

The Ministry of Education carried out targeted consultation on proposed changes and options to strengthen the PBRF. These proposed changes and options were informed by the recommendations made by the panel and are detailed in the PBRF Review Discussion Document.

This targeted consultation began on Monday 31 August and closed on Friday 6 November 2020

Feedback received as part of this targeted consultation will inform advice to Ministers, who will decide what to take forward.

PBRF Review survey

We welcome feedback on the proposed changes and options for the PBRF through our online survey. This survey asks for feedback on the proposed changes and options for the PBRF, and will be open from Monday 31 August until 5pm on Friday 6 November 2020.

PBRF Review survey(external link)

Written submissions

We also welcome written submissions on the proposed changes and options for the PBRF, as outlined in the PBRF Review Discussion Document. Written submissions will be accepted from Monday 31 August, until 5pm on Friday 6 November 2020.

Please feel free to use this written submission template.

Submissions should be sent to PBRF.Consultation@education.govt.nz

Delaying the Next Quality Evaluation Until 2025

The next Quality Evaluation was scheduled to take place in 2024. However, recognising the impact of COVID-19 on researchers and tertiary education organisations, the next round has been delayed until 2025. This is due to the delays to the Review caused by COVID-19. Delaying until 2025 will allow the TEC and the Sector Reference Group to conduct a robust process of engagement on any operational changes before guidance is issued.

We are also conscious that the full impacts of COVID-19 on research programmes and researchers may not yet be known, and that a 2024 Quality Evaluation may have risked a lack of engagement as the focus remained on the COVID-19 response.

Background Information

As part of the targeted consultation we released a range of key documents. This includes all advice provided to Ministers, the background papers on the Terms of Reference that the panel considered when carrying out their independent Review and the Cabinet paper approving targeted consultation. The release of these documents was designed to inform discussions on the proposed changes and options and any redactions are made in line with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982.

DATE OF PAPER

TITLE

METIS NUMBER

29 July 2019

Background Material for the Review Panel on the PBRF [PDF, 878 KB]

-

25 September 2019

Terms of Reference Issue Paper 1 – Revisiting PBRF Objectives [PDF, 975 KB]

-

25 September 2019

Terms of Reference Issue Paper 2 – Minimising Transaction Costs [PDF, 1 MB]

-

8 October 2019

Terms of Reference Issue Paper 3 – Recognising and Rewarding All Types of Research Activity [PDF, 996 KB]

-

8 October 2019

Terms of Reference Issue Paper 4 – Sustainable and Diverse Workforce [PDF, 845 KB]

-

17 October 2019

Update on the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Review Timeline [PDF, 1.1 MB]

1209243

5 November 2019

Terms of Reference Issue Paper 5 – Boosting Impact of Research [PDF, 862 KB]

-

5 November 2019

Terms of Reference Issue Paper 6 – Improving Research Collaboration [PDF, 849 KB]

 

20 November 2019

Information to Support Meeting with the PBRF Review Panel [PDF, 770 KB]

1213050

12 December 2019

Preliminary Analysis of the Performance-Based Research Fund Review – Options for Reform [PDF, 1.3 MB]

1215256

4 February 2020

Summary of the PBRF to Review Panel’s Report and a Proposed Approach to Strengthening the PBRF [PDF, 2.4 MB]

1218980

12 February 2020

Seeking Decisions on the PBRF Review [PDF, 2.6 MB]

1220021

3 April 2020

PBRF Review Progress Update and Timeframe Scenarios [PDF, 958 KB]

1225148

12 June 2020

Draft Cabinet Paper – Report Back on the Performance-Based Research Fund Review [PDF, 1.4 MB]

1220701

15 July 2020

Clarifying the date of the next Performance-Based Research Fund Quality Evaluation [PDF, 1.1 MB]

1234894

15 July 2020

PBRF Review Cabinet Paper for Lodging [PDF, 817 KB]

1230952

17 Jul 2020

Talking points for Cabinet Paper: Report Back on the Performance-Based Research Fund Review [PDF, 817 KB]

1235345

Jul 2020

Cabinet Paper: Report Back on the Performance-Based Research Fund Review [PDF, 12 MB]

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28 July 2020

Talking Points to Support Meeting with Simeon Brown [PDF, 822 KB]

1236300

PBRF Review discussion document: This document outlines twenty-six proposed changes and options for the PBRF on which we consulted.

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