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Application guidelines

Application guidelines for the 2019/20 selection round

Application-Guidelines-2019.pdf

General information for applicants

This document contains general information about the Centres of Research Excellence Fund (CoREs) and what information is expected in each section of the proposal. The selection process will be followed to identify up to ten CoREs that can be recommended to TEC for funding for up to eight years commencing 1 January 2021.  At least one of these recommended proposals must be focussed on Māori research.

Background to the Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) Fund

The concept of the CoREs fund was developed following a 2001 review of the tertiary education system by the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission (TEAC). The Commission believed that:

…there was a need for greater concentration of research effort, as well as improved linkages between tertiary providers, industry, other research users and the wider community.

(TEAC 2001, p.103)

The Commission drew on international evidence that research is more likely to be successful (in terms of quality, relevance and impact) if there is a critical mass of researchers who work together to share skills, knowledge and resources.

With the CoREs fund, the Government seeks to address fragmentation across the tertiary education, research, and science and innovation systems to create inter-institutional networks of high-performing researchers.

The CoREs fund is designed to provide incentives for tertiary education research to be undertaken that is outcomes focussed and excellent, and for significant knowledge transfer activities to occur. This combination (outcomes focus, excellence, and knowledge transfer) is also intended to provide incentives for new opportunities for tertiary education research.

Each CoRE is hosted by a tertiary education institution and comprises a number of partner organisations which can include universities, Crown Research Institutes, private research organisations, institutes of technology and polytechnics, and Wānanga. Most CoREs traditionally have close working connections within their wider community of interest.

CoREs Mission Statement

Government’s investment intention

It is the intention of the Government that investing in Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) will support growth in research excellence and the development of world class researchers in areas of existing excellence that are important to New Zealand’s future development.

Mission statement for CoREs

This mission statement sets out high level expectations of CoREs in terms of role, performance and achievements, as well as the shared responsibilities of host and partners.

The mission statement forms the basis of selection criteria and ongoing performance monitoring of the CoREs.

Research carried out by CoREs

CoRE research must be leading edge research of world-class quality in an area of importance to New Zealand.  CoRE research demonstrates academic strength as well as planned and effective progress towards defined impacts with public good and/or economic benefits. 

  • CoRE research may be basic and/or applied. It is always pioneering, commonly multi-dimensional and/or multi-disciplinary, and likely to involve collaborative and inter-institutional participation and exchange.
  • A CoRE will define its area of strategic impact, the need for this focus and the potential benefit for New Zealand.  It will regularly revisit and refresh research planning to ensure its research is innovative and solution-focussed. 
  • A CoRE is innovative and responds quickly to opportunity.  It allocates funding for excellent research that has next-stage potential impact and is aligned with its strategic direction.
  • It is anticipated that, over time, the research and personnel profile of a CoRE will evolve within its area of strategic impact, reflecting the innovative and cutting edge nature of a CoRE’s research activities.
  • A CoRE commits to equity and wellbeing outcomes, including encouraging and enabling diversity and inclusion in its research activities and/or its research team(s).
  • CoRE expertise can be directed to government science priorities, as appropriate.

CoREs as an element in the tertiary education system

A CoRE builds research capability in areas of existing excellence.  It translates new knowledge into teaching and the training of future researchers and offers specific and novel opportunities for graduate students, emerging and established investigators, across its partner institutions.

  • A CoRE plans its contribution to the teaching and learning environment of its partner institutions.  It is able to demonstrate its educational outcomes and its contribution to employment outcomes for graduates.
  • A CoRE commits to equity and wellbeing outcomes, including encouraging and enabling diversity and inclusion in its teaching activities.
  • A CoRE ensures key investigators have the opportunity to influence the experience of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows working with the CoRE.

CoRE collaboration and collaborative practices within CoREs

The CoRE model is a collaborative research partnership hosted by a TEI.  It has appropriate governance and processes to ensure all partners contribute to delivery of agreed strategic outcomes.

  • The host and partners share responsibility for the development and regular review of institutional partner agreements.
  • Agreements recognise a combined responsibility for resourcing the CoRE as well as ensuring that research is of excellent quality and adds strategic benefit.
  • Agreements set out host university and partner contributions, which include financial and/or in-kind contributions.
  • The CoRE host and partners together agree and implement collaborative policies and practices.

Engagement by CoREs with end-users and stakeholders

CoREs are characterised by active and outward-facing engagement with next-stage and potential end-users to ensure the CoRE delivers the strategic benefits it seeks for New Zealand.

  • A CoRE will invite potential end-users to contribute to planning of current and future research options, including consideration of potential for impact. 
  • A CoRE engages in research translation to support and encourage research uptake.
  • CoRE outreach can take many forms and have many audiences.  A CoRE will identify its outreach partners and explore with them the best ways to engage.
  • A CoRE develops an engagement plan to bring focus to its dialogue with stakeholders, and its knowledge exchange activities and connections.

The role of the CoRE at a national and international level

A CoRE demonstrates authority in its research area, both in New Zealand and overseas.

  • A CoRE builds wide networks within national and international research communities and uses this connectivity to strengthen its research, people, engagement and influence.
  • A CoRE deploys its leadership to facilitate wide stakeholder debate on issues of significance.
  • A CoRE operates as a showcase for New Zealand.

2019/20 CoREs fund selection process

Applicants seeking CoRE funding will be required to submit two sets of documents – first an Expression of Interest, then a Full Application.

  • Expressions of Interest must be received by the Society by 12.00 p.m. NZDT (midday) on Tuesday 27th August 2019. The Expression of Interest is NOT a decision point in the process, but instead is used as a tool to guide the recruitment of panellists and to assist with finding referees for each proposal. The information required for the Expression of Interest is a subset of the information required for the Full Application.
  • Full Applications must be received by the Society by 12.00 p.m. NZDT (midday) on Thursday 28th November 2019. These Full Applications will be assessed by referees and specialist Expert Selection Panels. Their recommendations will be considered by the CoREs Advisory Committee. That committee will make its recommendations to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) in mid-late June 2020.

There are three phases to the assessment of a Full Application as outlined in Figure 1.

Firstly, applications are sent to referees who comment on the quality of the proposed research programme, and whether it is of a world-class standard.

Secondly, each application is scored and discussed by an Expert Selection Panel on the basis of research excellence and the contribution of the proposed CoRE within the tertiary education system.

Finally, the Advisory Committee evaluates the proposed CoRE’s contribution to New Zealand’s future development, and the proposed governance and management structures for the CoRE. The Advisory Committee, following consultation with the Chairs of the Expert Selection Panels, will decide which applicants will receive a visit to the host site or an interview with the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will then include the findings of the site visit or interview in their final recommendation to the TEC Board regarding which ten CoREs best meet the selection criteria.

 

Figure 1

Figure 1. A flow chart outlining the process and decision points in the CoREs fund selection round 2019/20. “ESP” refers to the Expert Selection Panels and “AC” refers to the Advisory Committee.

Referees

All applications will first be assessed by referees who will comment on the proposed research programme of the CoRE with respect to research excellence, its research team, and its intended methodology for research and knowledge transfer. Referees will receive the full application, but will be asked to focus their attention on sections 1-8 (see Application Guidelines for details).

Referees will be internationally recognised experts in the relevant fields of research. Their comments will be an important element of the assessment of whether a proposal is for leading edge research of world-class quality.

The Society will seek reports from at least three referees for each Application, although this may not be attainable for a variety of reasons. Applicants will be asked to suggest the names of suitable referees; however, whether a referee is asked for a report will depend on their availability and on an assessment of any conflicts of interest. A list of potential referees for each Application will be developed by the CoREs secretariat in consultation with the relevant Expert Selection Panel. Depending on the nature of the proposal, more than three referees may be contacted.

Applicants will be given the opportunity to provide a two-page response to each referee’s comments. The referees’ reports and the applicants’ responses will form part of the material for Expert Selection Panels’ and the Advisory Committee’s assessment of the applications.

Expert Selection Panels

 A number of Expert Selection Panels will be established to assess the range of applications. The panels will be developed and applications assigned to them by the Society on the basis of the Expressions of Interest.

These panels will be composed of experts in the research fields of interest and have a high level of expertise in the assessment of quality and excellence so that applications can be evaluated and ranked. Due to the small size of the New Zealand research community, the likelihood of conflicts of interest, and the objective of world-class standard research, panels are likely to include international membership. The Chairs of the panels will be people of standing and have the respect of the New Zealand research community. They will have high level skills and capabilities, with a strong background in a relevant research discipline and experience of the New Zealand tertiary education system.

The panels will take into account the referees’ reports and applicant responses, and will consider the applications against the criteria of research excellence and contribution within the tertiary education system. They will score the applications with the following weightings:

  • Research excellence: 40 points
  • Contribution within the tertiary education system: 20 points

For further information on the assessment indicators that will be considered during scoring, please see Appendix I - Assessment indicators and scoring framework.

The panels will meet in mid-March 2020 to discuss the applications and will be able to amend their rankings in the light of these discussions. A panel may decide that no applications assessed by their panel reach the criteria of research excellence. The panels will recommend the applications that best meet the criteria to the CoREs Advisory Committee and will provide commentary on all applications to the TEC. All applications recommended by the panels will be combined into a long list for assessment by the Advisory Committee. The panel Chairs will present the consensus views of their panel on each proposal that they have assessed at a meeting of the Advisory Committee in early-April 2020, with particular emphasis on those applications that have been long listed for recommendation.

CoREs Advisory Committee

The CoREs Advisory Committee will act as the overall assessment committee and make the final recommendation on the selection of ten CoREs to the TEC.

The members of the Advisory Committee will be people of standing and have the respect of the New Zealand community. They will have high level skills and capabilities, with an understanding of the importance of research to New Zealand’s social, economic or environmental success. It is anticipated that there will be five to seven members of the Committee.

The contribution of the proposed CoREs to New Zealand’s future development and their governance and management structures will be a key focus for the Committee. Assessing these two criteria will be the Advisory Committee’s main responsibility, scored with the following weightings:

  • Contribution to New Zealand’s future development: 20 points
  • Governance and management: 20 points

For further information on the assessment indicators that will be considered during scoring, please see Appendix I - Assessment indicators and scoring framework.

The Advisory Committee will meet in early April 2020 to discuss the applications, and the Chairs of each Expert Selection Panel will present the consensus view of their panel on each proposal, with particular emphasis on the recommended long list. The Committee members are able to amend their initial rankings in the light of the discussions.

During this meeting the Advisory Committee will reach consensus on a short list of the highest ranked applications. The Advisory Committee will complete the assessment process with site visits to the host institutions or an interview. In making their final recommendations, the Advisory Committee will take into account all information at their disposal: the applications, the referees’ reports, the applicant responses, the assessments of the Expert Selection Panels on research excellence and contribution within the tertiary sector criteria, their own assessments on contribution of the proposed CoREs to New Zealand’s future development and their governance and management criteria, and information gathered from the site visits or interviews. The Advisory Committee will then recommend to the TEC which ten proposals it considers best meet the selection criteria. The TEC Board will make the final funding decisions.

Feedback to Applicants

All applicants will receive an acknowledgement of the receipt of the Expression of Interest and the Application.  The Society can provide information and guidance for potential applicants until the closing date for applications. Applicants will receive copies of the comments made about their proposals by the referees, but otherwise will not receive any direct communication from the Society about the outcome of the assessment. The rationale for the decisions made during the selection process leading to the recommendations for funding will be provided to TEC.

Eligibility

  • A CoRE must be hosted by a Tertiary Education Institution (TEI).
  • A CoRE must undertake leading edge research of world-class quality in an area of importance to New Zealand. 

Selection Criteria

Prospective CoREs will be assessed on the basis of four selection criteria. The assessment criteria are drawn from the Minister of Education’s letter of determination issued to the TEC under 159L of the Education Act issued in May 2019. The selection criteria must be read in conjunction with the CoREs Mission Statement on page 3.

Excellence: excellent research, including assessment of:

  • academic strength of the proposed research team;
  • academic strength of the proposed research programme;
  • commitment to ensuring research is innovative, outcomes-focussed and has impact;
  • strength of proposed collaboration and the degree to which partners have contributed to the proposal;
  • potential of the CoRE to have national and international influence; and
  • commitment to equity and wellbeing outcomes, including encouraging and enabling diversity and inclusion for Māori, Pacific peoples, and other under-represented groups in the proposed research programme and/or in the proposed research team.

Contribution within the tertiary education system, including assessment of:

  • contribution to the priorities of the Tertiary Education Strategy;
  • contribution to graduate, and postgraduate and new researcher education;
  • expected impact on the development of New Zealand’s future workforce;
  • contribution to the development of a culture of innovation and wealth creation in New Zealand; and
  • commitment to prioritising equity and wellbeing outcomes, including encouraging and enabling diversity and inclusion for Māori, Pacific peoples, and other under-represented groups in teaching activities.

Contribution to New Zealand’s future development, including assessment of:

  • potential for the research to have public good and/or economic impact in New Zealand;
  • commitment to engagement and exchange with potential stakeholders/end-users; and
  • strength of the intention to drive the connections that lead to research translation.

 Governance and management, including assessment of:

  • strength of planned governance and management;
  • clarity and benefits of proposed host and partner contributions; and
  • commitment of parties to proposed collaborative practices.

In addition, the selection process will consider how the CoREs will support the goals set out in:

When selecting CoREs to be funded, CoREs that best meet the assessment criteria will be selected.

At least one CoRE focussed on Māori research will be funded through a competitive process in accordance with the assessment criteria. If no proposals meet the selection criteria, the Advisory Committee may recommend the proposal that best meets the criteria and the TEC will work with the applicant to ensure that the proposal is further developed and the resulting CoRE is of a comparable standard to other CoREs. 

TEC’s Contractual Requirements

Successful applicants will be funded for eight years commencing 1 January 2021, subject to a satisfactory mid-term review.  Where the CoRE fund is oversubscribed the TEC will pro-rata funding to fit within the appropriation. The TEC will draft a funding letter to host organisations of successful applications that will sell out reporting requirements and the schedule of payments.

TEC requires successful applicants to report in a standardised way annually and electronically across a number of dimensions.  These include but are not limited to those set out below.  In addition to these standardised performance metrics, successful CoREs will be required to report against mission-specific performance indicators set out in their application.

Research excellence

  • Bibliometric details of research outputs by type.
  • Licenses and license income.

Contribution to the tertiary education system

  • Enrolments, course and qualification completions by National Student Number (NSN).
  • Graduate destination.

Contribution to New Zealand’s future development

  • Mission specific indicators required.

Governance and management

  • Headcount, designation and FTE of research staff.

Other requirements

  • Four year research plans, which articulate the CoRE’s proposed activities. The second of the four-year research plans (i.e. for 2025 – 2028) should reflect any findings from the mid-term review.
  • An annual report (including but not limited to the indicators above) detailing performance against the contract, including the research and strategic plan; and evidence of sound governance and management..

Performance measures

In 2015, The Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment agreed a performance framework for CoREs.  Successful applicants will be required to report against this framework using standardised performance metrics.  The aim of the performance framework is to assist the CoREs to demonstrate, and Government to assess, the contribution that CoREs are making. The new framework provides a set of common measures to assess the policy impact of the CoREs, and will align with the TEC’s monitoring of each CoRE’s contractual commitments.

The successful applicant as part of its contract with the TEC will be accountable for its performance as measured by the CoRE performance measurement framework (PMF). The PMF also sets out all future performance reporting and monitoring arrangements between the Ministry of Education, the TEC and all CoREs. The PMF allows for performance measurements and reporting to be tailored to accommodate the unique nature of each CoRE.

Applicants are advised to keep the PMF in mind, particularly for the proposed CoRE’s outcomes statement and research programme sections, when developing applications. The PMF asks for descriptions of what a CoRE intends to achieve (i.e. strategic impacts on outcomes), and how the proposed CoRE’s activities and outputs (detailed in the research programmes) will contribute to these strategic impacts and outcomes.

Full details are available at the following link: http://www.tec.govt.nz/assets/Forms-templates-and-guides/2c04687749/CoREs-Performance-Management-Framework-guidelines.pdf?r=1

Indicative timetable

Date

Activity

Late Jul 2019

Advisory Committee Chair announced. Open call for nominations for members of the Advisory Committee and Expert Selection Panel chairs.

Late Jul 2019

Selection framework and application guidelines released.

Late Jul 2019

Eligible applicants invited to submit Expressions of Interest.

27 Aug 2019

Expressions of Interest close at 12.00 p.m. NZST (midday), Full Proposal round opens.

Mid Sep 2019

Advisory Committee membership and Expert Selection Panel Chairs announced.

Late Oct 2019

Expert Selection Panel membership announced.

28 Nov 2019

Full applications close at 12.00 p.m. NZDT (midday).

30 Jan 2020

Referees’ reports available from web portal (for comment).

13 Feb 2020

Applicant response period ends.

Mid Mar 2020

Expert Selection Panel meetings to form a long list.

Early Apr 2020

Advisory Committee meeting to form a short list.

Mid-Apr 2020

Short listed applicants advised of site visit schedule.

Late Apr-Early May 2020

Site visits by or interviews with the Advisory Committee.

Mid-late Jun 2020

Recommendations passed to the TEC.

Table 1.         Timetable for CoREs Fund selection round 2019/20

Instructions for applying / using the portal

Before beginning the process of applying please ensure that you have read the information available on our website:  https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/cores/

Proposals On-Line

  • Proposals for the 2019/20 CoREs Fund are to be submitted on the web-based system, Proposals On-Line.
  • Researchers must contact their host organisation’s research office coordinator to obtain their login details for the Proposals On-Line system.
  • Researchers should write their proposals directly into Proposals On-Line using the forms and templates provided (these can be downloaded from Proposals On-Line) with the original formatting retained.
  • Separate instructions on using Proposals On-Line are available.  However, guidelines provided here in the 2019/20 Proposal Guidelines for Applicants should also be referred to as they contain background information about the CoREs and what information is expected in each section of the proposal.
  • Please note that paper copies are not required when submitting a proposal through the web using Proposals On-Line.  However, a signed upload of the declaration (section 11) of each proposal will be required.  Proposals On-Line has a document printing facility which should be used to print the final page of the proposal.  It may also be used to print the entire document for checking and your own records.
  • The layout of the entire application on Proposals On-Line is automatic.  The limit on space in all sections of the templates should be adhered to and the typeface should be 12 point, Times or of similar size font, single spacing (12 point), with margins of 2 cm on the left and 2 cm on the right sides of the page.  Instructions may be removed, but not the margins.  No additional pages or attachments will be accepted other than where requested or required.

Application numbers

Your login and application number can be obtained from your institution’s research office.  Please contact them if you are interested in applying.  When you have received your proposal logon to Proposals On-Line, a unique application number will automatically be generated at the top of each page of the application form, along with the name of the proposed CoRE.  Panels will be developed and applications assigned to them by the Royal Society Te Apārangi on the basis of the Expressions of Interest.

The example below shows that a CoRE named the ‘Centre for New Zealand Excellence’ has applied but has not as yet been assigned by the Society to a panel.

 

Name of proposed CoRE

Applicant’s Surname

Initials

Proposal Number

Panel

Centre for New Zealand Excellence

Jones

AB

COR-19-DUM-001

 

 

Expressions of Interest compared with Full Applications

Expressions of Interest consist of sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7a, 10, 11, and 12 of the application form.  Information entered in  sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 at the close of the Expression of Interest stage (12:00pm NZST (midday), 27th August 2019) is considered final and no alterations (except for the withdrawal of research personnel) will be permitted between the Expression of Interest and the Full Application.  It is permissible to make alterations that do not include the addition of major research themes to section 7a (Programme summary) between the Expression of Interest and the Full Application.

It is anticipated that the additional sections required for the Full Application will become available on the portal progressively prior to the closing date for the Expressions of Interest.  Once these sections have become available, applicants may begin filling out the rest of the application form during the Expression of Interest stage if they so desire, and may continue to enter and edit this information until the closing date for the Full Applications (12:00pm NZST (midday), 28th November 2019).

There are two buttons on Proposals On-Line to allow easier viewing of the Expression of Interest or the Full Application.  These are called ‘Print EoI’ and ‘Print full’.  Clicking on the ‘Print EoI’ button will produce a pdf that contains only those parts of the application that form the Expression of Interest.  Clicking on the ‘Print full’ button will produce a pdf that contains all parts of the application form.

The following notes are for assistance with filling out the application form

1.                 Institutions

This section is for naming the host and partner organisations in the proposed CoRE, and defining their roles within the CoRE.  Roles can include host organisation (HO), tertiary partner (TP), non-tertiary partner (NP), and international partner (IP). 

Host organisations

Each proposed CoRE can only be hosted by one organisation.  The host organisation must be a Tertiary Education Institution such as a university, polytechnic, institute of technology, or Wānanga.  A host’s responsibilities include the overall Centre establishment, management and co-ordination of the Centre’s plan, support for knowledge transfer, and network activities.  They will also be responsible for making the application for CoRE funding.  The host organisation will be the contracting body for the CoRE funds and will be responsible for ensuring the proper use of the funds and for the delivery of contracted outputs.

Tertiary partners include any other Tertiary Education Institutions.  There must be a formal agreement in place that specifies the responsibilities of each partner and the contributions each will make to the collective resources of the Centre.  If the Centre is to fund any activities in a partner organisation, these will need to be formally contracted as well.

Partner institutions/organisations

Non-tertiary partners include institutions such as Crown Research Institutes and private research organisations. A maximum of 50% of the CoRE budget may be allocated to non-tertiary sector organisations, unless undertaken by students from, or researchers employed by, a tertiary institution.  This reflects the principle intention of the CoREs Fund to develop research capacity in the tertiary sector.

A host organisation (and partner organisations where there are satellite sites) must ensure that suitably equipped office and, where necessary, laboratory accommodation is available.  They must also provide access to basic library collections, computer facilities (including access to the Internet), and other support services as appropriate.

The CoREs Fund will not pay for salaries and institutional overhead costs for Principal or Associate Investigators based outside of New Zealand; however, international partner institutions may be listed as a part of the proposed CoRE.  It is anticipated that this may occur where significant agreements are in place with an international institution, e.g. regarding instrument use.

If any of these details should change at any stage after the application is submitted (e.g. the withdrawal of an investigator means that a partner institution will no longer be involved), please inform the Society as soon as possible.

2.                 Name of proposed Centre of Research Excellence

Provide a name for the proposed CoRE.  Keep the name brief and to the point.  The name of the CoRE should be in plain language and no more than 30 words in length.

3.                 CoRE Director

Provide the name of the Director of the proposed CoRE, and their institutional affiliation, e.g. Professor A. Smith, The University of New Zealand.

4.                 Fields of Research

The Fields of Research (FOR) classification allows research and development (R&D) activity to be categorised according to the field of research.  In this respect, it is the methodology used in the R&D that is being considered.  Please enter up to five codes from the list of research codes supplied in “Fields of Research Classification Codes” from the following website:

http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/field-of-research-calculator/

Please use codes that are as specific as possible.  Also indicate project key words or phrases not exceeding 255 characters in total (separated by commas or semi-colons; please do not use the return key).

5.                 Socio-Economic Objectives

The Socio-Economic Objectives (SEO) classification allows R&D activity to be categorised according to the intended purpose or outcome of the research rather than the processes or techniques used in order to achieve this objective.  The purpose categories include processes, products, health, education and other social and environmental aspects in Australia and New Zealand that R&D activity aims to improve.  Please enter up to five codes from the list of socio-economic objectives codes supplied in “Socio-Economic Objective Classification Codes” from the following website:

https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/research-practice/socio-economic-objectives-calculator/

Please use codes that are as specific as possible.  Also indicate project key words or phrases not exceeding 255 characters in total (separated by commas or semi-colons; please do not use the return key).

6.                 Outcomes
6a.          Intent

Provide a two sentence description in plain English what the intent of the proposed CoRE is. This should encapsulate the strategic overarching aims of the proposed CoRE. Should the CoREs fund bid be successful, this information may be made publicly available.

6b.         Outcomes statement

Describe in up to two pages in plain English what the intent of the proposed CoRE is.  Should the CoREs Fund bid be successful, this information will be made publicly available.  The Key Point Summary should encapsulate the strategic overarching aims and itemise the goals of the CoRE, without discussing the specifics of the intended research.

The context for the strategic focus is provided by the CoREs Mission Statement as developed by Cabinet and the national strategic goals proposed by the TEC.  Applicants will find it helpful to refer to both the Mission Statement and the current Tertiary Education Strategy 2014-19  to provide context for considering the contribution of their research plan to New Zealand’s future development.  The additional benefits to New Zealand of the Centre must be clearly spelt out.  Discuss the potential impact over a eight year timeframe and beyond on New Zealand’s economic, social, environmental or cultural development, systems or public policies.

7.                 Research programme
7a.                         Programme Summary

Summarise in up to two pages the research that the CoRE intends to conduct.  This information will be read by a research literature audience and sent to potential referees to allow them to determine whether they are suitable to assess the CoRE’s research programme.  This section should not include any references.

7b.          Research programme description

Describe in detail the CoRE’s research programme.  This document can consist of up to 30 pages including no more than 5 pages of references.  Areas that are suggested for inclusion are: a brief review of the current state of knowledge in the field; the scope of the research programme, its focus and general objectives; training opportunities for post-graduate students and new and emerging researchers, as well as strategies to encourage the inclusion of under-represented groups; the planned establishment of and existing connections to local and international networks, including contribution to the Centre and additional value obtained through the partnership; applicability to the wider community, including existing or planned connection to end-users and knowledge transfer mechanisms; and future research directions.  For further information, please refer to the Assessment Indicators (Appendix I).

Organise the proposed CoRE’s research programme into major project or theme areas.  For each: identify the Project Leader(s) and researchers and describe their role in the Centre and their ability to contribute to the proposed research; describe how each project area or theme fits the Centre’s overall vision, how it relates to the other project areas and how it will evolve over the 6 years; describe, where relevant, the extent to which new and emerging social and ethical issues will be addressed; summarise the specific objectives, research plan, methodology, overall timeframe and intended annual achievements by project area or theme; and clearly identify which part of the Centre’s research programme is to be CoRE funded.

For further information about the high level expectations of CoREs in terms of role, performance and achievements, please refer to the 2019 CoREs Mission Statement.

References:

It is important to support section 7b by means of references.  Please ensure that these are not only to the previous work of the CoRE’s research personnel.  Please also ensure that the references have been published, such that they are readily accessible when the proposal is being assessed.  Authors must verify all references.

A guide for the reference list:

  • The list can be in 10 point type.
  • Start each reference on a new line (numbering is optional).
  • For three or more authors, list the first three names followed by "et al."
  • Ensure you include the journal name (abbreviated if desired), year of publication, volume number and page numbers.

Please note the following examples created by R Siegel along with the format and punctuation (ordered in Journal, Book, Chapter in a book and Web site):

  1. Jemal A, Siegel R, Ward E, et al. Cancer Statistics, 2008. CA: Cancer J Clin 2008; 58:71-96; DOI: 10.3322/CA.2007.0010.
  2. Eifel PJ, Levenback C. American Cancer Society Atlas of Clinical Oncology: Cancer of the Female Lower Genital Tract. Hamilton, Ontario: BC Decker; (2001).
  3. Health on the Net Foundation. Health on the Net Foundation code of conduct (HONcode) for medical and health Web sites. Available at: http://www.hon.ch/HONcode/Conduct.html. Accessed August 26, 2003.
  1. Park BH, Vogelstein B. Tumor-Suppressor Genes. In: Kufe DW, Pollock RE, Weichselbaum RR, et al, eds. Cancer Medicine. 6th ed. Hamilton, Ontario: BC Decker; 2003:87-106.
8.                 Meeting goals of government strategies

Applications should identify how the proposed CoRE will support the goals set out in:

  • Ka Hikitia: the Māori Education Strategy;
  • The Pacific Education Action Plan; and
  • Vision Mātauranga
Ka Hikitia

Ka Hikitia — Accelerating Success 2013–2017 is the Ministry of Education's strategy to rapidly change how the education system performs so that all Māori students gain the skills, qualifications and knowledge they need to enjoy and achieve education success as Māori. Māori students’ educational success is critical to Aotearoa New Zealand’s success.

The overarching strategic intent of Ka Hikitia — Accelerating Success is the renewed strategy to improve how the education system performs to ensure Māori students enjoying and achieving educational success as Māori.

The broad outcomes for students are:

  • Māori learners working with others to determine successful learning and education pathways
  • Māori learners excelling and successfully realising their cultural distinctiveness and potential
  • Māori learners successfully participating in and contributing to te Ao Māori
  • Māori learners gaining the universal skills and knowledge needed to successfully participate in and contribute to Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.

For further information on the Ka Hikitia policy, please refer to the Ministry of Education website:

https://www.education.govt.nz/our-work/overall-strategies-and-policies/ka-hikitia-accelerating-success-20132017/ka-hikitia-accelerating-success-2013-2017-strategy-overview/

The Pacific Education Action Plan

The Pasifika Education Plan 2013–2017 which sets out the Government’s strategic direction for improving Pasifika education outcomes. The plan is one of the Government’s key strategies that will contribute to economic growth and social well-being. It aims to contribute to higher participation and completion of qualifications in tertiary education, resulting in the greatest social, cultural and economic benefits.

For further information on the Pacific Education Action Plan policy, please refer to the Ministry of Education website:

https://www.education.govt.nz/our-work/overall-strategies-and-policies/pasifika-education-plan-2013-2017/

Vision Mātauranga

Vision Mātauranga: Unlocking the Innovation Potential of Māori Knowledge, Resources and People is a policy framework that was implemented into Vote Research, Science and Technology in July 2005.  It was developed by the Ministry for Research, Science and Technology in consultation with research funders, researchers and research users including Māori communities.  The framework is designed to assist research funders, researchers and research users when they consider research of relevance to Māori – particularly its distinctive aspects – and how this might be supported through Vote Research, Science and Technology.  For more information please refer to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website:

https://www.mbie.govt.nz/science-and-technology/science-and-innovation/agencies-policies-and-budget-initiatives/vision-matauranga-policy/

There are four themes:

  • Indigenous Innovation, which involves contributing to economic growth through distinctive research and development;
  • Taiao, which is concerned with achieving environmental sustainability through iwi and hapū relationships with land and sea;
  • Hauora/Oranga, which centres around improving health and social wellbeing; and
  • Mātauranga, which involves exploring indigenous knowledge.

Proposals should indicate using tick boxes which of the four Vision Mātauranga themes apply to the proposed CoREs. The themes tick box plus this summary can be up to two pagesin total.

9.                 Governance, strategic management and resources

Describe the proposed CoRE’s governance, strategic management and resourcing plan.  This document can consist of up to 20 pages, using the provided template.  This template consists of several sections.

9a.       Governance plan

Describe in detail the CoRE’s governance plan.  Areas that are suggested for inclusion are: the roles and responsibilities of the governance board; a summary of the Centre’s Charter or Business Plan with the principles of operation; and proposed performance measures.

9b.       Management plan

Describe in detail the CoRE’s strategic management plan.  Areas that are suggested for inclusion are: a description of the Centre management; the roles and responsibilities of any advisory boards; a person description for any management roles not already filled; the contribution to be made to the Centre by the host organisation and by any partner organisations including arrangements for accommodation, provision of support services, access to specialist facilities; the systems that will be used for managing the Centre’s finances and how activities funded from separate sources will be accounted for and reported; how the intellectual property generated by the Centre will be protected; and any financial agreements that are already in place.

9c.       Table of agreements

Please provide details of any existing agreements or Memoranda of Understanding pertaining to the proposed CoRE between host and partner institutions.  These details should include who is involved, the timeframe of the agreement, and a brief description of the nature of the agreement.  An exemplar is given in the first line of the table and may be deleted.

9d.       Organisational chart

Provide an organisational chart for your proposed CoRE.  This document may include, for example, relationships between the governance board, any scientific or international boards, management structures, etc.

9e.       Management and leadership expertise

Provide a leadership and management CV of up to one page for each named member of the management team, including the CoRE Director.  Please list the accountabilities of the member within the proposed CoRE.

9f.        Current resources available to the proposed CoRE

Provide a description of any resources (items of equipment etc) that are currently available to the proposed CoRE and a brief statement of how they would contribute to the research programme.

9g.       Capital item purchases and depreciation plans

Provide details of any planned purchases of capital items.  These details should include approximate costs, any agreements between host and partner organisations to fund the item, and a brief statement of the contribution of the item to the research programme.  There is a clear expectation that host TEIs and partner organisations are responsible for capital support.

Also provide details of depreciation plans for any new equipment and, for existing CoREs, any previously purchased equipment that has not as yet been fully depreciated.

9h.       Other funding

Provide brief details of any other funding that supports the research activity of the proposed CoRE.

10.            Referee suggestions

All applications will be sent to referees who are internationally respected in the relevant field.  They will be asked to review the proposed research programme with respect to excellence and to comment on the Centre and its research team, the Centre’s structure and its intended methodology for research and for knowledge transfer.

Please provide the names and institutions of eight unconflicted potential referees to assess the proposed CoRE’s research programme.  ‘Unconflicted’ means that referees must not be close colleagues, former research supervisors, co-authors, collaborators or relatives of either the Director or the research personnel of the CoRE.  Please do not contact any potential referees.  The Society does not guarantee to contact any or all of these suggested referees and other people will be requested to submit a report. 

The secretariat aims to get at least three referee reports for each Full Applications with at least one from referees suggested by the Applicant.  Depending on the nature of the proposal, more than three referees may be contacted.  Referees are not identified to applicants.  Panellists will be blinded to whether a referee report is from an applicant-nominated or an independent referee.

Applicants will be given the opportunity to respond to the referees’ comments, with two pages allocated to each response to a particular referee.  The referees’ reports and the applicants’ rebuttals will form a part of the Expert Selection Panels’ and Advisory Committee’s assessment of the applications.

Referee reports will be available from Thursday 30th January 2020, with the close of the rebuttal period on Thursday 13th February 2020.

11.            Declarations

At the Expression of Interest stage, this section is to be read and filled in by the Director of the proposed CoRE and a duly authorised agent of the host organisation.

Please read the declaration carefully and ensure that all information contained in the application is true and accurate prior to signing.  Please note that confirmation by the host organisation of their acceptance of the CoRE is a precondition for your application to be assessed.

12.            Personnel details and statistical information

Please provide details of the Director and research personnel involved in the proposed CoRE.  This should include the names and roles of any personnel (Director (DI), Principal Investigator (PI) or Associate Investigator (AI)), and a CV for each person, up to a maximum of five pages per person. CVs are not required for students, technicians, or post-docs. No photographs are permitted on CVs.

The Society would appreciate applicants providing the information requested in the statistical information section of Proposals On-Line.  These statistical data will be used by the CoREs Fund secretariat for statistical purposes only and will NOT be part of the transfer of information to the main Society database.  The statistical information you provide will not be sent out to panellists for review.

13.            Personnel FTE table

The personnel information requested in this section should contain the total time that the Director and each researcher will spend on the project.   List the time involvement of personnel in terms of a Full Time Equivalent (expressed as a proportion of full-time equivalent - FTE: 0.1 means 10% of one FTE).  For example, if the Research assistant were to commit one day per week to the proposed research this would be expressed as 0.20 FTE. 

There will be no minimum individual or group total FTE for the investigators in a proposed CoRE.  It is hoped that this will give the bidding CoREs the most flexibility to present the strongest team.  However, this FTE allocation should remain a fair representation of work and involvement, and it is expected that sufficient investigator time be allocated to carry out the work of the proposed CoRE successfully.  The applications will be assessed in part on the viability of the proposed CoRE and the feasibility of carrying out the research programme.

The FTE for personnel who are also involved in the management of the Centre (e.g. the Director) should be a total that includes both management and research time if applicable.

Provide all names – except when they are as yet unknown for such people as postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students.  All FTEs should be included regardless of whether funding is being requested.  Note that the total time that is to be devoted to the programme will form part of the contractual obligations to the Tertiary Education Commission.

14.            Budget

In the 2019/2020 selection round there is $49.8 million per annum available to invest in CoREs.  The 2019/20 CoREs round is for operating funding only, and will be a fully contestable round.  This means the round will be open to new CoREs and current CoREs will need to re-apply and compete for this funding.

Most Centres will have activities that are already funded.  CoRE funding is intended for those additional or continuing activities that transform them into Centres of Research Excellence.  This will include the functions of the Centre Director and the additional research activities.  In general, CoRE funding is intended to fully fund those research activities.  Funds can be used to cover the salaries of staff and other researchers, direct project costs and all overhead costs such as accommodation and support services.  Where an activity is also funded from other sources such as the Marsden Fund, HRC, private or internal institutional funding, the CoRE funds can only be applied to the CoRE funded portion of the activity.  Applicants will need to demonstrate that adequate systems for cost attribution are in place.

The following type of costs cannot be met from CoRE funds:

  • The research or overhead costs, including the cost of facilities and of supervision, of postgraduate students for whom an institution receives EFTS funding.  (Stipends for those students may however be paid from CoRE funds.)

Limitations on extent of funding for non TEI partners:

  • A maximum of 50% of the CoRE budget may be allocated to non-tertiary sector organisations, unless undertaken by students from, or researchers employed by, a tertiary institution.  This is because the funds are principally intended to develop research capacity in the tertiary sector.
  • CoRE funding cannot be used to pay the salary or institutional overhead costs of overseas-based researchers.

Download the budget spreadsheet template.  There are multiple components to this budget, each on a separate worksheet:  Budget Summary, Host, Partner (01), Partner (02) etc.  The host organisation should fill in budgetary details on the Host worksheet and each partner institution should fill in one of the Partner worksheets.  If you have more than 15 partner institutions please contact us.  When the Host and Partner worksheets are completed, the front Budget Summary worksheet should automatically update these line items.

Please ensure to complete the name of the Partner institution and select a provider type from the drop-down menu at the top of each worksheet.

Budget spreadsheet template

Salaries

The figures in this category are to cover only the costs of personnel employed on the research proposal in the application.  This should include the direct costs (i.e. salary) and salary related costs (e.g. superannuation, ACC and fringe benefits).

Please note that collaborating researchers from outside New Zealand are able to be included in proposals, but are not able to receive direct funding support for their time or institutional costs. However, costs associated with collaboration (i.e. travel and accommodation) may be covered under “project costs”.

The FTEs of personnel shown in the budget page should only be those where costs and time are associated with CoRE funding.  Please note this is different from the FTE table where contribution of researcher time is recorded regardless of whether funding is being requested.

Post-doctoral researchers may be part-time (usually 0.3 FTE or more) or full-time on your proposal.  This should be indexed to L1 to L3 salary scales.  Please check with your host organisation for more information.

Other costs

Overheads should be directly proportional to the time spent on the programme of research.  Overheads include managerial time not included in the proposal, the cost of support services, the cost of financial and accounting systems, corporate activities, the cost of premises and other indirect costs.  Cost of premises may be either the annual rental cost, or the depreciation cost, of premises and should be proportional to the project's use of the institution's premises for the research proposal.

Project costs may include the general operating expenses associated with the research proposal such as consumables, funding for the use of assets under $5,000, and other miscellaneous costs associated with research. (This does not mean that equipment, such as a spectrometer, can be divided into separate components all less than $5,000 each).

Travel costs include travel and accommodation for conferences and collaboration.

Graduate education

Postgraduate students are awarded scholarships free of income tax and may be supported on your proposal on a fixed-rate basis.  This consists of a stipend, set at the standard rate for the student’s home institute, plus fees (New Zealand resident rates).  It is assumed that postgraduate students are assigned to the research on a full time basis.

An example of a budget worksheet appears below.

Budget

Enquiries

If you require further information about the CoREs Fund, please email us at cores@royalsociety.org.nz or phone 04 470 5778.

Appendix I – Assessment indicators and scoring framework

Assessment indicators

The applications will be assessed and scored against the four selection criteria.

Research excellence:

The excellence of the research programme and the commitment to ensuring research is leading edge and outcomes focussed will be determined by assessing: whether the research proposal is well constructed and represents a creative and pioneering approach to the subject matter; it is likely that significant new findings will be produced; it will substantially advance knowledge in the field; the proposed collaborations are likely to spark new directions in the research; the programme intends to develop new techniques or technologies that can be applied to relevant problems; and the Centre has the ability to respond quickly to opportunity.

The academic strength of the research team together with the breadth and depth of their knowledge and experience will be assessed by reviewing: the previous research productivity of the Principal and Associate Investigators including their publication record; key presentations; the structure of the research group for future development (incorporating senior and less experienced researchers, postdoctoral fellows, postgraduate students and appropriate other assistance); national/international awards to the research leaders for achievements relating to their research; the ability to attract new researchers to the field; and the credentials of the Centre’s Director, such as academic and professional standing, and their capacity for research leadership.

The collaborative depth of the proposed partnership will be evaluated by reviewing: the significance of the additional skills and resources; the inclusion of new researchers; the level of exchange of visitors and research personnel; and the extent of participation in international events.

The proposed national and international influence of the CoRE will be determined by: the international standing of the research team; the likely impact of the proposed research within the wider field; the likely impact of the research on questions and goals specific to New Zealand; and the ability of the CoRE to facilitate wide stakeholder debate on issues of significance.

Applicants should consider the following questions:

  • Is the academic strength of the proposed research programme demonstrated?
  • Is the academic strength of the proposed research team demonstrated?
  • Is there a commitment to ensuring research is innovative, outcomes-focussed and has impact?
  • Does the proposed collaboration and the degree to which partners have contributed to the proposal indicate that there is meaningful collaboration and investment in the proposal?
  • Is the CoRE likely to have both national and international influence?

Is there a commitment to equity and wellbeing outcomes, including encouraging and enabling diversity and inclusion in the proposed research programme and/or in the proposed research team?

Contribution within the tertiary education system:

The Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) 2014-19 highlights the need to build international relationships that contribute to improved competitiveness, to support business and innovation through development of relevant skills and research, and to improve outcomes for all. The TES has a strong focus on improving economic outcomes from tertiary education and research and to improving environmental and social outcomes.

The ability of the Centre to contribute to the tertiary education system will be assessed on their strategies to build human capability and the workforce required to participate in a global economy. 

The contribution the Centre will make to educating and training New Zealand’s future workforce will be evaluated by the extent to which the programme contributes to the successful completion of degree and postgraduate qualifications, including increased achievement of Māori and Pasifika; teaching and learning environment of its partner institutions; and encourages the development of research skills, with the key investigators able to influence the experience of graduate and postgraduate students and new researchers working with the CoRE. The Centre is expected to have research leaders with strong research supervision records; and a programme that is linked to the skill needs of the relevant end-user community.

It is expected that a successful Centre will contribute to a culture of innovation and wealth creation in New Zealand, and that it will develop strategies and monitoring systems to measure its progress in contributing to innovative activity.

Applicants should consider the following questions:

  • Does the proposal make a significant contribution to the priorities of the Tertiary Education Strategy 2014-2019?
  • What is the CoRE’s contribution to graduate, postgraduate and new researcher education? Is the proposal likely to have a strong impact on the development of New Zealand’s future workforce?
  • Does the proposal demonstrate contribution to the development of a culture of innovation and wealth creation in New Zealand?
  • Is there a commitment to prioritising equity and wellbeing outcomes, including encouraging and enabling diversity and inclusion in teaching activities?
  • Is there a connection to undergraduate and compulsory-sector initiatives to broaden participation in post-graduate research?

Contribution to New Zealand’s future development:

The ability of the applicants to enhance New Zealand’s future development will be assessed by: the potential for the research to provide for public good and/or economic impact in New Zealand; the extent to which addressing these goals is a focus of the Centre; the extent to which the proposed Centre duplicates or expands existing capabilities within New Zealand’s research system; and the extent to which new Centres describe their potential to generate, and existing Centres plan to maintain, their value through capability and network development.

The commitment to engagement and exchange with potential stakeholders/end-users will be evaluated by: the understanding shown of the research needs of New Zealand communities and industries; plans for effective translation of research and knowledge into application for new and existing commercial success and/or social or environmental benefits; involvement of relevant sectors in determining the Centre’s research programme; and the demonstration of innovative value from the new or expanded activity in service or policy development, or in enhancing productivity, developing new products and helping New Zealand firms compete in high-value products and services.

The strength of intention to drive the connections that lead to research translation will be assessed by: the relationship to other groups in the particular field of research; the involvement of end-users and the wider community in the planning, implementation and uptake of the research programme; the plans for promoting the Centre’s activities to the wider community, including where appropriate, for commercial gain; the strength of institutional connections with stakeholders in industry, community, and iwi; and the impact on Māori and Pasifika from the research.

In addition to explaining why the research is important to New Zealand, applicants should consider the following questions:

  • Is there potential for the research to have public good and/or economic impact in New Zealand?
  • Is there a commitment to engagement and exchange with potential stakeholders/ end-users?
  • Is there a strong intention to drive the connections that lead to research translation?

Governance and management:

The strength of the governance, management and operational arrangements will be evaluated by: considering the Centre’s Charter or Business Plan and proposed performance measures to determine the clarity of the principles of operation and the extent to which the governance and management structures will ensure these are met; the credentials of the Centre’s Director such as capacity for strategic leadership, management skills and successful experience; a robust Centre establishment plan; the adequacy of the proposed reporting arrangements; the ability for the Centre to meet its primary purpose; the ability to fulfil Treaty of Waitangi obligations; host institution support, such as Centre establishment, funding or other financial policies, provision of space and other resources; and the financial soundness of the proposed Centre.

The clarity and benefits of proposed host and partner contributions will be evaluated by considering any Memoranda of Understanding or other agreements that those organisations have put in place, including: agreements regarding combined responsibilities for resourcing the CoRE; and agreements setting out host and partner contributions including financial and/or in-kind contributions (e.g. agreements for personnel sharing, cost sharing, and intellectual property sharing).

The appropriateness of the Centre’s facilities will be assessed by: the ability for the centre to develop a separate identity from its host; the standard of the accommodation; the extent to which the equipment and other research tools are considered state of the art; and the standard and ease of access to support services, including financial systems provided by the host.

The commitment of parties to proposed collaborative practices will be determined by agreements recognising the combined responsibility of host and partners for ensuring that research is of excellent quality and adds strategic benefit.

Applicants should consider the following questions:

  • Does the planned governance and management show strength and an ability to deliver on the CoRE’s impacts?
  • Is there clarity around proposed host and partner contributions, and are the benefits clear?
  • Have the partners committed to strong collaborative practices?

Scoring framework

Score weighting

Criterion

Expert Selection Panel

Advisory Committee

Total

Research Excellence

40

 

40

Tertiary education system

20

 

20

NZ’s future development

 

20

20

Governance & management

 

20

20

Total

60

40

100

Scoring guide

Assessors will use the following to guide scoring. Assessment is judgement-based, and assessors will apply their knowledge and experience to interpret the information and evidence in each application and provide a score for each criterion. This will form the basis of a holistic ranking by panels and the committee.

High

Research: 31-40 pts

Remaining criteria: 16-20 pts

The application meets the criterion to a high degree. The evidence:

  • provides a strong indication that the Centre would meet most, if not all, of the elements of the criterion, and
  • is strong and credible.

Moderate

Research: 21-30 pts

Remaining criteria: 11-15 pts

The application meets the criterion to a moderate degree. The evidence:

  • provides an indication that most, but not all of the elements of the criterion are met, and/or
  • is not consistently strong and/or credible

Low

Research: 11-20 pts

Remaining criteria: 6-10 pts

The application meets the criterion to a low degree. The evidence:

  • provides an indication that some, but not most, of the elements of the criterion are met, and/or
  • is not consistently strong and/or credible.

Inadequate

Research: 0-10 pts

Remaining criteria: 0-5 pts

The evidence provided does not meet the criteria for Low grade. The evidence:

  • is missing, or
  • is not responsive to the criteria, and/or
  • overall is not strong and /or credible.

Scoring indicators

Indicators and the types of evidence that could aid in assessment of indicators

Criterion

Indicators

Types of evidence that could be presented

Excellent research (weighting 40 points)

Academic strength of the proposed research team

  • Credentials of the Centre’s Director, such as academic and professional standing, and their capacity for research leadership
  • Research quality and productivity of the Principal and Associate Investigators
  • The structure of the research group supports succession and sustainability of resources for future development (incorporating senior and less experienced researchers, postdoctoral fellows, postgraduate students and appropriate other assistance)
  • The ability to attract new researchers to the field
  • CVs
  • Local, national and international awards
  • Investigator publication records and key presentations
  • Information on the composition of the team/organisation charts
  • Information on recruitment performance, e.g. from annual reports
 

Academic strength of the proposed research programme

Whether the research proposal is well constructed and represents a creative and pioneering approach to the subject matter, and the Centre:

  • is likely to produce significant new findings
  • is likely to substantially advance knowledge in the field
  • the proposed collaborations are likely to spark new directions in the research
  • the programme intends to develop new techniques or technologies that can be applied to relevant problems
  • the Centre has the ability to respond quickly to opportunity.
  • The research proposal
  • Evidence that the CoRE or participants have produced significant findings, advanced knowledge, sparked new directions, developed new technologies, and responded quickly to opportunities in the past
 

Commitment to ensuring research is innovative, outcomes-focused and has impact

  • Clear statement in the proposal of commitment to ensuring research is innovative, outcomes-focused and has impact
  • Statement is consistent with and likely to be borne out by the CoRE if operated consistent with the proposal
  • The proposal
 

Strength of proposed collaboration and the degree to which partners have contributed to the proposal

  • The collaborative depth of the proposed partnership will be evaluated by reviewing the significance of the additional skills and resources brought to the research programme.
  • the inclusion of researchers from partner organisations
  • the level of exchange of visitors and research personnel among partners and or collaborators
  • The existence of formal established collaborations and proposed future collaborators and what the nature of the interaction will be.
 

Potential of the CoRE to have national and international influence

  • participation of leaders and staff in international events
  • the international standing of the research team
  • the likely impact of the proposed research within the wider field
  • the likely impact of the research on questions and goals specific to New Zealand
  • the ability of the CoRE to engender discussion among stakeholders on issues of significance.
  • Invitations to participate in international conferences
  • CVs of leaders and staff
  • Agreements, contracts for international exchanges
  • Scope and thrust of the proposal
 

Commitment to equity and wellbeing outcomes, including encouraging and enabling diversity and inclusion for Māori, Pacific peoples, and other under-represented groups in the proposed research programme and/or in the proposed research team

  • Clear statement in the proposal of commitment to well-being outcomes
  • Statement is consistent with and likely to be borne out by the CoRE if operated consistent with the proposal
  • Team composition/ demographic information
  • CVs
  • Team development plans
  • Scope and thrust of application
 

Contribution within the tertiary education system (weighting 20 points)

Contribution to the priorities of the Tertiary Education Strategy

  • Priority 1 – Delivering skills for industry
  • Priority 3 – Boosting achievement for Māori and Pasifika
  • Priority 5 – Strengthening research-based institutions
  • Priority 6 – Growing international linkages
  • Consistency with any evidence provided regarding other criteria, including the strength of the team and the proposal, diversity and inclusion, and national and international influence.
  • The proposal includes factors that encourage development of research skills and specifically respond to the relevant elements of the Tertiary Education Strategy
  • Specific strategies for developing staff and students, and teaching and learning environments
  • Evidence provided regarding Māori and Pasifika, international, strength of team and proposal
  • Research supervision records
  • Engagement with and plans to deliver on the needs of the end-user community
   

Contribution to graduate, and postgraduate and new researcher education

  • Consistency with evidence provided regarding other indicators under this criterion
  • Articulation of contribution in proposal
  • Team design and resource planning
  • Records of communication of opportunities and placements
  • Strategies to ensure a meaningful contribution to graduate, and postgraduate and new researcher education
 

Expected impact on the development of New Zealand’s future workforce

  • Consistency with evidence provided regarding other criteria including contribution to New Zealand’s future development, commitment to equity
  • Clear explanation in proposal about the expected impact
 

Contribution to the development of a culture of innovation and wealth creation in New Zealand

  • Consistency with evidence provided regarding criteria related to contribution to New Zealand’s future development
  • Clear explanation in proposal about how the Centre will contribute
 

Commitment to prioritising equity and wellbeing outcomes, including encouraging and enabling diversity and inclusion for Māori, Pacific peoples, and other under-represented groups in teaching activities

  • Consistency with evidence provided regarding other relevant criteria, including diversity and inclusion
  • Clear statement in the proposal about this commitment
  • Organisation charts
  • Staff turnover information
 

Contribution to New Zealand’s future development (weighting 20 points)

Potential for the research to have public good and/or economic impact in New Zealand

  • The focus of the proposal on delivering public good and economic impacts
  • The extent to which the Centre duplicates or expands existing capabilities within New Zealand’s research system
  • The extent to which new Centres describe their potential to generate, and existing Centres plan to maintain, their value through capability and network development
  • Clear statement in proposal about the potential impacts
 

Commitment to engagement and exchange with potential stakeholders/end-users

  • the understanding shown of the research needs of New Zealand communities and industries
  • Plans for effective translation of research and knowledge into application for new and existing commercial success, and/or social or environmental benefits
  • Involvement of relevant sector in determining the Centre’s research programme
  • Demonstration of innovative value from the new or expanded activity in service or policy development, or in enhancing productivity, developing new products and helping New Zealand firms compete in high-value products and services
  • The proposal
  • Centre strategy and business plan, and specific plans for translation of research, commercialisation
  • Engagement schedules and records of meetings
  • Communications plans and strategies
  • Records of sales or other arrangements that resulted in value being derived
 

Strength of the intention to drive the connections that lead to research translation

  • Relationships with other groups in the particular field of research
  • The involvement of end-users and the wider community in the planning, implementation and uptake of the research programme
  • Plans for promoting the Centre’s activities to the wider community, including where appropriate, for commercial gain
  • The strength of institutional connections with stakeholders in industry, community, and iwi; and the impact on Māori and Pasifika from the research
  • Consistency with evidence provided regarding other criteria, particularly in relation to the impacts of research
  • Clear statement of expectations of impacts in proposal
  • Agreements and plans to work with other groups and engage with end-users and the community
 

Governance and management (weighting 20 points)

Strength of planned governance and management

(ability to deliver on the Centre’s purpose, Treaty of Waitangi obligations)

  • Well-designed governance structure and operational processes
  • Experienced and stable leadership at both levels
  • Policies and procedures framework
  • Board performance expectations
  • Robust resourcing plans, including financial
  • Host institution capacity for space and other resources
  • Organisational charts
  • Chair and CE credentials
  • Board and senior leadership turnover
  • Charters and board policies
  • Board cycles, calendars, agendas
  • Board self- and independent review
  • CE review
  • Strategies and business plans, budgets, performance measures, and reports
  • Establishment plans for new Centres
 

Clarity and benefits of proposed host and partner contributions

  • Ability to establish a separate identity for the centre
  • Quality and fitness for purpose of facilities and equipment
  • Standards and access to support services, including financial systems provided by the host
  • Memoranda of understanding, contracts and other arrangements with partner agencies for sharing resources, including, space, funding, personnel, in-kind contributions, intellectual property
 

Commitment of parties to proposed collaborative practices

  • Agreements recognise the combined responsibility of host and partners for ensuring that research is of excellent quality and adds strategic benefit
  • Clear statement of commitment in proposal
  • Agreements between host and partner organisations
 

The CoREs secretariat will review the scoring consistency of individual members of the Expert Selection Panels. Where unusual scoring behaviour is identified, it will be brought to the attention of the relevant ESP Chair.

Scoring will be completed individually by the Expert Selection Panel members and the Advisory Committee members prior to meeting. Initial average scores for each proposed CoRE are considered a starting point for discussion and rankings after each meeting will reflect the consensus view of the relevant panel or of the Committee.