In pursuit of excellence: Analysing the results of New Zealand's PBRF Quality Evaluations

Publication Details

This report analyses the results of the three Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluations. It also examines the types of research outputs and categories of peer esteem and contribution to the research environment items submitted in evidence portfolios. There is also an analysis of researcher pathways over time. This report forms part of a series called 'Research and knowledge creation'.

This report compliments a previous Ministry of Education study that examined the impact of the PBRF in a variety of areas ranging from research impact to completion rates of higher research degrees.

Author(s): Warren Smart and Ralf Engler, Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: August 2013

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This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.

Summary

Between 2004 and 2016, the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) will allocate around $2.7 billion in funding to participating New Zealand tertiary education organisations (TEOs). This represents a substantial investment by the Government in tertiary education.

A key objective of the PBRF is to raise the ‘average quality of research’. To assess the extent to which the average quality of research has improved, this report analyses the results of the three PBRF Quality Evaluations. We also examine the types of research outputs and categories of peer esteem and contribution to the research environment items submitted in evidence portfolios. There is also an analysis of researcher pathways over time.

This report complements a previous report by the Ministry of Education  that examined the quantitative evidence on the impact of the PBRF in a variety of areas ranging from bibliometric measures to completion rates of research degrees.

This report has the following structure:

  • In Chapter 2, we present a brief history and overview of the PBRF. This includes the current aims of the PBRF and describes how the three component measures of the PBRF work.
  • In Chapter 3, we outline the data and method used to analyse the Quality Evaluation results.
  • In Chapter 4, we analyse changes in measured quality between 2003 and 2012.
  • In Chapter 5, we use statistical modelling to look at the factors associated with higher research quality in the 2012 Quality Evaluation.
  • In Chapter 6, we look at the pathways of staff who participated in the 2012 Quality Evaluation.
  • In Chapter 7, we take a closer look at staff who received an ‘A’ in the Quality Evaluations of 2006 and 2012.
  • In Chapter 8, we examine what happened to new staff with an emerging research profile in the 2006 Quality Evaluation.
  • In Chapter 9, we look at the types of research output, categories of peer esteem and categories of contribution to the research environment submitted in the Quality Evaluations in the 2012 Quality Evaluation.
  • In Chapter 10, we investigate the correlation between the research output, peer esteem and contribution to the research environment component scores in the 2012 Quality Evaluation.
  • In Chapter 11, we look at the profile of staff who submitted evidence portfolios to the Professional and Applied and the Pacific Research Expert Advisory Groups in the 2012 Quality Evaluation.
  • In the Appendix, we present a detailed description of the PBRF Quality Evaluations.


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