The 2019 research into the “State of the Sector” indicates the pressures staff face in the tertiary education sector every day.
“PBRF generates pressure to publish in certain journals. There is no institutional pressure as such (that I have experienced) but there is a clear expectation. I now rarely publish in the discipline specific journals that I was publishing in > 10 years ago because they have low impact factors. I now publish in more general biological sciences journals with higher impact factors. PBRF, and the pressure it puts on institutions, has changed publishing in my field.” (Academic staff, university)
“With the amount of teaching and course writing I’ve had over the past 3 years I simply missed the boat on preparing a PBRF portfolio, much to the expressed ‘disappointment’ of my manager. I was strongly made to feel I’d ‘let the side down’ even though the institution didn’t play their part in actually giving me time for research!” (Academic staff, ITP).
“The PBRF and employment pressure in the last two years brought out the WORST in colleagues. It has destroyed our previous relationships and we are too stressed now to attempt to re-forge what we had. It’s pretty sad. Good people are leaving because of the way colleagues have mistreated one another.” (Academic staff, university).
With the government reviewing the Performance Based Research Fund, we have an opportunity to relieve at least some of the pressures created by this system.