NewsPublished 23 June 2021
30 early career researchers receive critical support to continue their research
30 early career researchers have been awarded MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowships that will allow them to continue their research careers.
The fellowship recipients were announced today by Dr Ayesha Verrall, Associate Minister of Research, Science and Innovation. The fellowships are supported by the New Zealand Government with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and administered by Royal Society Te Apārangi.
The fellowships are intended to support up-and-coming researchers to rise and establish a career in their chosen field of research. This is captured in the name of the fellowship ‘Te whitinga mai o te rā,’ which can translate to ‘the rising of the sun’.
Professor Wendy Larner FRSNZ, President of Royal Society Te Apārangi and a member of the selection panel, says the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowships were set up as a one-off opportunity to help support early career researchers that may otherwise have had to leave the research workforce due to the pandemic.
“The position of early career researchers is precarious at the best of times, but the widespread impacts of COVID-19 across the research workforce are putting even more constraints on early career researchers keen to grow and develop their research careers, with many being forced out of the research workforce entirely.
“Coming off the back of our successful two-day wānanga last week—He Pito Mata—which explored ways to awaken the potential of early career researchers in Aotearoa, these fellowships will make a critical difference to 30 early career researchers, who will now receive two-years funding to continue their research at a New Zealand-based research organisation.”
Dr Sereana Naepi, University of Auckland and Co-Chair of the Royal Society Te Apārangi’s Early Career Researcher Forum, was also on the selection panel and says it was heartening that the fellowship selection process was able to run with a novel stratified selection ballot, ensuring a diverse set of researchers were supported.
“We all hear how important diversity is to a vital research, science and innovation system and how onerous it can be to apply for research funding. This fellowship selection process ‘walked the talk’ by trialling an innovative selection process. It used a ballot system for all those who met the excellence threshold—reducing administration time – and helping to ensure, over time, the research community will begin to represent Aotearoa New Zealand’s population as a whole.”
Professor Gary Evans, Chief Science Advisor to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, chaired the selection panel and said the fellowships will boost the resilience of New Zealand’s research workforce and contribute to the recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“More broadly, by supporting these excellent early career researchers who have demonstrated a passion for research, science and innovation, the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowships will help Aotearoa New Zealand to maintain its excellent, world-class research capability, which will bring benefits to all of us.”
MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowships are being awarded to:
Dr Sylvia Frain (Auckland University of Technology) for research entitled: A Second Sun: The Legacies of Nuclear Imperialisms across Oceania.
Dr Tui Matelau-Doherty (Auckland University of Technology) for research entitled: The value of positive ethnic and national identities for Māori and Pacific people in New Zealand.
Dr Reem Abbas (Auckland University of Technology) for research entitled: Enhancing New Zealand’s Response and Resilience to Future Pandemics: Towards A Minimum Dataset for Health Disasters.
Dr Greer Gilmer (GNS Science) for research entitled: Southward migration of the westerly wind belt: What is the impact on South Island water resources?
Dr Leon Salter (Massey University) for research entitled: Examining the effects of the expansion of gig work on health and wellbeing in a post-pandemic economy.
Dr Mahonri Owen (Massey University) for research entitled: Semi-Autonomous Brain Controlled Interfaces to Overcome Physical and Nervous system Disorders.
Dr Rebecca Fitzgerald (Massey University) for research entitled: Forecasting volcanic ballistic projectile hazard from blue sky eruptions at touristic volcanoes.
Dr Rebecca Campbell (Plant & Food Research) for research entitled: High resolution epidemiological models for plant disease prediction and risk management in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Dr Kris Taylor (The University of Auckland) for research entitled: 'Boys Talk': Working with boys and young men towards the prevention of gender-based harassment and violence through a series of workshop interventions.
Dr Jennifer Eom (The University of Auckland) for research entitled: Dissecting the molecular and functional diversity of tumour associated fibroblasts in the tumour microenvironment.
Dr Febelyn Reguyal (The University of Auckland) for research entitled: NZ electric vehicles: Eco-friendly now, how about in the future?
Dr Anna Forsyth (The University of Auckland) for research entitled: Developing neuroimaging biomarkers of drug action for mental health medicines.
Dr Jesse Wiki (The University of Auckland) for research entitled: Developing a spatial microsimulation model for population health and health policy in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Dr Moeata Keil (The University of Auckland) for research entitled: ‘It takes a village’: Caring for children in Pacific post-separation families.
Dr Siobhan Tu'akoi (The University of Auckland) for research entitled: Co-designing a health promotion intervention for sustained rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease prevention in South Auckland Pacific communities.
Dr Samantha Heath (Unitec New Zealand) for research entitled: Fit for the future: Reimagining nurse preparation for practice in New Zealand’s changing demography.
Dr James Hewett (University of Canterbury) for research entitled: Deep vein thrombosis: getting to the heart of the problem.
Dr Wei Teng (University of Canterbury) for research entitled: In the Lay-reader’s Eyes - Reassurance of Translation Quality.
Dr Amba Sepie (University of Canterbury) for research entitled: Strategies for Decolonisation: Indigenous Knowledges and Regenerative Cultural Design.
Dr Anne Marie Sohler (University of Otago) for research entitled: A New Life at the Bottom of the World: Exploring the Embodied effects of Colonialism in 19th Century Pākehā and Chinese Migrants to New Zealand.
Dr Xiaolin Cui (University of Otago) for research entitled: Minimally invasive delivery of exosomes for myocardial infarction therapeutics.
Dr M-Remy Muhsin (University of Otago) for research entitled: Targeting Cryptosporidiosis with Novel Peptoid Therapeutics.
Dr Paul Brown (University of Waikato) for research entitled: Developing Accurate Preventative Crime Models that Reduce Systemic Biases.
Dr Jessica Tupou (Victoria University of Wellington) for research entitled: Culturally responsive early intervention for tamariki Māori with takiwātanga/autism.
Dr Katharina Robichon (Victoria University of Wellington) for research entitled: Towards personal medicine – Analysis of Receptor abundances in Multiple Sclerosis to determine treatment regime.
Dr Tara McAllister for research entitled: Transforming how we do science in Aotearoa with mātauranga Māori.
Dr Juergen Oesterle (Victoria University of Wellington) for research entitled: Using cosmogenic radionuclides and fission-track thermochronometry to benchmark human-enhanced erosion in a time of rapid climate change.
Dr Matt Majic (Victoria University of Wellington) for research entitled: Mean path length in optical billiards.
Dr Samuel Crawley (Victoria University of Wellington) for research entitled: Comparing public opinion on climate change in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia: belief and issue salience.
Dr Julian Mackay (Victoria University of Wellington) for research entitled: Chainmail: Holistic Specifications for Robust Programs.
Supported by the New Zealand Government