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Professor Jenny Lee Morgan appointed to PBRF Sector Reference Group

Professor Jenny Lee-Morgan (Waikato – Ngāti Mahuta, Te Ahiwaru) will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Performance Based Research Funding.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has announced the appointment of Unitec’s Ngā Wai a Te Tūī Director to the Sector Reference Group (SRG) for the Performance Based Research Fund
(PBRF) Quality Evaluation Committee 2025.

Jenny Lee-Morgan leads the continued development and advancement of ground breaking Kaupapa Māori research alongside her team at Ngā Wai a Te Tūī, Māori and Indigenous Research Centre.

Ngā Wai a Te Tūī Research Manager, Ngāhuia Eruera (Ngāti Awa, Ngai Tūhoe, Tuhourangi) says Jenny’s appointment is a phenomenal achievement which recognises the mana of a formidable wahine Māori academic leader.

“We are so proud of Jenny and thankful for her guidance, support and leadership and we know her contribution to this important kaupapa alongside other esteemed academic leaders on the SRG will add immense value and depth to shaping the future of research,” says Ngahuia.

Ngā Wai a Te Tūī has helped drive indigenous innovation and Māori development through recognising real-world research problems which are not easily solved by one specific or particular discipline. Rather, a kaupapa Māori transdisciplinary approach that requires a range of expertise to work together in a problem-solving research team. 

Jenny joins fourteen academic and research experts on the SRG which will provide advice and recommendations on operational changes to the design of the 2025 Quality Evaluation. The group will be led by Co-chairs Professor William Doherty (Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa) and Professor Wendy Larner.

Unitec’s Director of Research and Enterprise, Marcus Williams says, “There is a pressing need for a broadening of the notion of research excellence in PBRF, to consider critical partnerships with community and industry, especially Māori and Pacific communities, which ultimately define the impact of research a kaupapa Māori ethos and is one of the many things that will make Jenny a highly effective contributor to this Sector Reference Group.”

Members were appointed following an open call for nominations. The response to the call was excellent, with 59 nominations from a range of Tertiary Education Organisations (TEO).
The SRG Co-chairs say, “in selecting the fifteen members we sought to ensure the group has the necessary expertise and knowledge to advise on Cabinet’s directions on changes to the Quality Evaluation. We have also sought to convene a group which represents the diversity of participating TEOs, academic disciplines, career stages, and the population of Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The first meeting of the SRG will take place later this month, and the group will meet regularly until June 2023 when the PBRF Quality Evaluation Guidelines will be published. 

TEC Chief Executive, Tim Fowler says “The members collectively bring enormous academic and professional experience and knowledge. I’m particularly pleased that the group has expertise in kaupapa and Mātauranga Māori, and Pacific research, as well as representing important groups such as new and emerging researchers.”

Recommendations provided by the committee will be developed as part of a public consultation process.

The SRG membership is:

Dr Clive Aspin (Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Whanaunga, Ngāti Tamaterā), Associate Dean Māori, Senior Lecturer in Health, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Maria Baker, Pouwhakahaere Matua CEO, Te Rau Ora

Dr Vaughan Bidois, Executive Director Academic, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi

Professor Craig Bunt (Te Ātiawa), Professor of Agricultural Innovation, University of Otago

Dr Christine Cheyne, Faculty Research Co-ordinator, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (Te Pūkenga)

Dr Donna Hendry, PBRF and Publications Manager, University of Otago

Professor Robert Jahnke (Ngāi Taharora, Te Whānau a Iritekura, Te Whānau a Rakairoa o Ngāti Porou), Professor of Māori Visual Arts, Toioho ki Āpiti, Massey University

Professor Bryony James, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato University of Waikato

Professor Jenny Lee-Morgan (Waikato – Ngāti Mahuta, Te Ahiwaru), Professor of Māori Research, Director Ngā Wai ā Te Tūī, Māori and Indigenous Research Centre, Unitec (Te Pūkenga)

Professor Kathryn McPherson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Auckland University of Technology

Dr Sereana Naepi, Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, University of Auckland and Co-chair Royal Society Te Apārangi Early Career Researchers Forum

Professor Steven Ratuva, Director Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury

Professor Karen Scott, Faculty of Law, University of Canterbury

Associate Professor Yvonne Te Ruki Rangi o Tangaroa Underhill-Sem, Pacific Studies, Te Wānanga o Waipapa, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland

Associate Professor Melinda Webber (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāpuhi, Ngati Kahu), Te Tumu, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland

Information on the 2025 Quality Evaluation and the SRG is available on the TEC website


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