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Details announced for Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships

We have been waiting - and the information is here..


Let's check out the new(/upcycled) Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships. These will be administered by Royal Society Te Apārangi on behalf of MBIE. You might remember their similar counterparts from years past by their old names - Rutherford Postdoc, Rutherford Discovery Fellowship, etc.


"The Fellowships will support researchers at different career stages to produce excellent and impactful research and to develop into leaders in their fields, their respective host organisations and across the whole of the Aotearoa New Zealand science, innovation and technology (SI&T) system...."


As described by the funders, "the overriding objective of the Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships is to develop the future leaders of the Aotearoa New Zealand science, innovation and technology system." The Fellowships will:

  • improve the retention of talented future research leaders

  • support career development, to empower Fellows to become leaders in their fields

  • improve equity and diversity within the SI&T system, in particular by creating opportunities for Māori, Pacific peoples and women who are excellent researchers and future leaders of research

  • reward and support a range of boundary-pushing research activities, including those that focus on generating impact from research.


Who can apply?

The schemes target candidates at three career stages: early-career researchers/future leaders building the foundations of their career (mana tūāpapa); mid-career researchers, further establishing themselves as research leaders (mana tūānuku); and distinguished researchers with expansive career success and a prominent international reputation (mana tūārangi).


Have a look at the specific time-based eligibility criteria (and exceptions/exemptions for the same):


"The Māori terms in the fellowship names reference the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s values, which includes Tāwhia tō Mana (building and retaining your reputation) as part of enabling the aspiration to “Hīkina Whakatutuki - Grow Aotearoa New Zealand for all. Tāwhia te Mana Fellowships contribute to building excellence in the SI&T sector."


Something that is exciting to see are new scoring and selection approach: a stratified ballot. Per the funders, the stratified selection ballot will aim to ensure that:

  • around 20 per cent of Fellowships are awarded to applicants who whakapapa Māori

  • around 10 per cent of Fellowships are awarded to applicants who identify as being of Pacific ethnicity

  • around 50 per cent of Fellowships are awarded to applicants who identify as female.


Other exciting things to note on this one is the length of time - ~4 years at 0.8 FTE at more appropriate salary levels than seen in similar/relevant funds.


Timetables posted now - so time to get thinking!


Do you plan to submit? Stay tuned for more advice as we get closer to the submission time - reach out if you need help with your bid planning or funding application.

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