Āpitihanga A: Ngā Tikanga me ngā Kupu Karo | Appendix A: Methodology and Caveats

Kaupapa | Purpose

The purpose of the Research, Science and Innovation (RSI) Workforce Survey of Organisation (the Survey) was to gather insights and data about the RSI workforce to inform key policies around opportunities and priorities for building, strengthening and helping to shape a future RSI workforce that is dynamic, adaptable, agile, connected and reflective of future needs. Furthermore, the Survey findings will inform a wider programme of work that includes Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways, Vision Mātauranga and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

It is known that the RSI workforce faces a number of challenges. In early career stages, employment is precarious and highly competitive. At later stages, there are gaps in skills and knowledge as researchers retire from the system. There is also significant under-representation of Māori and Pacific researchers and, at higher levels, women. Currently, we don’t know enough about the scale and scope of these issues.

Therefore, in addition to providing information and evidence to help understand and identify the current attributes and characteristics of the RSI workforce, the survey also covered key areas within the workforce including early career researchers (ECR), Māori, Pacific and female researchers.  

The RSI Workforce Survey of Organisations is the first of 2 surveys of the RSI workforce. The second, explored the experiences, opportunities, and barriers of individuals within the workforce. The findings of which can be found on the RSI Workforce Surveys page.

Research Science and Innovation (RSI) Workforce Surveys

Ngā whāinga rangahau | Survey aims

  • Create a survey to collect data that would fill the gaps in our knowledge and give us a clear picture of the valuable RSI workforce.
  • Involve the sector in the design of the surveys to make sure the information asked for is reasonable and complements rather than repeats other collections.
  • Access all parts of the research, science and innovation sector to ensure good representation of the system.

Hoahoa rangahau | Survey design

Figure 7 summarises the process followed for designing the RSI Workforce Survey of Organisations.

Figure 7: Overview of survey design process

1. Preparation

  • Established advisory and governance groups
  • Defined purpose and objectives

2. Engagement

  • Concepts socialised with stakeholders
  • Information needs identified and input sought

3. Survey development

  • Initial survey developed
  • Feedback from stakeholders and refinement of survey
  • Survey reviewed by MBIE Technical Advisory Group

4. Information collection

  • Pilot testing
  • Refinement of survey
  • Full survey launch

5. Analysis

  • Data cleaned
  • Summary analysis

6. Learning and data sharing

  • Identification of themes and trends
  • Publication of RSI Workforce Survey of Organisation report

7. Next steps

  • Identifying lessons learned from the RSI Workforce Project
  • Consider whether the survey should be conducted again in the future

Whakaruruhau me ngā tohutohu mātanga | Governance and expert advice

The project was governed by an internal MBIE Steering Group chaired by the project sponsor and provided guidance during the RSI Workforce Project. The steering group was responsible for setting the strategic direction, priorities and focus of the wider RSI Workforce Project, and approving the project outputs.

Many agencies and peak bodies provided advice to the RSI workforce project team, including:

  • AUT
  • ESR
  • Independent Research Association of NZ
  • Ministry of Education
  • New Zealand Association of Scientists
  • Royal Society Te Apārangi
  • Science New Zealand
  • Tertiary Education Commission
  • Universities New Zealand
  • University of Auckland
  • University of Otago
  • University of Waikato

Ngā puna raraunga me ngā kupu karo | Data sources and caveats

The findings described in this report reflect data from 4 sources – the Research, Science and Innovation Workforce Survey of Organisations (2022), Ministry of Education (MoE) Single Data Return, Stats NZ 2018 Census, and Stats NZ Household Labour Force Survey.

The Research, Science and Innovation Workforce Survey of Organisations (2022). An optional survey conducted by MBIE and sent to a range of organisations within the RSI sector, including, but not limited to, Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), Independent Research Organisations (IROs), museums, and trusts, 14 tertiary institutions (Te Pūkenga, Wānanga, and Universities), and businesses.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) Single Data Return (SDR) workforce questionnaire (2021). This questionnaire is conducted by the MoE and covers data for the 2021 calendar year. MoE collects data on staff employed in tertiary education providers that receive government funding including Te Pūkenga, Universities, and Wānanga. The data is collected for funding, monitoring performance against Investment Plans, publishing performance information, and for statistical reporting purposes.

The Stats NZ 2018 Census. Topics include population, ethnicity, religion, health, employment, income, education, and housing.

The Stats NZ Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) statistics include detailed descriptions of people by categories like employment, unemployment, underutilisation, and outside the labour force.

The following caveats should be considered when reviewing the data in this report.

Research, Science and Innovation Workforce Survey of Organisations (2022)

  • Due to the number of respondents for businesses, the results are not representative of the RSI workforce in the private sector. This data is indicative only.
  • Individuals were able to be grouped into multiple ethnicities, resulting in the total being greater than 100%.

Ministry of Education Single Data Return (SDR) workforce questionnaire (2021)

  • All values for headcount are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
  • Each value in the dataset is separately rounded to the nearest 5.
  • Individuals were able to be grouped into multiple ethnicities, resulting in the total being greater than 100%.

Single Data Return manuals(external link) — Ministry of Education

2018 New Zealand Census(external link) — Stats NZ 

Household Labour Force Survey(external link) — Stats NZ