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Published 12 May 2020

Research Funding COVID-19 Update #5

Royal Society Te Apārangi is taking steps to try to minimise the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our staff, the people and communities with whom we work. Kia tū, kia oho, kia mataara tātou. Let us all be vigilant against COVID-19

Marsden Fund Full Application Deadline Update

Although New Zealand is moving down to Alert Level 2 on Thursday 14 May 2020, peoples’ ability to work is still highly likely to be disrupted by COVID-19. We anticipate that our funding timetable will be run to the original timeline to ensure that the Marsden Fund opportunities are available to the research community as soon as possible. However, there remains a need within the community to have more time to prepare applications for the full round. As such, we are extending the deadline for Full Application submissions by an additional week to 12 noon on Wednesday 24 June 2020.

Marsden Full Proposal round- guidance for applicants and panellists

(18 May 2020)

Guidance for applicants:

Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, we’d advise that applicants should write their full proposals as they usually would. They may wish to take the following into account:

  1. If full proposals need to be refocused or re-scoped compared to the Expression of Interest due to COVID-19, that is possible. This could include changes to:
    • proposed methodologies which may need to be re-scoped if access to e.g. facilities, collections, or archives are expected to be unavailable
    • any international collaborations or planned conference travel e.g. collaborations could become more virtual; if overseas facilities are required for sample analyses, overseas linkages could do this instead
    • expectation on the timetable for New Zealand-based researchers for whom overseas fieldwork is an integral part of the proposed research (there can be a high degree of flexibility given to the planned timetable)
    • required personnel (e.g. students, post-doctoral fellows, technicians) if they cannot be easily recruited locally.  
    • the proposed research itself.  Research could be refocused; e.g. this could be an opportunity for COVID-19 to be incorporated into the research in some way (although this would not be an expectation)
  2. All successful proposals will be offered funding to start from March 2021. Given that the situation next March can’t be reliably predicted, any applicants who need to make changes can ask for these when a contract is drawn up (e.g. a delay to their start date, a reallocation to virtual collaborations from travel costs, etc.).  We will aim for as much flexibility as possible with start dates.

 Guidance for panellists:

  1. Panellists are requested to continue to assess proposals under the current Marsden Fund criteria
  2. Panellists should also show flexibility when grading full proposals – for any proposals where overseas research or travel is planned or many of the linkages are international ones,  the applicants should not be penalised for this (there are opportunities for new ways of working and for contract negotiation and changes – see above)
  3. Panellists should not unduly penalise full proposals if the full proposal has been re-scoped or refocused from the Expression of Interest.  


Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi