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Information for panellists

Information on being a panellist for selecting James Cook Research Fellows

The 2020 panellist guidelines are available as a PDF: James Cook Research Fellowship Panellist Guidelines

Introduction

The James Cook Research Fellowships, administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi (the Society) on behalf of the New Zealand Government, are awarded to researchers who have the requisite qualifications and experience, and are able to demonstrate that they have achieved national and international recognition in their area of research. The Fellowships allow them to concentrate on their chosen research for two years without the additional burden of administrative and teaching duties.

The Fellow will undertake a major piece of research that will benefit New Zealand and further research in the particular discipline. The funding package annually is $100,000 plus GST and up to $10,000 plus GST in relevant expenses. 

The James Cook Research Fellowship Terms of Reference are available as a PDF

The objectives of the Fellowships are:

  • The encouragement of sustained excellence within the particular discipline
  • The strengthening of research within the particular disciplines covered by the Fellowships

Fields of Research

The Society offers James Cook Research Fellowships in each of the following categories:

  • Biological sciences (including biotechnology)
  • Engineering sciences and technologies
  • Health sciences
  • Physical sciences (including chemical, geosciences and mathematical and information sciences)
  • Social sciences (including research of relevance to peoples of New Zealand and/or the South-west Pacific)

In the 2020 round, the Society is offering Fellowships for:

  • Biological sciences (including biotechnology)
  • Engineering sciences and technologies
  • Social sciences (including research of relevance to peoples of New Zealand and/or the South-west Pacific

The categories and the descriptions following each should be read to be inclusive rather than exclusive. The intention is for the categories to cover all areas of research.

These guidelines are intended to facilitate the smooth operation of the James Cook Research Fellowship Assessment Panel and Selection Committee.

Assessment overview

The Royal Society Te Apārangi will establish assessment panels for the Fellowships being offered for 2020 and will appoint panellists who will cover a wide range of expertise. These panels will provide recommendations on the relative merit of the proposals. The role of each panel is to rank the applicants and recommend a candidate for funding. The recommendations of the panels are ratified by the James Cook Research Fellowship Selection Committee. This committee will be chaired by the Governor-General of New Zealand and will consist of the President of the Royal Society Te Apārangi and the Chair of the Academy Executive Committee of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. In the ratification process, this committee will review the decisions made from the assessment panels to award the Fellow in each category. Members of the Fellowship Selection Committee have the final responsibility for making allocations of Fellowships. They also provide advice to the Society on the allocation process.

Assessment of proposals

For assessing the proposals each member of the assessment panel will receive a PDF containing the applications for their panel. Panel members are asked to read, assess and grade each proposal based on the three selection criteria, taking into account the referee reports. Proposals are to be assessed by panel members exclusively on the information provided in the proposal and referee reports. Panellists must grade each application, unless they declare a conflict of interest with the applicant.

The Society will collate the grades from the panellists to create a ranked list of applications. The ranked list will be vetted by the panel and if needed a video-conference will be arranged for the final recommendation to the James Cook Research Fellowship Selection Committee.

Each panel member will receive a spreadsheet on which to record their grades. The spreadsheet should be completed and returned to the James Cook Research Fellowship Secretariat by 5pm, Friday 24 July 2020 (NZST).

Selection Criteria

The three selection criteria are the:

1. Research calibre of the applicant (weighted 60% of the assessment)

a) applicant's research knowledge, skills, and ideas

b) evidence of applicant’s national and international standing

2. Quality of the research project (weighted 25% of the assessment)

a) merit of the proposed research

b) robust nature of the research based on a sound theoretical and methodological framework

c) indication of how the research advances the discipline or breaks new ground

d) where relevant, the relation of the research to the themes of Vision Mātauranga and broader engagement with Māori

3. Outreach and communication (weighted 15% of the assessment)

a) proposed communication of the research findings both scholarly and more broadly to the Aotearoa New Zealand public

b) expectation that the research outcomes will generate national media coverage

c) highlight other opportunities to engage the public in Aotearoa New Zealand

Grading the Selection Criteria

For each of the five selection criteria the following 10 point grading scale is to be used.    

(outstanding)       10       9       8        7        6        5        4        3        2        1      (not suitable)

By following this scale an application which is outstanding in each of the five selection criteria would score 50 as a Total Score.

Vision Mātauranga

Vision Mātauranga is a policy about innovation, opportunity and the creation of knowledge that highlights the potential contribution of Māori knowledge, resources and people.

There are four themes:

  • Indigenous Innovation, which involves contributing to economic growth through distinctive research and development;
  • Taiao, which is concerned with achieving environmental sustainability through iwi and hapū relationships with land and sea;
  • Hauora/Oranga, which centres around improving health and social wellbeing; and
  • Mātauranga, which involves exploring indigenous knowledge.

Please note that Vision Mātauranga is included as a selection criterion (2d):

  • Where relevant, proposals should consider the relation of the research to the themes of Vision Mātauranga and broader engagement with Māori.

A Vision Mātauranga statement must be included for all research that has relevance for Māori. If the applicant ticks ‘not applicable’, they are also required to provide a rationale for this decision. There is a space for panellist comments on Vision Mātauranga on the electronic form.

For more information on Vision Mātauranga, including guidance for applicants, please see Appendix I.

Royal Society Te Apārangi Staff

The staff of Royal Society Te Apārangi are not involved in making allocation decisions. Their role is one of facilitation and advice to conveners and panel members. The staff will:

  • organise all logistical aspects of the process;
  • assist the conveners in determining realistic timetables for meetings;
  • provide a framework for assessments;
  • record decisions;
  • identify problem areas;
  • convey Fellowship decisions to applicants; all discussions relating to a decision should occur through Society staff;
  • negotiate contract details with successful applicants and their host organisations.

Privacy

The Royal Society Te Apārangi has obligations under the Privacy Act to keep confidential certain information provided by individuals. The discussion within panel meetings is regarded as confidential.

  • Panel members should ensure safe keeping of all applications and related material.
  • At the conclusion of the meetings, members should destroy documentation.
  • There should be no correspondence or discussion of the applications with referees, third parties or the applicants.
  • The intellectual property of the ideas and hypotheses put forward in applications should be treated in confidence.

Conflict of Interest

The Royal Society Te Apārangi takes the issue of conflict of interest very seriously. A rigorous position must be taken to maintain the credibility of the selection process and to assure applicants that proposals are subjected to fair and reasonable appraisal. Where these occur for panel members, the following rules will apply:

  • All conflicts of interest must be declared in writing to the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Society staff will minute all conflicts of interest and actions taken.
  • Where a panel member is a family member or close friend of any applicant(s), that person will not assess the proposal and take no part in the consideration of that proposal. They will hear about the outcome of that proposal when official letters are sent to all applicants.
  • If a panel member has an interest in an application, such as collaborating with an applicant or an applicant’s group, then that member shall not assess the proposal.
  • A panellist cannot be a referee for an application.

2020 Timetable

Tuesday, 19 March

Online portal opens

Thursday, 7 May

Online portal closes, 5pm

Thursday, 11 June

Deadline for referee reports to be submitted, 5pm NZST

Tuesday, 23 June

Proposals & referee reports sent to panellists

Friday, 24 July

Deadline for panellist’s scores to be submitted, 5pm

Early to mid August

Teleconference for panels, if scores are variable

October (TBC)

Fellows announced

Enquiries

If you require further information about the James Cook Research Fellowships, please email us at james.cook@royalsociety.org.nz or phone 04 470 5764.

Additional information about the James Cook Research Fellowships is available on the following website: https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/james-cook-research-fellowship/

 

Appendix 1 - Vision Mātauranga information for applicants

I       Background

Vision Mātauranga is a policy about innovation, opportunity and the creation of knowledge that highlights the potential contribution of Māori knowledge, resources and people.

Applicants should identify which, if any, of the four Vision Mātauranga themes below are associated with the proposed research. A Vision Mātauranga statement must be included for all research that has relevance for Māori. If this is not applicable to an applicant’s proposed research, they must tick ‘not applicable’ AND provide a rationale for why this is.

There are four themes:

  • Indigenous Innovation, which involves contributing to economic growth through distinctive research and development;
  • Taiao, which is concerned with achieving environmental sustainability through iwi and hapū relationships with land and sea;
  • Hauora/Oranga, which centres around improving health and social wellbeing; and
  • Mātauranga, which involves exploring indigenous knowledge.

How do applicants decide whether to include a Vision Mātauranga statement in their proposal?

The five ways of conceptualising Vision Mātauranga in an applicant’s research (see below) may help them decide if this applies to their project. The categories have been adapted from those on the National Science Challenge, Biological Heritage website https://bioheritage.nz/about-us/vision-matauranga/ hosted by Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. Please note, however, that these categories are fluid. There may well be overlap between them as in categories 2 and 3 in terms of the nature and degree of relevance to Māori, and not every point in each category need apply. The original categories were set out by MBIE in information for the Endeavour Fund c. 2015.

II      Ways of conceptualising Vison Mātauranga in an applicant’s research

1       Research with no specific Māori component

  • No mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) is used.
  • Māori are not associated with the research process (e.g. not on any research management / advisory / governance panels, it is not inclusive of Māori land or institutions, nor the subject of any component of the research).
  • Work is not likely to be of greater direct relevance to Māori than members of any other group.

2       Research specifically relevant to Māori

  • There is specific relevance to Māori.
  • Mātauranga Māori may be used in a minor way to guide the work and its relevance to Māori.
  • It includes work that contributes to Māori aspirations and outcomes.

3       Research involving Māori

  • Mātauranga Māori may be incorporated in the project, but is not central to the project.
  • Research is specifically and directly relevant to Māori and Māori are involved in the design and/or undertaking of the research.
  • The work typically contributes to Māori (e.g., iwi / hapū, organisations) aspirations and outcomes.

4       Māori-centred research

  • The project is Māori led, and where Mātauranga Māori is used alongside other knowledges (e.g. through frameworks, models, methods, tools, etc.).
  • Kaupapa Māori research is a key focus of the project.
  • Research is typically collaborative or consultative, with direct input from stakeholders.
  • There is alignment with and contribution to Māori (e.g., iwi / hapū, organisations) aspirations.

5      Kaupapa Māori research

  • Mātauranga Māori is incorporated, used and understood, as a central focus of project and its findings.
  • Research is grounded in te ao Māori and connected to Māori philosophies and principles.
  • Research typically uses kaupapa Māori research methodologies.
  • Te reo Māori may be a central feature to this kaupapa or research activity, and key researchers have medium to high cultural fluency or knowledge of tikanga and reo.
  • The research is generally led by a Māori researcher; non-Indigenous researchers may carry out research under the guidance/mentoring of a Māori researcher.
  • Māori participation (iwi/hapū/marae/individual) is high.
  • The work contributes strongly to Māori (e.g., iwi/hapū, organisations) aspirations and outcomes and is mana enhancing.

III     Developing a Vision Mātauranga statement

It is important for applicants to keep in mind that there is no single approach or prescription for Vision Mātauranga: one size does not fit all and there are many possible ways of addressing Vision Mātauranga. Vision Mātauranga should not, however, be seen as an add-on, nor should it be treated as separate from the research, methods or people involved in the project. A holistic approach that considers reciprocity and relationships is therefore desirable.

Vision Mātauranga does not begin and end with your Vision Mātauranga statement. They should document how they have considered Vision Mātauranga and demonstrate applicable actions and relationships throughout the research. The following questions may be useful for applicants to consider when conceptualising and writing their project:

  • Have you co-created the research topic/issue with an iwi or Māori organisation?
  • What does working in partnership with iwi mean to you as researchers?
  • To what extent have you discussed the research with Māori partners and agreed on the methodology you will use?
  • Was there full disclosure and informed consent to the proposed research with Māori partners? How has that agreement/informed consent been agreed to?
  • What provisions have you made to ensure there is appropriate technology transfer to Māori stakeholders as the research proceeds and as findings become available towards the end of the project?
  • Are there benefits to Māori? What are they?
  • How will you share the research outcomes with Māori?
  • Is there a Tiriti o Waitangi component or requirement in your research?
  • Is the research mana enhancing?

IV     Vision Mātauranga Resources

Below you will find a non-exhaustive list of published resources that describe, discuss, and talk about how researchers have engaged with Vision Mātauranga and kaupapa Māori research. These range from early conceptions of Vision Mātauranga to more recent frameworks. The resources underscore the diverse ways Vision Mātauranga may be approached across disciplines and methodologies.