How the PBRF has shifted research funding Publications
This factsheet looks at the extent to which the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) has or has not resulted in shifts of funding between sub-sectors and, within the university sub-sector, between universities. It first considers the extent of funding shifts by comparing the shares of total research funding allocated in 2007. It then analyses the effects of the weightings that apply to different subject areas in the PBRF.
Author(s): Roger Smyth, Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis and Reporting, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: February 2008
- The principal effect of the PBRF has been to shift research funding to the universities from institutes of technology/polytechnics
- Between the universities, the effects of the PBRF are more complicated. Discounting for the effects of subject-based weightings, there are five universities whose research quality allocations are clustered in a similar range on a full-time equivalent staff basis. The other two dimensions of the PBRF - research degree completions and external research income - produce greater variations of performance and thus are more important drivers of funding shifts.
- The PBRF subject weightings tend to shift funding towards those universities with substantial research activities in the sciences and the applied sciences - more sharply than the old research top-ups system. In large part, this is a consequence of the fact that in some universities these fields are the focus of considerable research activity but may not attract large numbers of enrolments. Conversely, some lower-funded fields that draw significant enrolments may have lower research performance.