Performance-Based Research Fund

2018 Quality Evaluation

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What is the Quality Evaluation?

The Quality Evaluation is an assessment of the research performance of staff at participating tertiary education organisations (TEOs) by an expert peer-review panel. It is held periodically and is the major component of the Performance-based Research Fund (PBRF). 

The Quality Evaluation process is based on the submission and assessment of Evidence Portfolios. Specialist peer review panels assess Evidence Portfolios against agreed standards and this process is moderated by the Principal Moderator and Deputy Moderators.

Participating TEOs are also required to review their staff against the eligibility criteria and participate in our audit processes.

Once the panel decisions have been made and approved, the results are given to each participating TEO and a report on the Quality Evaluation results is published.

The next Quality Evaluation round will be held in 2018. The key guidance and technical documents are published on the Resources and publications page.


Panel nominations for the 2018 Quality Evaluation

The TEC invites nominations for people to serve as panel members for the PBRF 2018 Quality Evaluation.

Ideally nominees will have experience of applied research or significant evidence of links to research users, for nominees who undertake research in non-university settings and nominees for the new Pacific Research peer review panel.

There are two nomination processes:

  • the first process appointed Chairs, Deputy Chairs and an initial cohort of panel members. This process closed on 14 September 2015

  • the second process will select a final cohort of panel members. Nominations will be accepted up until 26 February 2018

All nominations must be submitted using the online form.

The following guidance document provides information about the:

  • nomination and appointment processes 

  • composition sought for the 13 panels
  • selection criteria, and

  • key dates for those interested in being on a panel in the 2018 Quality Evaluation

Peer Review Panel nomination and selection process for the 2018 Quality evaluation (updated 06 May 2016) (PDF, 306 Kb).


2018 Quality Evaluation – PBRF Sector Reference Group

Information about the 2018 Quality Evaluation Sector Reference Group (SRG) can be found on the SRG page.

Information about the consultation process and the SRG consultations papers (as well as their respective feedback summaries and feedback templates) can be found on the SRG Consultation Papers page. 


Guidelines for the 2018 Quality Evaluation

The Tertiary Education Commission (the TEC) and the PBRF Sector Reference Group have developed operational guidelines for the 2018 Quality Evaluation. These guidelines incorporate the valuable feedback provided by the sector and other stakeholders as a part of the Sector Reference Group (SRG) consultation process.

  • Guidelines for tertiary education organisations participating in the 2018 Quality Evaluation (PDF, 2 Mb)
    This document provides information that tertiary education organisations need to determine staff eligibility, complete Evidence Portfolios, understand and participate in the TEC audit process, and understand the reporting of results. It also provides information about other related processes, such as submitting conflict of interest notices and complaints to the TEC.
  • Guidelines for the 2018 Quality Evaluation assessment process (PDF, 1 Mb)
    This document provides information about the assessment process undertaken by the 13 peer review panels. This includes information on the responsibilities of the panel, the scoring system and detailed scoring descriptors for Evidence Portfolios, the stages in the assessment process, the moderation process, and information about conflicts of interest and confidentiality.
  • A guide for staff members participating in the 2018 Quality Evaluation (PDF, 1 Mb)
    This document provides staff members with an overview of the process, their responsibilities and the responsibilities of their employing tertiary education organisations and the TEC. It also identifies the key areas of the Quality Evaluation process that relate to them and who can provide support. The guide is designed to be an overview of the process and it directs staff members to the relevant areas of the other guidelines.
  • Panel-specific guidelines for the 2018 Quality Evaluation (PDF, 1 Mb)
    The initial cohort of the 13 PBRF peer-review panels have developed panel-specific guidelines for the 2018 Quality Evaluation. This document provides subject-specific advice to support tertiary education organisations and their staff members to develop and submit Evidence Portfolios. The panel-specific guidelines are supplementary to, and must be read in conjunction with, the guidelines listed above.

The table below shows the main audience for each document. A tick (ü) indicates that the document also contains information relevant to that particular audience.

Audience Guidelines for staff Guidelines for TEOs Guidelines for assessment Panel-specific guidelines
Staff members Main audience






Main audience



Peer review panels Main audience


The guidelines can also be found on the Resources and Publications page.

If you have any questions about the fund or the Quality Evaluation process you can email these to

Chairs, Deputy Chairs and initial Panel Members for the 2018 Quality Evaluation

On 4 February 2016 we announced the appointment of Deputy Chairs and initial panel members for the 13 peer review panels for the 2018 Quality Evaluation.

You can view the list of the Deputy Chairs and initial panel members and their areas of speciality in the PBRF 2018 Quality Evaluation Panel List (PDF, 292 Kb). This document will be updated as required.

There is a two-stage nomination and appointment process for membership of the 2018 Quality Evaluation peer review panels. The initial panels are appointed in February 2016, with a second cohort of panel members appointed in April 2018 to finalise each panel before the 2018 Quality Evaluation. The nomination process for the second cohort of panel members remains open until 26 February 2018. 


Moderators for the 2018 Quality Evaluation

We have appointed Professor Paula Jameson to the role of Principal Moderator for the 2018 Quality Evaluation. Joining the moderation team as Deputy Moderators will be Distinguished Professor Marston Conder and Professor Helen May.

Professor Jameson is Professor of Biology and the former Head of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury. She chaired the biological sciences panel in the 2012 Quality Evaluation and was a member of this panel in both the 2003 and 2006 Quality Evaluations.

Distinguished Professor Conder was a Deputy Moderator for the 2012 Quality Evaluation and the former Co-Director of NZ Institute of Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Auckland. He was the Chair of the working group that worked with the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission on the development of the PBRF in 2002, and was also the Deputy Chair of the Sector Reference Group which designed the 2012 Quality Evaluation.

Professor Helen May is a Professor of Education in the field of early childhood education at the University of Otago and the former Dean (2006–2011) of the College of Education. She chaired the education panel in the 2012 Quality Evaluation and was a member of this panel in the 2006 Quality Evaluation.


  • Last changed: 29 July 2016
  • Last verified: 29 July 2016