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Marsden Fund panels

Definitions of panels and details of panel members

There are ten discipline-based assessment panels which make funding recommendations to the Marsden Fund Council.  The panels are made up of researchers who are experts in their field. They are appointed by the Royal Society Te Apārangi after being recommended by the Fund Council and usually serve for a maximum of three years.

On this page:



Biomedical Sciences (BMS)

Research related to human health and disease in: physiology, pathology, pharmacology, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, microbiology; neurobiology (including animals as a model species for humans); human genomics and related bioinformatics.


Name Institution
Professor Colin Brown (Convenor) University of Otago
Dr Sarah Baird University of Otago
Dr Lisa Connor Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Joep de Ligt Institute for Environmental Science and Research
Associate Professor Mhoyra Fraser The University of Auckland
Dr Joanna Hicks University of Waikato
Professor James Murphy Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Associate Professor Pawel Olszewski  University of Waikato


Cellular, Molecular and Physiological Biology (CMP)

Studies related to understanding the activities that occur in cells and tissues, and their integration within living organisms across the biological, agricultural and veterinary and biochemical sciences. This includes: plant physiology; animal physiology; cell biology; plant and animal genetics; molecular biology and molecular genetics; functional genomics and related bioinformatics; microbiology excluding microbial ecology; animal and plant pathology.


Name Institution
Professor Richard Newcomb (Convenor) Plant & Food Research 
Dr Nathan Kenny University of Otago
Dr Laura Gumy University of Otago
Associate Professor Colleen Higgins Auckland University of Technology
Associate Professor Davide Comoletti Victoria University of Wellington
Associate Professor Anthony Hickey University of Auckland
Dr Heather Hendrickson University of Canterbury
Associate Professor Matthew Templeton Plant & Food Research / University of Auckland


Earth Sciences and Astronomy (ESA)

Including: geology; geophysics; physical geography; oceanography; hydrology; meteorology; atmospheric science; earth sciences; astronomy and astrophysics; also cross-disciplinary topics which include substantial components in some of these areas.


Name Institution
Professor Kathleen Campbell (Convenor) University of Auckland
Professor Sarah Brough University of New South Wales
Dr Giuseppe Cortese GNS Science
Professor John Foden The University of Adelaide
Associate Professor Adam Hartland Lincoln Agritech, University of Waikato
Associate Professor Leanne Morgan University of Canterbury
Associate Professor Julia Mullarney University of Waikato
Professor Rewi Newnham Victoria University of Wellington
Professor John Townend Victoria University of Wellington 
Dr Phaedra Upton  GNS Science


Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour (EEB)

Studies related to the interrelationships between organisms and their environment, evolution and behaviour. This includes: animal, plant and microbial ecology; biogeography; biodiversity; phylogenetics; systematics and evolution; population biology and genetics; animal behaviour; physiological plant ecology; biostatistics and modelling. Note that proposals seeking to establish the molecular basis of processes or traits are better sent to CMP or BMS panels, unless they materially concern the evolution of those processes or traits.


Name Institution
Professor Jacqueline Beggs (Convenor) University of Auckland
Professor Margaret Barbour University of Waikato
Dr Manpreet Dhami Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research
Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith University of Otago
Associate Professor Priscilla Wehi University of Otago
Associate Professor Craig Radford University of Auckland
Professor Steven Cooper University of Adelaide / South Australian Museum
Dr Simon Stewart Cawthron Institute
Associate Professor Matthew Stott University of Canterbury
Professor Rod Connolly Griffith University


Economics and Human and Behavioural Sciences (EHB)

Including: economics; psychology (experimental, cognitive, neuro-); cognitive science; cognitive linguistics; archaeology; biological anthropology; business studies; commerce; management studies; marketing; communication science and demography.


Name Institution
Professor Chellie Spiller (Convenor) University of Waikato
Associate Professor Paul Corballis University of Auckland
Associate Professor Tamlin Conner University of Otago
Professor Helena Cooper-Thomas Auckland University of Technology
Professor Paul Dalziel Lincoln University
Associate Professor Bridgette Masters-Awatere University of Waikato
Associate Professor Matthew Roskruge Massey University
Emeritus Professor Peter Sheppard University of Auckland
Dr Isabelle Sin Motu


Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences (EIS)

Including: fundamentals of engineering (biomedical, bioprocessing, civil, chemical, electrical, electronic, environmental, materials, mechanical and robotics); and cross-disciplinary research relating to engineering.


Name Institution
Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase (Convenor) University of Canterbury 
Professor Brendon Bradley University of Canterbury
Associate Professor Peng Cao University of Auckland
Professor Nicole Kessissoglou University of New South Wales
Dr Jerome Leveneur  GNS
Dr Hin Lim University of Waikato
Associate Professor Khoon Lim University of Otago
Professor Melissa Knothe Tate Blue Mountains Interdisciplinary Innovation Institute
Dr Filicia Wicaksana University of Auckland


Humanities (HUM)

Including: English; languages; history; religion; philosophy; law; classics; linguistics; literature; cultural studies; media studies; art history; film.


Name Institution
Professor Cynthia White (Convenor) Massey University
Dr Anita Brady Victoria University of Wellington
Professor Tim Dare University of Auckland
Associate Professor Carwyn Jones Te Wānanga o Raukawa
Dr Nēpia Mahuika Massey University
Dr Daniel Osland University of Otago
Associate Professor Sarah Shieff University of Waikato
Professor Elizabeth Toomey University of Canterbury 


Mathematical and Information Sciences (MIS)

Including: pure mathematics; applied mathematics; statistics; operations research; logic; computer science; information systems; and software engineering.


Name Institution
Professor Stephen MacDonell (Convenor)  AUT and University of Otago
Professor Jennifer Brown University of Canterbury
Professor Stephen Cranefield University of Otago
Professor Rod Downey Victoria University of Wellington
Professor Rod Gover The University of Auckland
Dr Jessica Kasza Monash University
Professor Andrew Mathas University of Sydney
Associate Professor Michael Norrish Australian National University
Associate Professor Sarah Wakes University of Otago 
Professor Alan Fekete University of Sydney


Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry (PCB)

Including: materials science; physics; chemistry; biophysics, chemical biology and biochemistry.


Name Institution
Professor Penny Brothers (Convenor) The University of Auckland / Australian National University
Associate Professor Jane Allison The University of Auckland
Dr Chris Bumby Victoria University of Wellington
Professor Matthew Davis The University of Queensland
Professor David Lupton Monash University
Professor Sarah Masters University of Canterbury
Professor Elizabeth New University of Sydney
Dr Jonathan Squire University of Otago
Associate Professor Frederique Vanholsbeeck The University of Auckland


Social Sciences (SOC)

Including: sociology; Māori studies; indigenous studies; sociology; social, developmental, organisational, community and health psychology; social, cultural and human geography; social anthropology; education; urban design and environmental studies; public health; nursing; public policy; political science; socio-linguistics; architecture.


Name Institution
Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley (Convenor) Massey University
Associate Professor Karyn Paringatai University of Otago
Associate Professor Sharon Harvey Auckland University of Technology
Professor Roslyn Kerr Lincoln University
Associate Professor Sophie Bond University of Otago
Professor Michael Cameron University of Waikato
Professor Marc Wilson Victoria University of Wellington
Distinguished Professor Steven Ratuva University of Canterbury 


Social Sciences Fast-Start Panel

Because of the large numbers of applications to the Social Sciences panel in previous years, preliminary Fast-Start SOC proposals will be assessed by a second panel. Proposals invited to the full application round will be assessed along with the Standard proposals by the full Social Sciences panel.


Name Institution
Professor Holly Thorpe (Convenor)*  University of Waikato
Dr Lisa Uperesa University of Auckland
Dr Apisalome Movono Massey University
Professor Te Kani Kingi Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
Dr Marcela Palomino-Schalscha Victoria University of Wellington
Professor Sarah Riley Massey University

 * Goes to Social Sciences Standard panel at full proposal stage

Potential Panellists

The Marsden Fund secretariat at the Royal Society Te Apārangi maintains a list of potential panellists. If individuals wish to signal their availability to serve on a Marsden Fund Panel in 2023 or beyond, they should contact Dr Rachel Averill at the Royal Society Te Apārangi with their contact details, affiliation, a clear preference for which panel they would be suitable for, and ideally a link to their institutional web page.

Panellists are appointed by the Chief Executive of the Royal Society Te Apārangi based on the recommendation of the Marsden Fund panel Convenor. Appointments are made on a year-by-year basis for each calendar year. Panellists must be experienced researchers in an appropriate field and may be drawn from outside New Zealand if necessary. 

In considering the suitability of potential panellists, the following requirements for panel composition should be taken into account as appropriate:

  • mix of discipline expertise;
  • institutional balance;
  • geographic representation; and
  • diversity/gender balance.

Panellists may not apply as a named as Principal or Associate Investigators to the panel they are serving on in that year.  The Royal Society Te Apārangi will call for nominations from interested parties. Individuals can nominate themselves or institutes can nominate staff to serve on panels.  All nominations received will be passed on to the relevant Convenor for consideration.