Review of the Performance-based Research Fund

The Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) is designed to encourage and reward excellent research in New Zealand’s degree granting organisations and allocate funding based on research performance.

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)

2019 Review of the Performance-based Research Fund

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

On 26 July 2019, the Ministry of Education announced the independent panel that will review the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) in 2019, appointed by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa and Minister of Education Chris Hipkins.

Appointments to the Performance-Based Research Fund Review Panel

The Panel, guided by the Terms of Reference that were approved by Cabinet in September 2018, will meet regularly from July – November to look at the Fund and its core aims; such as supporting greater collaboration in research and maintaining a sustainable diverse research workforce. 

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

Changes to the Performance-based Research Fund 2014

During 2012/2013 the PBRF was reviewed 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; and
  • 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).

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