Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Procedures for Establishing University of Otago Research Centres

Category Research
Type Procedure
Approved by Senate, 30 March 2016
Date Procedure Took Effect 30 March 2016
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)
Responsible Officer Senior Research Analyst, Research and Enterprise
Review Date 30 March 2018


These procedures are intended to give effect to the policy governing the establishment of University of Otago Research Centres.  They detail the processes for applying for and establishing University of Otago Research Centres.

Organisational Scope

These procedures give detail of the application and assessment processes for the establishment of all University of Otago Research Centres.


A University of Otago Research Centre is a research flagship for the University.  By giving particular recognition and support, the University is signaling that a Research Centre will:
•    demonstrate national leadership and international recognition for excellence;
•    remain a major contributor to the field of research in the foreseeable future;
•    normally attract significant external research income.

A Cost Centre is a part of the University to which costs may be charged for accounting purposes.


1.  Application Process

(a)    Proposals to establish University of Otago Research Centres are invited from time to time by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise). The Research Committee will review applications and make recommendations to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) on the selection of University of Otago Research Centres.

(b)    University of Otago Research Centres will normally be hosted by a department or school. Administrative arrangements must be approved by the relevant Head(s) of Department or Dean of School and endorsed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor(s) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at the time of submission of a Centre application.

(c)    Proposers should complete the application form which can be downloaded from the Research and Enterprise website. Completed applications should be sent to the University of Otago Research Committee Administrator by the due date.

(d)    Proposals should include the following information:

(i)    Name of proposed Research Centre;

(ii)    Director (s) and Management group names;

(iii)    Names of confirmed Advisory Board members;

(iv)    Response to the application criteria (see assessment criteria below);

(v)    Key researchers’ curricula vitae (using prescribed template);

(vi)    A statement signed by the Director of the Research Centre, Head of Department and/or Dean of School, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor(s) detailing any understandings concerning resource support in areas such as:

a.    Cost/revenue sharing arrangements for the Centre Director and staff (including support staff); research students; overheads and indirect salaries; and provision of infrastructure;
b.    Distribution of any surplus returns from activity;
c.    Funding for student supervision and teaching activities (based on EFTS transfers if appropriate);
d.    Any required space, equipment and facilities.

2.  Assessment of Proposals

(a)    Members of the University of Otago Research Committee will assess the proposals. During the assessment period, further information may be sought – either in writing or in person – to assist the Committee in its deliberations. The Committee may also ask applicants to refocus their proposal or combine with other proposals.

(b)    Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

(i)    There is evidence of research collaboration across disciplines in an established and coherent platform or programme of research that has ongoing relevance in a particular area;

(ii)    The proposers have achieved a high standard of productivity and national and international research excellence and leadership such as assessed by, for example, Performance Based Research Funding criteria;

(iii)    The proposers have received significant funding for the research area and have strategies for ongoing funding;

(iv)    The proposal has strong outreach and engagement with external organisations such as with government, industry, iwi/Māori, community groups, professional bodies or discipline-focused societies, at national and international levels;

(v)    The proposal advances the University’s Strategic Direction to 2020 and the Research Action Plan.

3.  Establishment Procedures

(a)    Successful applicants will be notified after a special meeting of the Research Committee.

(b)    Where a Centre has been awarded funding, the Research and Enterprise Office will set up a research account within the host cost centre once the University of Otago Research Committee has recommended acceptance of, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) approved, the annual management plan and budget submitted by the Director.

(c)    As part of the establishment procedure, University of Otago Research Centres should consult with the Marketing and Communication Office to ensure that any branding, marketing and promotional materials, including websites, meet the University of Otago Brand policy.

4.  Reporting

(a)    All University of Otago Research Centres will report annually to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) through the University of Otago Research Committee. The report should address the following areas and should append contextual information from the host department, school or division:

(i)    Centre activities and achievements;

(ii)    Development of interdisciplinary collaborations leading to pathways for national/international leadership, research translation and recognition;

(iii)    Funding expended and sought under the Centre.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the Secretary to the Research Committee, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise, email