Government backs ambitious Marsden research

  • 120 new projects
  • More than $82.3 million invested over the next three years
  • Universities to receive almost 95% of the funding

Innovative research projects delving into coronavirus genomes, black hole ecology, changing sea ice conditions, improving on-line learning, and sex-changing fish are being backed by the Government as part of this year’s Marsden Fund, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced.

Over the next three years the Government is investing $82.345 million in 120 projects focussed on infectious diseases, wellbeing, climate change, natural disasters, and space.

“This funding will help address real world problems that people in Aotearoa are facing right now, as well as drive New Zealand’s ambitions in pioneering research,” Megan Woods says.

“We know the fight against COVID-19 and climate change hasn’t finished, that’s why we’re keen to support high pay-off research that ensures we’re doing the best we can for the future of our country.

“The successful applicants are doing, and continue to produce excellent science through a global pandemic. I want to congratulate everyone involved for their impactful work that will benefit this country’s long-term future, and transform people’s lives for the better,” Megan Woods said.

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.

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

Note for 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:

  • 75 Standard proposals
  • 44 Fast-Start proposals
  • 1 Marsden Fund Council Award

2021 funding round

  • Total fund allocation: $82.345 million (excl. GST) over three years
  • A total of 1152 applications were received
    • 735 Standard, 409 Fast-Start and eight Marsden Fund Council Award proposals
  • The overall success rate for applicants is 10.4% this year, compared to 11.5% last year and 10.7% the year before that.
  • Universities will receive 94.2% of the funding for new proposals
    • The University of Auckland, University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington are the strongest applicants, with, respectively, 31 proposals, 24 proposals, and 22 proposals.