Dozens of new innovative projects awarded funding

Research, Science and Innovation
  • 113 new projects funded
  • More than $77.391 million invested over the next three years
  • Universities to receive almost 90.5% of the funding

Over a hundred new research projects will be funded over the next three years, supporting researchers to explore new ideas, Research, Science, and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today.

Newly funded projects include looking at stimulating immune cells to combat cancer, harnessing the power of thermal spikes, and understanding the sounds of te reo Māori in an acoustically varied world.

Other successful recipients will focus on climate change, diabetic heart disease, antibiotic resistance and exploring aspects of our cultural history.

A total of 113 new projects have been approved for funding with $77.391 million being invested over the next three years.

The 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 Māori studies, public policy, social linguistics, and the humanities.

“Marsden is our premier investigator-led fund, it supports bright ideas from our top researchers. This investigator-led research has resulted in many unexpected discoveries in the past, such as how melanin operates to protect our skin from UV radiation.

“This year, there were no COVID-19-related disruptions to the funding round processes. Contingency planning and lessons from the past two years ensured the Fund maintained a fair, robust and defensible process.

“Encouragingly this funding round has seen 1 in 10 researchers of successful projects identify as Māori.

“Supporting Māori researchers in our research system is an important priority for the Government.”

The full results and researcher contact details for media comment will be on the Royal Society Te Apārangi website

Notes to editors:

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:

  • 72 Standard proposals
  • 41 Fast-Start proposals

2022 funding round

  • Total fund allocation: $77.391 million (excl. GST) over three years
  • A total of 901 applications were received
    • 581 Standard
    • 316 Fast-Start – these are grants are designed to encourage the
    • development of independent research and build momentum for exceptional careers in Aotearoa.
    • and four Marsden Fund Council Award proposals. The research funded by these grants have met the very highest standard for
    • interdisciplinary research in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • The overall success rate for applicants is 12.5% this year, compared to 10.4% last year and 11.5% per cent the year before that.
  • Universities will receive 90.5% of the funding for new proposals.

The University of Auckland, University of Otago, and Massey University and the University of Canterbury (joint third) are the strongest performers with 34 proposals, 24 proposals, and 13 proposals funded respectively.