14 February, 2012
New Marsden Fund Council Chair appointed
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced the appointment of Canterbury University Professor Juliet Gerrard as the new Chair of the Marsden Fund Council.
Professor Gerrard replaces Professor Peter Hunter who is stepping down at the end of February when his term expires.
“Since 2009 Professor Gerrard has been a highly effective Marsden Fund Council member with a reputation for supporting fresh ideas. She is a hugely capable and experienced scientist, and will bring leadership, passion and a dedication to enhancing the quality of research in New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Hunter for his excellent service as Chair since 2009 and for nearly seven years on the Council.”
The Marsden Fund was established by the Government in 1994 to fund excellent fundamental research. It is a contestable fund of $53 million administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Marsden Fund Council.
The Marsden Fund Council is responsible for developing the strategic direction of the Fund and for choosing the proposals to be funded. The Council is made up of 11 eminent researchers spanning a range of disciplines who are appointed by the Minister of Science and Innovation.
Professor Juliet Gerrard
Professor Gerrard obtained her doctorate in biological chemistry from Oxford University, before being appointed as a research scientist at Crop & Food Research in 1993. In 1998 she began lecturing in biochemistry at the University of Canterbury, where she is now Professor and Co-Director of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre.
She won a National Teaching award for sustained excellence in tertiary teaching in 2004, and is an active member of three of New Zealand’s Centres of Research Excellence, as a Principal Investigator in both the MacDiarmid and Riddet Institutes and an Associate Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre. Prior to her appointment as Chair, she served as Chair of the Cellular, Molecular and Physiological Biology Marsden Panel, and Deputy Chair of the Marsden Council.