AIS Achieves Positive Results from 2018 Performance-Based Research Funding

Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS) is proud to announce a significant increase in the number of staff that were awarded a quality category for their research in the latest assessment. The interim results of the 2018 Quality Evaluation of Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) by the Tertiary Education Committee were announced on 29th April 2019 increasing by 63 per cent AIS’s funding and staff recognition.

High quality research at education institutes means better teaching for students

The six yearly Quality Evaluation is one of New Zealand’s biggest research assessment exercises. It is designed to encourage and reward excellent research in New Zealand’s degree-granting organisations. This year, AIS has been awarded eight funded Quality Categories, with one in the B Quality Category, five in the C Quality Category and two in the C (NE) Category*.

“High-quality research is vital to New Zealand’s economic growth as well as our social wellbeing, and the increase in the number of our funded Evidence Portfolios (EPs) is recognition of the investment by AIS in its staff, and in the support it provides its students for quality research,” says AIS President Dr Julia Hennessy. “This latest round has an increased financial benefit to AIS over the next six years which will be used increase the quality of our research outputs”.

AIS has been awarded funding across its Education, Computer Science, Information Technology and Information Sciences, Other Health Studies, Marketing and Tourism and Pacific Research subjects. “New Zealand researchers are developing amazing innovations and finding answers to global questions in healthcare, climate change, social justice and beyond. The range of subjects awarded this funding at AIS is evidence of the quality and breadth of our research,” says Hennessy.

In the 2018 PBRF Quality Categories, Evidence Portfolios are assessed across a total of 43 subject areas, by one of 13 panels. Thirty-six tertiary education organisations participated this year, including 12 private training establishments.

“This is an opportunity for us to thank all those staff who submitted an EP for peer review. The results show AIS has the ability to increase its recognition of research at a local, national and international level,” says Hennessy. “AIS is committed to supporting those staff who are working on Evidence Portfolios for funded categories, and the information provided by the Tertiary Education Committee report will be used by us to continue to improve on the quantity and quality of portfolios we hope to produce in years to come.”

For more information on AIS, visit


*Quality Category A: Outputs of a world-class standard, high level of peer recognition, significant contribution to NZ and international research environment. Quality Category B: Research outputs of high quality, recognised by peers at national level, contribution is beyond their institution of significant contribution with their institution. Quality Category C: Evidence of quality assured research outputs, shows peer recognition, contribution to their institution or the wider community — Quality Category C(NE) Evidence of quality-assured research outputs.


Profiling Pasifika Researcher, Dr Semisi Taumoepeau, B grade PBRF ranked

Dr Taumoepeau has been actively involved in research, government advisory reports and Pacific consultancy work before he joined AIS in early 2003. His previous industry careers (included Director of Tourism for Tonga, CEO of the Tonga national airline and SPTO Chairman in Fiji). These roles provide him with first-hand industry experience and Pacific research breakthroughs in key areas in tourism/aviation/economics/business development projects. Dr Taumoepeau commenced researching with New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI) team at AUT working with the Director, Professor Simon Milne. Over the years he has built up significant research outputs assisted by Pacific agencies and donor agencies such as the World Bank, ADB, EU and the South Pacific Commission.

His current research activities covers a wide area including climate change impact studies, coral reefs conservation, aviation studies, whale watch guides, local community economic impact studies, education studies, airlines management, trade investment and HRD projects in the region.

He advocates maintaining a good peer esteem portfolio and has been invited several times as guest speakers in the region. He does collaborative research with teams from other universities, such as NZTRI and New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research a consortium of Pacific researchers from Otago, AUT and Auckland). He has studies in Pasifika studies, tourism and airlines to complete in the next few months, including book chapters, journal articles and several books.

Dr Taumoepeau has been PBRF ranked since 2012 and was recently awarded a Quality Category B. This indicates an excellent contribution to the research environment and significant demonstrable impact at a national level.

Next Story

This is the most recent story.