PBRF co chairs bw

Appointment of Co-chairs of PBRF Sector Reference Group for the Quality Evaluation 2025

Appointment of Co-chairs of PBRF Sector Reference Group for the Quality Evaluation 2025

Last updated 6 July 2021
Last updated 6 July 2021

In preparation for the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluation in 2025, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Wiremu Doherty (Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa) and Professor Wendy Larner as Co-chairs of the PBRF Sector Reference Group (SRG).

Under the leadership of Professors Doherty and Larner, the SRG will provide advice and recommendations on operational changes to the design of the 2025 Quality Evaluation. The SRG’s recommendations will be developed as part of a public consultation process.

 “I am delighted that Professor Doherty and Professor Larner have agreed to jointly chair the SRG,” says Tim Fowler, Chief Executive of the TEC.

“The group and the TEC will benefit enormously from their collective expertise and leadership,” Mr Fowler says. “Their appointment supports the Tertiary Education Strategy’s commitment to honour the Māori- Crown relationship and our responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and will ensure the SRG fulfils its purpose to inform the design of a Quality Evaluation that is equitable, inclusive, and recognises the diverse range of excellent research in Aotearoa New Zealand,” he adds.

Professor Wiremu Doherty is currently Chief Executive of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, where he was previously Deputy Chief Executive Academic Provost. Professor Doherty’s background is in secondary school teaching and tertiary education, and his research focusses on the roots of Mātauranga Māori in tribal based knowledge – Mātauranga-a-Iwi – and how this can be applied to future education approaches. He contributed to the development of Te Reo Māori NCEA Level 1 and 2 in the NZQA framework, and is also a Foundation Touchstone member of the Secondary Schools Futures Project. He is the past president of Te Akatea, the National body representing Māori Principals and Deputy Principals, and in this capacity has worked with Education Ministers in New Zealand and internationally.

Professor Wendy Larner is currently Provost of Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington and was President of Royal Society Te Apārangi from 2018 to 2021. Previously, she was Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law and Professor of Human Geography and Sociology at the University of Bristol. Professor Larner is an internationally-respected social scientist whose research sits in the interdisciplinary fields of globalisation, governance and gender. She has been a panellist for previous PBRF exercises, the Research Excellence Framework (UK), the German Universities of Excellence initiative, and was a reviewer for the Hong Kong Research Assessment Exercise. She was a member of the PBRF independent review panel.

The government has announced a number of changes to the Quality Evaluation following the outcomes of the PBRF independent review and subsequent consultation on its recommendations by the Ministry of Education. These changes are set out in more detail on our website and provide the TEC with a clear mandate to find ways to make the Quality Evaluation more inclusive, equitable, and supportive of a more diverse range of research activity and excellence.

Key changes include increased funding weightings for research submitted to the Quality Evaluation by Māori and Pasifika researchers, and research submitted to the Māori Knowledge and Development and Pacific Research panels. Cabinet has also directed the TEC, in consultation with the SRG, to explore more inclusive definitions of research and research excellence, and to develop broader provisions for recognising the impact of personal circumstances, including for new and emerging researchers.

A call for nominations for the SRG will shortly be announced on the TEC website.