Performance-Based Research Fund


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Legislative requirements

Section 159YC(1) of the Education Act 1989 (the Act) imposes a condition on tertiary education organisations (TEOs) that receive funding via an investment plan that they must supply information to the TEC when required.

The funding mechanism requires the TEC to impose a number of conditions on Performance-based Research Fund (PBRF) funding received by a TEO. We impose  these condition under section 159YC(2)(a) of the Act.

The TEC may also impose conditions on funding that it considers are necessary to ensure that specified outcomes in a plan relate to tertiary education programmes and activities in relation to which funding is being given are being achieved or will be achieved. We impose those conditions under section 159YC(2)(b) of the Act.

A TEO that receives PBRF funding must comply with the conditions specified in its funding confirmation letter, and in the Act. These conditions are also set out below. If we are satisfied on reasonable grounds that a TEO has not complied or is not complying with the conditions on funding we may revoke or suspend the funding under section 159YG of the Act. 




PBRF001: TEO to continue to meet eligibility criteria

During the period that the TEO receives funding from the PBRF, the TEO must:

a)    be based in New Zealand; and

b)    grant bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees; and

c)    have an investment plan; and 

d)    receive Student Achievement Component funding. 

PBRF002: TEO to participate in all components of PBRF funding

During the period that the TEO receives funding from the PBRF, the TEO must participate in each of the Quality Evaluation (QE), Research Degree Completions (RDC), and External Research Income (ERI) components of PBRF funding, even if the TEO's funding entitlement to one or more components is zero, or is likely to be zero.

In order to receive funding from the PBRF through the Research Degree Completions component and the External Research Income component, the TEO must have participated in the latest Quality Evaluation.

PBRF003: TEO to provide Evidence Portfolios to the TEC

When participating in a Quality Evaluation, the TEO must provide an Evidence Portfolio for each staff member at the TEO that is eligible that:

a)    sets out information on each eligible staff member's research performance; and

b)    comprises a research output component and an evidence of research contribution component.

PBRF004: TEO to ensure staff eligibility and provide information in a certain way

When a  TEO participates in the Quality Evaluation and External  Research Income (ERI) measures, the TEO must:

a)    ensure that each staff member whose Evidence Portfolio is included in the Quality Evaluation process:

      (i)    is employed by the TEO on the staff census date under a contract of salaried employment with a duration of at least one year; and

      (ii)   is employed at a minimum of 0.2 full time equivalent (FTE) during the period of the contract of salaried employment; and

     (iii)  has a substantive contribution to research and/or teaching degree-level   programmes as part of his or her employment function, according to any applicable criteria established by the TEC; and

      (iv)  is not based overseas, according to any applicable criteria established by the TEC; 


b)    not submit that Evidence Portfolio in respect of an eligible staff member who is a new and emerging researcher; and

c)   not submit that Evidence Portfolio for any member of staff that the TEO considers is likely to be assigned a quality category of R or R(NE); and

d)    where applicable, calculate completions of research-based postgraduate degrees in units of equivalent full time student (EFTS), where one (1.0) EFTS unit is the student workload that would normally be carried out by a student enrolled full-time in a single academic year; and

e)    where applicable, report to the TEC the TEO's eligible research income (ERI)*, broken down into the following sources:

      (i)    New Zealand government contestable funds; and

      (ii)   New Zealand public sector contract research; and

      (iii)  New Zealand non-government sources; and

      (iv)  overseas research income.

* External research income includes income from public and private sources for research conducted by an eligible TEO (and/or a wholly-owned subsidiary), and includes research income from competitive sources within Vote Tertiary Education (excluding PBRF).

PBRF005: TEO to provide information to support reporting of scores

During the period that the TEO receives funding from the PBRF, the TEO must provide any information required to support the reporting of average quality scores from the Quality Evaluation.  


PBRF006: TEO to supply information to the TEC

As specified in section 159YC(1) of the Education Act 1989, it is a condition of a TEO receiving funding that the TEO will supply to the TEC, from time to time as required by the TEC, and in the form specified by the TEC, any financial, statistical, or other information that the TEO is required by the TEC to supply. 


PBRF007: TEO to use funding responsibly

The TEO must only use funding received from the PBRF:

a)    lawfully and responsibly; and

b)    in a manner consistent with the appropriate use of public funds.


PBRF008: TEO to repay over-funding

If the TEO receives funding that is greater than it should have been, or that the TEO was not entitled to receive, the TEO must treat the amount of over-funding as a debt due to the Crown that:

a)    is repayable to the TEC on demand; and

b)    may be set-off against all or any funding, or any sum of money payable by the TEC to the TEO.


PBRF009: TEO to make information available to TEC and its appointed representative for the purpose of monitoring

By accepting funding from the TEC the TEO is deemed to have acknowledged that one of the TEC’s statutory functions is to monitor the performance of organisations receiving funding from the TEC, and that it is a statutory condition that the TEO must maintain certain records and supply certain information to the TEC. Accordingly, by accepting funding from the TEC the TEO is deemed to have acknowledged that the TEC needs access to certain information to enable it to undertake its monitoring activities and, as such, the TEO authorises the TEC (and any representative acting on behalf of the TEC) to have reasonable access to information needed by the TEC to undertake its review and monitoring function. This includes the TEO authorising the TEC and the TEC’s appointed representatives to have reasonable access to the TEO’s premises and any premises where the TEO’s records are kept for the purpose of enabling monitoring and review activities to be undertaken at those premises.



  • Last changed: 21 March 2016
  • Last verified: 21 March 2016