Detailed fund information – PBRF

Detailed fund information – PBRF

Last updated 30 November 2023
Last updated 30 November 2023

This page provides information on the annual administration of the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF), including the yearly allocation of the fund.

For user manuals, technical specifications, annual reports and performance information, reporting External Research Income (ERI) and measuring Research Degree Completions, see Resources and publications – PBRF.

Funding mechanism

The Minister responsible for tertiary education issues the PBRF funding mechanism. It sets out the purpose of the fund and gives authority to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to administer the funding.

Funding requirements

Funding is agreed through a tertiary education organisation’s (TEO’s) Investment Plan (Plan).

A TEO that receives PBRF funding is required to:

Funding allocation

We use prior performance information to calculate an indicative allocation of PBRF funding for the next calendar year.

The PBRF is a mixed performance-assessment regime that uses both peer review processes and performance measures.

We calculate PBRF allocations based on the performance of eligible TEOs in three components:

  • the latest Quality Evaluation;
  • the number of eligible Research Degree Completions; and
  • the value of External Research Income.

For more information on these components of the Fund, see Performance-Based Research Fund.

Quality Evaluation

The Quality Evaluation part of the funding allocation, which currently uses results from the 2018 round, is based on the award of funded Quality Categories and subject area weighting of Evidence Portfolios submitted by TEOs. It is calculated relative to:

  • the funded Quality Category assigned to Evidence Portfolios (EPs) – ie, A, B, C or C (NE);
  • the full-time equivalency status of the participating TEO’s PBRF-eligible staff member as recorded in the PBRF Staff Data File; and
  • the weighting for the subject area to which EPs have been assigned.

Note that for Quality Evaluation 2026 the funding calculation will include some new elements. For more information, please see the PBRF User Manual (PDF 907 KB).

Research Degree Completions

The Research Degree Completions part of the funding allocation is based on a three-year rolling average of a TEO’s research-based postgraduate degree completions, weighted by:

  • research volume,
  • relative costs of the subject areas,
  • ethnicity, and
  • completions in te reo Māori.

For the definitions and rules on measuring research degree completions, see Resources and publications – PBRF.

External Research Income (ERI)

The ERI part of the funding allocation is based on a three-year rolling average of a TEO’s proportion of total ERI earned, weighted by funding source.

Indicative allocations

Te Pūkenga’s allocation percentage is based on consolidation of the relevant year data for each of the three funding components for the Institute of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP) it replaces.

An indicative funding allocation may be made to a TEO that later transfers delivery to a transitional or other TEO. In that case, we will engage with the new TEO to transfer and adjust the allocation.

We will adjust the allocation of the provider receiving the largest portion of Research Degree Completions Funding if the final rounded calculations create an over-allocation of the annual funding of the PBRF. We will accept a small difference where funding is under-allocated due to rounded calculations.

For the methodology and technical specifications for calculating the PBRF indicative allocations, see Indicative allocations by year.

PBRF wash-up

For the methodology and technical specifications for the PBRF wash-up, see Funding wash-ups by year.

Funding conditions

The current and historic funding conditions specific to the Performance-Based Research Fund can be found in the yearly Funding Conditions Catalogues. See Funding conditions by year.