Research focus in 2004
One researcher with a head start for 2004 is Dr Jeroen Douwes. Dr Douwes
received a $500,000 fellowship from the Health Research Council at the
end of last year to continue research that could lead to relief for half
of New Zealand’s asthma sufferers.
2004 will be an important year for recognising and fostering research
excellence at the University. A Distinguished Professorship will be introduced
to recognise professorial staff members who have achieved positions of
eminence in their fields internationally. The year will also see the first
award of research medals to the highest achieving researchers.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Judith Kinnear says the new awards, as well
as the introduction of new scholarships for postgraduate study, are ways
of reinforcing quality in research and research training across the University.
2004 will also see a change in the research funding environment, with
the first year of operation of the Performance Based Research Fund. In
this policy change, the Government has shifted available money from the
so-called EFTS ‘Top-Up’ fund to the new PBRF, based on the
quality of work undertaken by academic staff in each institution.
By 2007 PBRF-related funding will be around 12 percent of all government
money provided directly to tertiary education. However, only 10 percent
of that total will be allocated based on PBRF rankings this year.
Approval of the final PBRF outcomes by the Tertiary Education Commission,
based on data provided by academic staff last year, is expected this month.
A public report, subject to Cabinet approval, is expected by early March.
Institutions will be advised in mid-March, with a public release at the
end of March.
While individual rankings will remain confidential, the percentage of
A, B and C ranked staff in each subject area will become public.
Elsewhere in Massey News, the Vice-Chancellor sets out her expectations
for outcomes in research and research training during 2004 on page 4,
and new scholarships aimed at increasing the University’s national
contribution are announced on page 2. There is more on Dr Douwes’
asthma research project on page 9.