$84m to support research in science

Research, Science and Innovation

The Government is investing $84.7 million in innovative research projects including those focussed on health, climate change, astronomy and the impact of Big Data on social equality says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods.

This year’s Marsden Fund will support 134 new projects including explorations of the connection between heart failure and diabetes, the financial risks of climate change and the complex interplay between Maori settlers and ecosystems through the history of mahinga kai (traditional foods).

“We’ve designed our funding so it can address real-world problems, while also giving researchers the freedom to innovate and come up with new ways to solve problems,” Megan Woods said.

“Health issues like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease are wide-ranging problems and require innovative thinking. We need to look at these issues from different angles to ensure that we are doing the best we can for the future of our country.

“The successful applicants are doing excellent science. I want to congratulate everyone involved on their fantastic work that will benefit New Zealand’s long-term future,” says Megan Woods.

Marsden Fund Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden supports research across a wide range of disciplines from Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry through to Social Sciences including Maori studies, public policy and social linguistics and the humanities.

The full results and researcher contact details for media comment will be on the Royal Society Te Apārangi website www.royalsociety.org.nz.


The Marsden Fund Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden is New Zealand’s premier fund for investigator-led research, which started in 1995. It supports excellence in research across science and the humanities.

The Marsden Fund Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden is administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Proposals are evaluated by independent assessment panels and the final recommendations for funding are made by the Marsden Fund Council, which is chaired by Professor David Bilkey.

The different funding categories include:

  • Fast-Start proposals – targeted at early career researchers. It is designed to establish independent research and create research momentum for these individuals. Up to $100,000 p.a. for programmes lasting up to 3 years.
  • Standard proposals – larger grants open to established researchers as well as emerging researchers. Up to $240,000 -$320,000 per year (varies by discipline).
  • Marsden Fund Council Awards – a larger award category specifically for interdisciplinary proposals. Awards of up to $1 million per year for up to 3 years. The 2019 round saw the first successful awards for this category.

2020 funding round

  • $84.751m (excl. GST) over 3 years
  • 134 successful proposals:
  • 74 Standard proposals
  • 59 Fast-Start proposals
  • 1 Marsden Fund Council Awards