1998 Marsden Fund Awards Announced

  • Maurice Williamson
Research, Science and Technology

The Minister of Research, Science and Technology, the Hon Maurice Williamson, today announced the 1998 Marsden Fund Awards at a ceremony in Auckland.

A total of 63 projects were awarded funding as part of $6.9 million of funding for new research. The money is this year's share of a $22 million commitment of Government funding to the Marsden Fund.

The biggest grant of the 1998 Awards goes to a group of 7 researchers in a major nanotechnology initiative into structures and devices measured in millionths of a millimetre (nanometres) to give New Zealand a competitive edge in this increasingly important field.

Other new projects range from studying the geography of the local wine industry to synthesising drugs for chemotherapy; from using ancient kauri tree-rings to help understand climate patterns, to understanding insecticide resistance in sheep blowfly.

The annual Marsden awards support excellent research, irrespective of topic or science area. Government provides funding for projects that will widen the knowledge base in New Zealand, enhancing the country's ability to participate in, and benefit from, research of an international standard. The Marsden Fund is a contestable fund administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

"All the projects funded this year are building knowledge that will find wide applicability, well beyond the disciplines in which they were initiated," Mr Williamson said.

"To gain support, Marsden researchers have submitted proposals that had to meet with rigorous peer-review. Only the best projects undertaken by New Zealand's finest researchers have been selected."

"This process ensures that the quality of our fundamental research and the New Zealanders who undertake it meets the highest of international standards. Through the Marsden Fund, the Government is ensuring a research environment that is focussed on excellence," the Minister said.