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Leading NZ Researchers Now Being Identified

Leading New Zealand Researchers Now Being Identified

Almost 6,000 New Zealand researchers are about to have portfolios of their work assessed as part of a process that will clearly identify where the highest quality academic research in this country is occurring.

The portfolios are being assessed as part of the process to determine funding that will be provided for research from the Tertiary Education Commission’s new Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF).

“This fund is specifically targeted at rewarding academics undertaking excellent research,” says Dr Andrew West, Tertiary Education Commission Chair. “For the first time this country will have a clear picture of exactly where excellent academic research is occurring. For instance, the public will be able to compare the quality of research between the departments at different universities and across academic disciplines.”

“Tertiary education organisations will learn the outcome of the portfolio assessments next February and, shortly after that, we will publish the results. No academic’s individual assessment will be made public. However, we will be publishing the outcomes for each of the 22 participating organisations, together with the results for each subject area and nominated academic unit,” said Dr West.

About 160 respected academic researchers, including internationally respected experts, make up the twelve panels. These begin meeting this weekend to examine the work of tertiary sector academics who have submitted portfolios of their research over the past six years. This peer review of portfolios is one of three components which determine the funding tertiary institutions receive from the Commission’s Performance-Based Research Fund.

A panel of experts operates for each of the following areas: Business and Economics; Biological Sciences; Creative and Performing Arts; Education; Engineering Technology and Architecture; Humanities and Law; Health, Medicine and Public Health; Mathematical and Information Sciences and Technology; Maori Knowledge and Development; Physical Sciences; and Social Sciences and other Cultural Social Studies. In addition, a Moderation Panel, consisting of the Chairs of all the panels will oversee the process, chaired by one of New Zealand’s leading research academics.

The PBRF will eventually have well over $134 million of funds to allocate through the PBRF. Some 60 percent of this will be allocated on the basis of the panels’ assessments of each participating academics portfolios.

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