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AUS appointment to PBRF reference group

14 March 2008

AUS appointment to PBRF reference group

The appointment today of Dr Grant Duncan, Association of University Staff Academic Vice-President, was announced today as one of a fifteen-strong Sector Reference Group created to provide advice to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) on the design, implementation, timing, nature and conduct of the Performance-Based Research Fund 2012 Quality Evaluation process.

Dr Duncan, a nominee of the Association of University Staff (AUS), is a senior lecturer in Social and Public Policy Programmes at Massey University, Albany. His appointment will ensure that the concerns of university staff about the operation of the PBRF are considered by the TEC.

The primary goal of the PBRF is to distribute the research component of the government grant to the tertiary education sector according to the research profile of participating institutions. That profile is assessed on the basis of the research performance of individual staff members through a Quality Evaluation process.

Dr Duncan has taken a particularly active role in the development of AUS policy on the PBRF since 2002, and has an active research interest in the PBRF which is in his field of specialist expertise.

“My job on the reference group is to advance the concerns of university staff about the PBRF, as reflected in AUS policy,” Dr Duncan said. “AUS members have also put forward a number of alternative approaches to the assessment of research quality and productivity, and to the current funding allocation model. AUS hopes that the Sector Reference Group will be a forum that is open to critical examination of the problems that the PBRF has created, and to alternative approaches.”

Dr Duncan said that university staff have expressed particular concerns about accountability in the current PBRF model falling onto the shoulders of the individual, as the unit of assessment, and about the misuse of the individual quality scores and evidence portfolios for internal management purposes.


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