2020 Fellowships Impact evaluation

Pūkeko Research Ltd have carried out an impact evaluation of Fellowships funded through Vote Business Science and Innovation funding.

In 2020, we commissioned Pūkeko Research Ltd to conduct an impact evaluation of the Crown’s Vote Business, Science and Innovation funding of Fellowships. The seven Fellowships are jointly administered by our partner agencies, the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Fulbright New Zealand and the Health Research Council.

Evaluation results

The results of the evaluation found the portfolio of Fellowships should be continued, as they are effective and delivering clear benefits to New Zealand. Key findings were:

  • Gender representation has improved significantly, however Māori and Pacific researchers are under-represented.
  • Many fellowship recipients were in temporary employment contracts at the end of the fellowship.
  • Most postdoctoral fellowships are held in universities.

The completion of the impact evaluation report coincided with COVID-19 disruptions in 2020, and the general election. During this time there have been a number of changes in the RSI funding system.

Recommendations from this report have already informed MBIE Science policy considerations, including the development of the new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Fund, and the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship.

Recommendations from the evaluation will continue to inform our future science policy considerations. We will work through the evaluation’s portfolio and specific fellowship recommendations with our partner agencies.

Evaluation purpose and scope

The overall objective of the impact evaluation was to determine the impact of the fellowships funded from Vote Business, Science and Innovation, and their alignment with their original policy intent. The final evaluation report informs us of:

  • how well the portfolio is operating
  • whether it is achieving its intended outcomes and providing value for money
  • the individual seven fellowships performance against their terms of reference.

The Fellowship programmes in scope of the evaluation were:

  • James Cook Research Fellowship programme
  • Rutherford Discovery Fellowship programme
  • Rutherford Foundation Trust New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowship programme
  • Fulbright New Zealand Science and Innovation Graduate Awards
  • Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship programme
  • Māori Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme
  • Pacific Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme.

More information

For more information, contact: media@mbie.govt.nz

Last updated: 22 April 2021