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Catalyst: Seeding New Zealand - Japan Joint Research Projects

Specific Sub-Programme requirements:


The New Zealand-Japan Joint Research Project Programme is a sub-programme of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Science and Innovation Catalyst Fund.  It supports a Memorandum of Understanding between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Ministry to strengthen cooperation in science and technology between Japan and New Zealand.


Applications for funding under this programme are sought from researchers wishing to establish cooperative research networks and collaborative relationships between New Zealand and Japan.  The objectives are to expand and strengthen research networks and to advance cooperative relations that are sustainable over the long term.

International Partner

  • Japan, in conjunction with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

Activity Description

The programme facilitates bilateral research through the following areas of funding:

  • funding for New Zealand researchers to travel to Japan (travel and local costs) to work on joint research projects.
  • expenses for research activities.

The reciprocal costs for Japanese collaborators’ travelling to New Zealand to work on supported projects will be covered by the reciprocal JSPS funding programme.

Fields of Research

Proposals received under this programme must fall under one of the eligible research fields:

  • Social Sciences;
  • Natural and Physical Sciences; or
  • Medical and Health Sciences


Funding up to NZ$180,000 has been allocated to support the New Zealand -Japan Joint Research Projects in the 2019 funding round.

  • A maximum of NZ$30,000 (excluding GST) is available per project per year, for projects lasting up to two years.
  • Up to 3 joint research projects may be funded in the current round.

Allowable Expenses

Expenses allowed under this Programme include the following, in connection with the Project:

Expenses for Research Exchanges

Travel is expected to be an integral part of the Project. Expenses for flights at the lowest possible rate, accommodation, visa, travel insurance, ground transport, and meal expenses are permitted and should be based on the rules of the institution with which the individual undertaking the activity is affiliated. Research exchanges can involve both staff and PhDs. The cost of buying carbon offsets is a legitimate expense where those carbon offsets are directly related to the project travel activities.

Expenses for holding workshops and meetings

Expenses related to hosting workshops and meetings are permitted (for example, consumables, printing and binding expenses, honoraria, transportation and telecommunications fees, meeting fees (excluding expenses for alcoholic beverages)).

Expenses for research activities

Expenses for consumables and other research expenses.

Expenses not covered

Funding for overheads, salaries, equipment purchase and depreciation, student fees, scholarships, or conference fees are not supported under this Programme.

Additional Eligibility Requirements

In addition to the general eligibility requirements of the Seeding Work Programme:

  • The New Zealand Principal Investigator (PI) and the Japanese PI must make applications to the respective application administrators in both Japan and New Zealand by their respective closing dates. It is essential that collaborators have coordinated their applications accordingly in each country, and are fully aware of each other’s research intentions. The New Zealand and Japanese bid assessment processes will be consistent and coordinated (contacts for the Japanese coordinators can be found below).
  • The participation of emerging-career researchers (PhD or Post-doctoral level) is encouraged.  However, the project should be led by, and funding applied for, established researchers.
  • Please note that the application deadline in New Zealand is later than the application deadline in Japan.

For applicants in Japan

Information on the current JSPS requirements can be obtained directly on their website at http://www.jsps.go.jp/english/e-bilat/call.html

Please note that the application date for the New Zealand - Japan Joint Research Projects has difference deadlines in each country. The deadline for submission of applications in Japan is 04 September 2019.


Decisions on which applicants and projects will be supported are expected to be announced simultaneously in both countries by December 2019.

Contract Timeframes

Contracts Initiated

Required Starting Date

Contracted Activity must be complete

Activity Report(s) required

January 2020

Within the period 1st April 2020 – 31st March 2021

24 months after Contract Starting Date