Review of the Performance-based Research Fund

Performance-based Research Fund (PBRF)

The Performance-based Research Fund (PBRF) assesses the research performance of degree-granting tertiary education organisations in New Zealand and allocates funding based on research performance.

Find out more about the operation of the PBRF on the Tertiary Education Commission website (external link) .

Review of the Performance-based Research Fund 2019

This periodic review of the PBRF will examine the ways that the government can continue to support research excellence by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of PBRF settings and ensuring that it delivers solid outcomes for learners, businesses, communities and New Zealand as a whole.

The review of PBRF will commence in mid-2019, following the completion of the 2018 Quality Evaluation (external link) . The terms of reference for the review were approved by Cabinet on 17 September 2018. 

An independent panel will undertake the review, and members will be appointed by the Minister of Education and the Associate Minister of Education (Hon Jenny Salesa) in 2019.

Further information

Terms of Reference for the 2019 PBRF Review [PDF, 750 KB]

Changes to the Performance-based Research Fund 2014

During 2012/2013 we reviewed the PBRF in collaboration with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education Commission. The review highlighted areas that could be changed to increase the fund’s efficiency and effectiveness.

In March 2014, the Government agreed to make changes to the PBRF to:

  • clarify the objectives of the PBRF
  • better value user-perspectives of research quality and engagement in user-orientated research
  • simplify the PBRF Quality Evaluation to reduce transaction costs
  • better support the sustainability of the tertiary education research workforce
  • strengthen reporting on research performance.

In June 2014, the Government confirmed one further change to increase the proportion of PBRF income allocated based on external research income (from 15% to 20% of the fund).

All changes will be introduced between 2015 and the Quality Evaluation in 2018.

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