The PBRF is the New Zealand Government's formal tertiary institution research performance assessment. It was introduced in 2003 to encourage and reward research excellence in New Zealand's tertiary education sector, and is managed by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).
PBRF provides criteria for evaluating research performance. The most significant of these is the quality evaluation (60 per cent weighting).
The quality evaluation process comprises a peer review assessment of evidence portfolios submitted by tertiary institutions to TEC. The portfolios describe eligible staff members' research outputs and their contributions to the research environment as well as peer esteem.
This quality evaluation enables TEC to calculate an aggregate quality score for each TEO (Tertiary Education Organisation). This gives stakeholders reliable information about the quality and level of research in the tertiary education sector.
The University of Otago is New Zealand's top-ranked university for research once all four of the average-quality measures in the 2012 Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluation are taken into account.