Research in New Zealand continues to strengthen and enlighten

Research in New Zealand continues to strengthen and enlighten

Last updated 30 April 2019
Last updated 30 April 2019

The Quality Evaluation is one of the country’s biggest research assessments and equates to approximately 55 percent of the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF), totaling over $1 billion for a six-year period.

Today, we have published the interim results of the 2018 Quality Evaluation, a major component of the PBRF worth $315 million per year.

More than half of the researcher portfolios submitted to the 2018 Quality Evaluation were awarded an A or B quality category, the two highest categories possible. An A quality category suggests a researcher’s portfolio is of a world-class standard and a quality category B means a researcher’s portfolio is of a high quality. Compared with the 2012 Quality Evaluation, the number of As awarded increased by nearly 40 percent and the number of Bs increased by 17.5 percent.

The 2018 Quality Evaluation saw greater gender parity, with women making up nearly 43 percent of researchers, up from approximately 39 percent in 2012. This round also saw a 33 percent jump in the number of tertiary education organisations that participated.

“Congratulations to all participating tertiary education organisations and their staff,” says Tim Fowler, Chief Executive TEC. “I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the moderators, and 263 peer reviewers, who assessed over 8,000 researcher portfolios.

“Research carried out by the tertiary education sector contributes to our social and economic wellbeing. These are great results for our researchers and tertiary education organisations. Quality research gives us a better understanding of the world around us and helps us shape solutions to domestic and global issues.”

Subjects with the greatest increase in total funded Quality Categories were in the areas of biomedical, nursing, and engineering and technology. The increase in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects over the last six years supports wider government priorities in science, research and innovation.

The 2018 Quality Evaluation was the fourth round to be held. Previous Quality Evaluation rounds were held in 2003, 2006 and 2012.

For more information: please contact the media team 027 838 5301 or email