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Guidelines for Council and panel members

Outlines roles, policies and procedures to guide Marsden Fund Council and panel members. Updated for the 2022 round.

Also available as  a PDF: 2022 Guidelines for Council and Panellists

 

On this page:

Introduction

These guidelines are intended to facilitate the smooth operation of the Marsden Fund Council and Assessment Panel meetings. They are retained as a permanent record, as required by the Auditor-General, and are publicly available.

Background

The Marsden Fund invests in investigator-initiated research aimed at generating new knowledge, with long-term benefit to New Zealand. It supports excellent research projects that advance and expand the knowledge base and contribute to the development of people with advanced skills in New Zealand. The research is not subject to government's socio-economic priorities.

The Marsden Fund encourages New Zealand's leading researchers to explore new ideas that may not be funded through other funding streams and fosters creativity within the research, science, and technology system.

In supporting investigator-initiated research, the Government is ensuring that New Zealand is contributing to, and benefiting from, the advancement of knowledge globally and is fostering a diversity of research activities of the highest calibre. The Marsden Fund also provides for the long-term and sometimes serendipitous aspects of research, which may lead to profound or unexpected discoveries, or catalyse significant developments in previously unrelated and strategically important fields of knowledge.

Role of the Marsden Fund Council

The Marsden Fund Council (the Council), appointed by the Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, makes decisions on Marsden Funding. The Council consists of eleven eminent researchers spanning a range of disciplines.

Council members have the responsibility for developing the strategic direction of the Fund and for choosing which applications are to be funded.

Terms of Reference are available on the Marsden Fund website: https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/about/tor

To assist the Council, ten discipline-based assessment panels make recommendations on the proposals in their area of research. The ten panels are each convened by a Marsden Fund Council member who is responsible for the effective conduct of the assessment process.

Each panel convenor needs to ensure that the funding recommendations made are defensible, by:

  • ensuring the framework for assessment is followed
  • identifying and taking appropriate action over conflicts of interest
  • ensuring that information provided for feedback to applicants is appropriate (all feedback to applicants will be given by the convenor).

Convenors are expected to attend two panel meetings scheduled during the year, as well as grade and comment on all proposals submitted to their panel (except where conflicts of interest apply) and provide feedback to applicants after the Full Proposal round. See the section ‘Procedures for allocation consideration’ for assessment procedures.

Marsden Fund Council members may not apply for funding to any panel during their appointments, either as a Principal (PI) or an Associate Investigator (AI). They also may not apply for a Marsden Fund Council Award grant. However, they may act as Mentors on Fast-Start proposals.

Sensitive issues

Privacy

Royal Society Te Apārangi and the Marsden Fund Council have obligations under the Privacy Act to keep confidential certain information provided by individuals. Moreover, the records of deliberations by the Council and panels are regarded as strictly confidential, as are the contents of unsuccessful applications.

  • The contents and ideas contained in the proposals are strictly confidential. The proposal material must not be used for any purpose other than assessment of the proposal.
  • Council and panel members must ensure the safekeeping of all proposals and related confidential documents. Access to electronic information must be password protected and not accessible by any other person.
  • Ideally, documents should not be printed unless it is impractical to read directly from a laptop or tablet.
  • Hard copy documents must be secured (for example: in locked case) so they are not accessible to any other person.
  • All hard and soft copies of proposals and related information must be securely destroyed once the assessment process is completed.

Conflicts of interest

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 allocation process and to ensure that applications are subjected to fair and reasonable appraisal.

Royal Society Te Apārangi wants to ensure that the Council and panel members are active researchers with an excellent background in research. As these researchers will invariably have connections with some applicants, conflicts of interest will arise.

Where these occur for Council and panel members, the following rules will apply:

  • Where a Council member or panellist is a partner, spouse or a family member of any applicant(s) on a proposal, that Council member or panellist shall take no part in the consideration of that proposal and will have no prior knowledge of the outcome. They will hear about the success of that proposal when official letters are sent to all applicants.
  • If a Council or panel member has an interest in an application, such as collaborating with an applicant or an applicant’s group, or is conflicted with the applicant*, then that member shall not assess the proposal and, at the discretion of the chair or panel convenor, shall either leave the room, remain silent or answer technical questions only.
  • If the Council Chair has a conflict of interest, then the duties of chairing the Council meeting shall be passed to another Council member.
  • If the panel convenor has a conflict of interest, then the duties of chairing the panel meeting will be passed to another Council member, if present, or a senior member of the panel.
  • All the above conflicts of interest must be declared in writing to Royal Society Te Apārangi.
  • Royal Society Te Apārangi staff will minute all conflicts of interest and actions taken.

* A Council or panel member is generally deemed to be conflicted if:

  • They work in the same department as the applicant(s). Where the department is large and contact between the panel member and applicant(s) is minimal, the convenor may deem there to be no conflict.
  • They work at the same Crown Research Institute (CRI) AND are in the same team as the applicant(s) (the level of conflict will depend on the size of the organisation).
  • They work at the same company as the applicant(s). The level of conflict will depend on the size of the company.
  • They have co-authored publications with the applicant(s) in the last 5 years.
  • They are listed as a mentor on a Fast-Start application to their panel.
  • They have a low level of comfort assessing the application due to their relationship with the applicant(s).

When all conflicts of interest are taken into account, the panel convenor may decide that the remaining panellists’ expertise is not sufficient for assessment of a particular proposal. In this case, an additional opinion from an external independent person may be sought at the panel convenor’s discretion. A panel convenor may also seek an opinion of a particular proposal from another panel if this is thought to be necessary.

Assessment criteria (Updated)

The Marsden Fund Terms of Reference require that all applications should be assessed primarily on the following criteria:

  • Proposals must have the potential for significant scholarly impact* because of the proposal’s novelty, originality, insight and ambition.
  • Proposals must be rigorous, and should have a basis in prior research and use a sound research method.
  • The research team must have the ability and capacity to deliver.
  • Proposals should develop research skills in New Zealand, particularly those at the post-doctoral level and emerging researchers (for the Fast-Start initiative, this criterion is considered to be satisfied for these applicants).

Where relevant to the proposal:

  • Proposals must** consider the relation of the research to the themes of Vision Mātauranga and, where relevant, how the project will engage with Māori.

In addition to the above, the Marsden Fund Council Award has an additional assessment criterion:

  • Proposals must use an interdisciplinary approach to significantly expand research possibilities and ambition through new researcher and institutional links.

*Scholarly impact is a demonstrable contribution to shifting understanding and advancing methods, theory and application across and within disciplines.

**This criterion has been changed from “should” to “must”.

Note that: a Fast-Start applicant is at the start of their career so in assessing the ‘potential’, the track record must be considered in relation to the years of research experience. Other factors are the quality of their research training and its appropriateness for carrying out the proposed research.

The cost of the project is not considered until the full proposal stage. There, once the overall grades and rankings have been determined, the cost of each proposal is then considered with a view to each panel funding the top ranked proposals up to the overall level of funds available. The Marsden Fund Council may recommend an offer of funding which differs from that requested.

All proposals funded must:

  • Comply with the terms and process of any government policy or directive; and
  • Be consistent with the nature and objectives of the Marsden Fund and the assessment criteria set out above.

How the criteria will be assessed

  • Applications to the Marsden Fund must meet each individual criterion to the satisfaction of assessors to be considered for funding.
  • Once assessors are satisfied that a proposal meets each criterion individually, they will score the proposal based on a holistic assessment across all relevant criteria and relative to other proposals being considered by the panel. Proposals with an inspirational, exciting and compelling research goal that transcends the sum of the individual assessment criteria are likely to score more highly in this process.

The ‘ability and capacity to deliver’ criterion will be judged relative to opportunity, with career achievements assessed in the context of career history, allowing for breaks for family or other responsibilities. Where applicants already hold a Marsden Fund contract in a related area (especially follow-on award applicants), performance on this will also be considered as evidence of ability, but existing award holders will not be privileged versus new applicants because of this.

Marsden Fund Council Award

In addition to the tasks mentioned previously, Council members are required to grade and comment on all proposals submitted to the Marsden Fund Council Award category (except where conflicts of interest apply).

For the Marsden Fund Council Award, all criteria for Standard grant proposals (see ‘Assessment criteria’ section) must be satisfied, plus the additional criterion:

Proposals must use an interdisciplinary approach to significantly expand research possibilities and ambition through new researcher and institutional links.

The same conflicts of interest as for Fast-Start and Standard proposals apply here – see ‘Conflicts of interest’ section.

Grading will be done via a similar process to Fast-Start and Standard proposals – the grade range will be the same (1-6) and if numbers are large, Council members will be asked to adhere to a bell-shaped curve when assessing Marsden Fund Council Award proposals – see “Scoring the EOIs” section.

The application process consists of one Full Proposal only, to be submitted by the Expression of Interest (EOI) deadline of 17 February 2022, and a two-stage assessment process. The timeline is similar to that for Fast-Start and Standard proposals.

  • At Stage 1, Council will consider all proposals, and after initial grading, will select a number to go forward to Stage 2 (international peer review). Applicants will be advised on May 12 of the outcome.
  • Applicants who proceed to stage 2 will have the chance to respond to all referee reports. Council will then consider referee reports and responses for all proposals that go forward to Stage 2, before making their final decision in October. If Council have specific queries about aspects of the proposals that have gone to Stage 2, they may request a short video interview with one or more of the PIs, to be arranged at a mutually convenient time. Applicants will be advised of the outcome in early November.

Grade descriptors are as follows:

Stage 1:

Grade 1: The proposal fulfils all the relevant criteria. Very enthusiastic. Must go out to review.

Grade 2: The proposal fulfils all of the relevant criteria. Enthusiastic with some minor reservations. Should go out to review.

Grade 3: Proposal appears to fulfil all the relevant criteria. Some reservations.  Could go out to review (also a holding grade).

Grade 4: Proposal appears to fulfil all the relevant criteria. Some reservations. Uneasy about supporting.

Grade 5: Proposal may fulfil all the relevant criteria. Some major reservations. Uneasy about supporting.

Grade 6: Proposal does not fulfil all of the “must” criteria. Serious reservations. A definite no.

Stage 2:

Grade 1: The proposal fulfils all the relevant criteria. Any concerns raised by referees rebutted well. Very enthusiastic, must fund.

Grade 2: The proposal fulfils all of the relevant criteria. Concerns raised by referees mostly addressed. Enthusiastic with some minor reservations. Would fund it.

Grade 3: Proposal appears to fulfil all the relevant criteria. Concerns raised by referees partly addressed. Some reservations. Possibly fund. (Also a holding grade).

Grade 4: Proposal appears to fulfil all the relevant criteria. Some concerns raised by referees that were not rebutted well, or not responded to at all. Some reservations. Uneasy about funding.

Grade 5: Proposal may fulfil all the relevant criteria. Serious concerns raised by referees not rebutted well or at all. Some reservations. Not keen on funding.

Grade 6: Proposal does not fulfil all of the “must” criteria. Serious concerns raised by referees that were not rebutted well or at all. A definite no.

Marsden Fund assessment panels

Each discipline-based assessment panel consists of a convenor and seven to nine other researchers who are experts in their field, who have a broad knowledge of the research area, and are experienced in assessment. They are appointed by Royal Society Te Apārangi, after being recommended by the Marsden Fund Council. Assessment panels are advisory only, providing recommendations on the relative merits of proposals to the Marsden Fund Council. The ten panels are:

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

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; biochemistry; cell biology; plant and animal genetics; molecular biology and molecular genetics; functional genomics and related bioinformatics; microbiology excluding microbial ecology; animal and plant pathology.

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.

Economics and Human & Behavioural Sciences (EHB) – including: economics; psychology (experimental, cognitive, neuro-); cognitive science; cognitive linguistics; archaeology; physical anthropology; business studies; commerce; management studies; marketing; communication science and demography.

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.

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.

Humanities (HUM) – including: English; languages; history; religion; philosophy; law; classics; linguistics; literature; cultural studies; media studies; art history; film.

Mathematical and Information Sciences (MIS) – including: pure mathematics; applied mathematics; statistics; operations research; logic; computer science; information systems; and software engineering.

Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry (PCB) – including: materials science; physics; chemistry; biophysics, chemical biology and structural biochemistry.

Social Sciences (SOC) – including: 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.

Role of Marsden Fund panel members

The role of a panellist is essential to the Marsden Fund appraisal process. Panellists are expected to grade and comment on all proposals submitted to their panel, unless otherwise decided by the panel convenor. Spreadsheets for the EOI and full rounds will be supplied by the Marsden Fund administration team to help with this task.

Panellists are expected to attend two panel meetings scheduled during the year to discuss allocated grades and reach consensus for recommendations to the Marsden Fund Council. Panellists are not expected to give feedback to applicants. All feedback to applicants will be given by the Convenor of the panel. Along with the recommendation process, panellists will be asked to suggest referees for several full proposals within or near their area of expertise.

The contents and ideas contained in the Marsden Fund proposals are confidential in every respect. This includes intellectual property, financial and all other information. For this reason, the proposal material is not to be used (and should be destroyed) once the panellist’s reviews are completed.

Panellists are not permitted to apply for funding to the panel on which they sit, either as a Principal Investigator (PI) or as an Associate Investigator (AI). Panellists should step down in a year in which they will apply to their panel for funding, and may return in future years to the panel if needed. Panel members are permitted to be mentors on Fast-Start proposals submitted to their panel.

All Marsden Fund panellists are listed on our website: https://www.royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/about/marsden-fund-panels

As stated above, the role of a panellist has a number of different tasks associated with it. In the following section, the tasks are explained and timings given where appropriate.

Role of Society staff

The role of Royal Society Te Apārangi staff is one of facilitation of and "guardianship" over the assessment process, ensuring that the process is credible and defensible. To achieve this, staff will:

  • organise all logistical aspects of the process
  • assist the Chair of the Marsden Fund Council and the panel convenors in determining realistic timetables for meetings
  • provide a framework for assessment
  • record funding decisions and collate generic feedback for applicants
  • record any conflicts of interest and identify problem areas
  • convey funding decisions to providers - all discussions related to a decision should occur through Royal Society Te Apārangi staff or the relevant panel convenor
  • negotiate contract details with providers.

It is not the role of Society staff to make funding decisions.

Procedures for panel meetings

Expression of Interest (EOI) round (March-April)

Pre-meeting

All EOIs will be received by the Marsden Fund administration on 17 February 2022. It is anticipated that each panel will receive approximately 100 proposals (Fast-Start and Standard). The proposals will be placed on the panellist portal as soon as possible.

The Council members designated to convene each of the ten panels will receive a list of EOIs allocated to their panel by early March. If the numbers are so large that the panel convenor has to divide up the applications among the panel, each application should be assessed by at least five panel members.

Panel members will receive a URL for the portal from the Marsden Fund administration team. The portal will contain all of the EOIs submitted to their panel. The information will be in PDF form and can be read directly on a PC or iPad. There will be comments sheets available on the portal that can be used to make personal notes and record scores for the panel discussion. The portal will also contain a scoresheet for each panellist to download, record their scores in and send back to the Marsden Fund administration before the meeting. This will enable proposals to be given an initial overall ranking for discussion at the meeting.

For a given panel, each panel member will be asked to start reading applications at different points through the order of the proposals, to avoid proposals from researchers first in the alphabet always being read first.

Panel members also need to identify to Marsden Fund staff, proposals for which they have a conflict of interest, explaining the nature of the conflict. See ‘Conflicts of interest’ section for further details.

 If the proposal seems to be more suited to other funding sources this should be discussed at the meeting.

Scoring EOIs

The Marsden Fund Terms of Reference require that the applications should be assessed primarily on the criteria stated in the section ‘Assessment criteria’.

The difficulty in the EOI round is in screening out the small number of applications to go forward to the full proposal stage (20-25% of the total), from usually a very large number of EOIs. Please take this into account when assessing proposals.

The cost of the proposal is considered at the Full Proposal stage, and only after rankings have been made based on the assessment criteria.

Grade and distribution

Panel members should grade a proposal on the combined basis of the assessment criteria of the Marsden Fund (see “Assessment Criteria”). There are six scores available; 1 (best) to 6 (worst). Proposals should be assigned one of the six scores.

Each panel member should use the following target distribution for the proposals that they assess, taking both the Fast-Start and Standard proposals into account separately.

 

Grade score

1

2

3

4

5

6

% of proposals

10-20

15-25

20-30

15-25

10-20

5-15

Example 60 proposals

6-12

9-15

12-18

9-15

6-12

3-9

 

In the example above where 60 Standard proposals are assessed, between 6 and 12 proposals should be assigned a score of 1, between 9 and 15 proposals should be assigned a score of 2, between 12 and 18 proposals should be assigned a score of 3, and so on.

The purpose of the target distribution is to ensure that the proposals are ranked in a fair manner, and that no proposals are unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged by a skewed distribution. For this reason, please ensure you keep to the distribution and use the whole range of scores – the scoresheet has a built-in distribution that automatically reflects the grades entered. Any panellist who does not meet the target distribution may be asked to re-score the proposals.

The grade for each proposal should then be recorded on the scoresheet (Fast-Start and Standard proposals will have separate tabs) and the list of grades returned to the Marsden Fund office. You will be notified of grade deadlines when the initial email is sent out.

If you are unsure how to grade a proposal, please give a “placeholder” middling grade (3 or 4) – not a grade 1 or a grade 6.

You may find the following grade descriptors useful when working out how to score proposals. The descriptors apply to Marsden Fund Council Award proposals, but the same principles would apply to Standard and Fast-Start EOIs.

  • Grade 1: The proposal fulfils all the relevant criteria. Very enthusiastic. Must go out to review.
  • Grade 2: The proposal fulfils all of the relevant criteria. Enthusiastic with some minor reservations. Should go out to review.
  • Grade 3: Proposal appears to fulfil all the relevant criteria. Some reservations. Could go out to review (also a holding grade).
  • Grade 4: Proposal appears to fulfil all the relevant criteria. Some reservations. Uneasy about supporting.
  • Grade 5: Proposal may fulfil all the relevant criteria. Some major reservations. Uneasy about supporting.
  • Grade 6: Proposal does not fulfil all of the “must” criteria. Serious reservations. A definite no.

Please note that panellists should assume all proposals they are provided with are eligible for funding and appropriate to their panel. In the case of Fast-Start proposals, panellists should assume the Principal Investigator has been deemed eligible to apply for a Fast-Start grant. Concerns about the eligibility or appropriateness of a proposal should not be reflected in the score the panellist assigns to that proposal.

Participation in EOI assessment meeting (April)

The EOI panel meetings will be held in Wellington, usually at Royal Society Te Apārangi’s building. All travel booking and costs will be covered by the Society. The EOI panel meeting is a full day of discussion. Fast-Start and Standard proposals are discussed separately. The initial combined scores are used as guidance to begin the discussions, but grades are altered during the day as panellists feel fit.

To assist panellists and applicants, the Marsden Fund Council has prepared notes on the qualities expected of good applications to the Marsden Fund. These are available on the Marsden Fund website. 

Ranking and cut-off point

There may be a number of proposals around the cut-off point that are very hard to separate. In this case, panel convenors may ask panellists for their comparative rankings of a number of particular proposals around the cut-off point, in order to obtain a ranked list.

The Marsden Fund Council will decide on the invitations for the Full Proposal stage by considering proposals around the cut-off point on the lists forwarded by each of the ten panels. Council will be assisted in this by notes from the panel meeting.

Once the final grades have been recorded an ordered list is presented to the panel for their recommendations to Council. Approximately 20-25% of the EOIs will be recommended for the full proposal stage.

Referees

At the end of the EOI assessment meeting, panellists will be assigned a small number of proposals that they will be responsible for finding external referees for. Referee reports are used for the assessment of Full Proposals. Panellists are requested to initially identify, in order of preference, six to eight potential referees for each proposal. Marsden Fund staff will work with panellists to acquire at least two, and preferably three referee reports for each proposal. Once identified, referees will be contacted by the Marsden Fund staff and asked to provide reports for the full proposal round. Panellists are not required to approach the referees themselves. The total number of potential referees required to be identified for each proposal is variable, and variation between panels is notable. In 2021, the average number of potential referees approached in order to secure three reports ranged from six to nine per proposal, depending on the panel. The timeframe for the referee finding process is usually May to August.

Feedback on EOIs

Because of the very large number of EOIs received, the Marsden Fund Council is not able to give specific feedback to applicants about individual proposals except in the following situations:

  • The proposal is considered unsuitable for Marsden funding.
  • The applicant is considered ineligible to apply for Marsden funding.
  • The applicant is considered ineligible to apply for Fast-Start funding.

In addition, unsuccessful applicants and institutions in the EOI round will now be told:

1. Their proposal’s score relative to all others considered by that panel, successful and unsuccessful, expressed as:

  • First quintile (best proposals)
  • Second quintile
  • Third quintile
  • Or ‘Not ranked’ (Includes fourth and fifth quintile proposals because assessors do not rank these precisely)

2. The percentage of all proposals considered by that panel which progressed to the Full proposal stage

Fast-Start applicants who are unsuccessful and ranked in the second and third quintiles will also be able to seek qualitative feedback from the panel convenor. This follows on from a pilot trial in 2021, where feedback was extended to Fast-Start applicants ranked in the 3rd quintile in the EIS panel.

All applicants will receive a short commentary on the proposals received; the number reviewed and in which panel; the numbers forwarded to the Marsden Fund Council; the numbers of invitations issued for full proposal; and any relevant generic feedback that is appropriate.

Detailed feedback will be available for unsuccessful applicants at the Full Proposal stage from panel convenors.

Full Proposal round (July – September)

Pre-meeting

Full proposals will be received by the Marsden Fund administration on 22 June 2022. The proposals will be collated and placed on the portal system as soon as possible. URLs for the panellist portal will still be active for the Full Proposal round. The portal will contain all the full proposals and CVs for applications to each panel. The information will be in PDF form and can be read directly on a PC or iPad.

Along with each Full Proposal, three referee reports and applicant responses will be presented later on the panellist portal. Most referee reports will be available by 17 August 2022. Applicant responses will also be posted on the portal. Most of these will be received at the end of August. You will need to integrate all this information into your comments and scoring for each proposal.

Scoring Full Proposals

The scoring of the Full Proposals is identical to the EOI process and scoring system described above with the exception that added information is given from the external referee reports and applicants’ responses to the reports. You will have the full proposals, referee reports, and applicant rebuttals for each proposal to help you with your scoring. Scoresheets and comments sheets will be available on the portal. The comments sheets can be used to make notes and record scores for the panel discussion.

As for the EOI round, it is very important that all panel members use the full range of scores, in other words: between 1 (best) and 6 (worst). The purpose of the target distribution is to ensure that the proposals are ranked in a fair manner, and that no proposals are unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged by a skewed distribution. In the Full Proposal round, the full range of scores should be used so that a relative ranking can be obtained. For this reason, please ensure you keep to the distribution – the scoresheet has a built-in distribution that automatically reflects the grades entered. Any panellist who does not meet the target distribution may be asked to re-score the proposals.

Your completed scoresheet should be sent back to the Marsden Fund administration to create the initial rankings.

Referee reports and applicant rebuttals

Review of proposals by international referees are used for the assessment of full proposals. Selection of referees is done by the panels after ranking the EOIs for full proposal status. Applicants are also given the opportunity to make a rebuttal on each referee’s comments. The length is limited to one page for each referee report. For example, if a proposal has three referees then three responses of one page each can be submitted. Referees are not identified to applicants, nor are grades made available to applicants; only the referee comments are provided to the applicants.

Where referees disagree, the Council and panel members must use their own judgment in determining which referee reports to emphasise and what score to assign. These deliberations should be guided by considerations such as:

  • the member's own level of expertise on the subject
  • the comments made by referees to explain their grades
  • the relative competencies of the referees
  • the responses by applicants to the referees’ comments
  • possible conflicts of interest.

Participation in Full-Proposal assessment meeting (mid-late September)

The Full Proposal panel meetings will be held in Wellington. Similar to the EOI round, all travel booking and costs will be covered by the Society. Fast-Start and Standard proposals are discussed separately. The initial combined scores are used as guidance to begin the discussions, but grades are altered during the day as panellists feel fit.

Once the overall grades and rankings have been determined, the cost of each proposal will then be considered with a view to the panel funding the top ranked proposals up to the overall level of funds available.

Indicative budgets are set by the panel and trading Fast-Start and Standard proposals is done based on budget and merit of the proposals.

Once the final grades have been collated, an ordered list is presented to the panel for their recommendations to Council. Approximately 50% of the Full Proposals will be recommended for funding. The Marsden Fund Council may recommend an offer of funding which differs from that requested.

Panel members will also be asked to summarise some successful proposals for use as press releases when the Marsden Fund grants are announced.

Feedback on Full Proposals

All applicants will receive a short commentary on the proposals received; the number reviewed and in which area; the number of successful proposals; and any relevant generic feedback that is appropriate.

Unsuccessful applicants may contact the relevant panel convenor for further information on their Full Proposal.

Other considerations

Guide on project size

Although the cost of the project is not considered until the Full Proposal stage, information is included here on what can be funded, as well as the maximum size of Standard proposals. The Terms of Reference state that funds awarded are to cover the full costs of a proposal. Full costing includes direct costs, associated personnel costs and overhead costs. Please note that collaborating researchers from outside New Zealand are able to be included in proposals, but are not able to receive direct funding support for their time or institutional costs. However, costs associated with collaboration (in other words: travel and accommodation) may be covered under “direct costs”.

The Marsden Fund Council particularly wants to provide support for individual researchers in contrast to supporting large teams assembled to undertake programmes of research that could be supported by other funding agencies. The preferred types of projects are those from individuals or small teams, to investigate bright new ideas, involving the assistance of a post-doctoral fellow, research assistants, or postgraduate students where appropriate.

The assessment panels and the Council also prefer to be in a position to fully fund the proposals they are evaluating. Each panel works within a limited budget, and very large proposals can substantially affect a panel’s ability to fund projects at the full value requested. To overcome this, the Council has introduced a maximum amount per application, which differs between panels. There is no minimum. Note that the total maximum is a strict cap. Amounts applied for may vary from year to year, as long as the total does not exceed the maximum amount over 3 years.

The maximum amounts for the 2022 funding round year are as follows:

Panel

Amount per year

Total maximum amount over 3 years

BMS

$320k

$960k

CMP

$320k

$960k

EHB

$290k

$870k

EIS

$320k

$960k

EEB

$320k

$960k

ESA

$320k

$960k

HUM

$220k

$660k

MIS

$240k

$720k

PCB

$320k

$960k

SOC

$290k

$870k

Number of applications from researchers

For each annual funding cycle, eligible applicants must:

  • be involved in no more than ONE proposal as a Principal Investigator per funding round (assuming no exclusion).
  • be involved in no more than TWO proposals in total per funding round; either as a Principal Investigator on one and an Associate Investigator on another, or as an Associate Investigator on two proposals.

This applies across all categories of grants; for example, if an applicant is a Principal Investigator on a Marsden Fund Council Award proposal, they cannot be a Principal Investigator on a Standard EOI in the same funding round.

Principal Investigator exclusion rule

Researchers cannot be a Principal Investigator on more than one Marsden Fund grant at a time. If successful as a Principal Investigator in a particular funding year, the researcher will be excluded from applying for another Marsden Fund grant as a Principal Investigator for the next two funding years. The exclusion period is not affected by any approved contract time extensions. This applies across all grant categories and applies to all Principal Investigators whether they are contact PIs or co-PIs.

Any Principal Investigator who is excluded by this rule in any particular funding round may still apply as an Associate Investigator on a maximum of two proposals, for up to 0.05 FTE per year on each. For Standard proposals, the maximum FTE remains at 0.05 per year; for Marsden Fund Council Awards proposals, this restriction on AI FTE time has been removed.

Fast-Start programme

The Fast-Start programme is targeted at researchers who are employed at New Zealand universities, CRI and other research organisations, and who are trying to establish independent research careers and create research momentum. This programme is intended for people early in their research careers. It is not intended for those who have already developed research careers but have only recently gained their PhD degree. 

It is also intended that the applicant should be involved in their own independent research and not be merely part of a larger group’s research programme. Note that it is not mandatory for an applicant to have a permanent position, but the host institution must agree to employ the applicant for at least the duration of the grant in a position that allows them to develop an independent research career.

Applicants wishing to bid into this programme may apply for up to $120,000 per year (GST exclusive) for research programmes lasting up to 3 years. The purpose is to support excellent research by promising individuals and to give an impetus to their careers by promoting them as sole Principal Investigators in their own research programmes. While linkages with established researchers, as Associate Investigators, both within and outside New Zealand are useful and encouraged, the emphasis for this funding is on individual researchers in the early stages of their careers.

Fast-Start eligibility

Applicants for a Fast-Start grant must have a PhD degree, or an equivalent NZQA level 10 qualification. Recent graduates must have completed all requirements for conferment of their PhD by the closing date for EOIs.

Other than the completion of a PhD, the criteria for eligibility depend on the way in which a researcher’s career has developed prior to applying.

Track A: If the researcher has proceeded straight from their undergraduate or Masters studies to their PhD studies before taking up employment in a research-related position, then to be eligible to apply for this programme a researcher must:

  • have not previously been a PI on a Marsden Fund contract, and
  • have completed their PhD no more than 7 years ago*.

Track B: For researchers who took up employment in a position that involved a component of research before commencing their PhD studies, then to be eligible to apply for this programme a researcher must:

  • have not previously been a PI on a Marsden Fund contract, and
  • have commenced their research career no more than 10 years ago* (including the time taken to undertake their PhD studies).

In both instances, time spent on sickness leave is excluded from the year count.

Please note that parental leave is not excluded from the year count, as this is now accounted for in the eligibility extension for dependent children - see below.

Other non-research-related activity is included in the year count.

For the 2022 funding round, researchers who have been engaged in research since the completion of their PhDs (Track A), eligibility for Fast-Start funding is restricted to those who have been awarded their PhD at any time since the beginning of 2015 (or within the equivalent of 7 years’ experience). For those who obtained their PhD after commencing their research careers (Track B), eligibility is restricted to those who began working in 2012 or later (or within the equivalent of 10 years’ experience).

*The eligibility period for Fast-Start grants may be extended under the following scenarios:

  • In addition to any excluded time spent on sickness leave, applicants who have had part-time employment, for example as a result of ongoing childcare responsibilities – with the prior approval of the Marsden Fund – will have their seven years’ experience calculated pro rata for the year count.
  • Eligibility may also be extended to take into account any career interruptions experienced due to being the primary caregiver for young children. If the applicant is the primary caregiver of a dependent child, the applicant is able to extend the period of eligibility by two years per child. The extension of two years per dependent child is inclusive of any periods of parental leave. There is no maximum identified.

For someone who has had a career interruption due to primary caregiver responsibilities for young children since their PhD was awarded (Track A) or since the start of their research career (Track B), an extra 2 years per child is added on to their eligibility.

 

 

Track A

Track B

 

Eligibility timeframe

Eligible if PhD awarded anytime since…

Eligibility timeframe

Eligible if research career started anytime since…

Baseline eligibility

Within 7 fulltime years of PhD awarded

Beginning of 2015

Within 10 fulltime years of start of research career

Beginning of 2012

1 child

9 years

Beginning of 2013

12 years

Beginning of 2010

2 children

11 years

Beginning of 2011

14 years

Beginning of 2008

Any applicants who have had career interruptions due to being primary caregivers of dependent children should explain this in section 1e (Research Experience) of their CV.

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.

https://www.mbie.govt.nz/science-and-technology/science-and-innovation/agencies-policies-and-budget-initiatives/vision-matauranga-policy/

For more information on Vision Mātauranga, including guidance and resources for applicants, please see Appendix II.

For a glossary of te reo Māori terms which may be used in proposals, please refer to Appendix III.

Please note that Vision Mātauranga is now included as an assessment criterion:

  • *Proposals must* consider the relation of the research to the themes of Vision Mātauranga and, where relevant, how the project will engage with Māori.

*Please note that the wording for this criterion has changed from “should” to “must”.

For the EOI round, applicants indicate using a tick box whether or not Vision Mātauranga is relevant and, if so, which of the four themes apply.

At the Full Proposal round, up to one additional page will be available for statements on Vision Mātauranga immediately following the description of research in Sections 2a-2c. This is to enable Vision Mātauranga to be more easily integrated into the conceptual framework and/or research design. Where Vision Mātauranga is appropriate to a proposal, it can contribute to the assessment of its overall excellence.

Compliance aspects, such as access to culturally sensitive material and knowledge, should be covered in Full Proposal Section 2h, “Ethical or Regulatory Obligations”.

Aspects of Vision Mātauranga relating to relevant experience may be included in the “Roles and Resources” section (2g) of the Full Proposal application.

There is a small comment box on the portal for applicants to briefly explain their rationale for either choosing N/A, or their choice of VM theme(s). This is to provide affirmation for panellists that applicants have considered whether their proposed research has Vision Mātauranga theme(s).

Vision Mātauranga costs (Full Proposals)

If a proposal contains one or more Vision Mātauranga themes, it is essential that any costs associated with Vision Mātauranga capability development and engagement are accounted for in the full proposal budget (sections 6 and 7), as stated in Appendix II (Vision Mātauranga guidelines):

  • Is there appropriate Māori researcher involvement in the project, both in terms of PI/AIs and capability development?
  • Has budget been disclosed and agreed to with Māori partners? Is there appropriate provision in that budget for Māori involvement, capability development and consultation?

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Salary (and associated overhead) costs for any PIs / AIs.
  • Research assistant time.
  • Student stipend support.
  • Costs of engagement or consultation (direct expenses). Examples could include: donation to the organisation or marae committee as a way of recognising expertise and contribution; koha; vouchers; providing resources such as books or research findings to the communities involved.
  • Costs of dissemination (for example: hui) – direct expenses.

We ask that panellists check whether budgets of Full Proposals with one or more Vision Mātauranga themes are appropriately resourced for Vision Mātauranga costs.

Amount of funding to be allocated

Current estimates are that the anticipated amount available to the Marsden Fund Council to allocate in 2022 will be approximately $79 million (GST exclusive) across all grant categories.

Amount of funding in each research area

The funding available for allocation in 2022 for Fast-Start and Standard proposals will be distributed across the ten panel areas according to the number of high-quality applications in each area and the typical cost of proposals in each area; and with reference to the past distribution.

Thank you

Royal Society Te Aparāngi appreciates the time and effort that Council and panel members put into the Marsden Fund assessment process. The time, advice, contribution to the research community and suggestions for improvements from both panellists and Council members to the Marsden Fund assessment process are highly valued.

 

Timetable

 

Early December 2021

Guidelines available and portal active

February 17, 2022

Closing date for EOIs and Marsden Fund Council Award proposals

April 4-14

EOI Assessment Panel meetings

May 10

Marsden Fund Council meeting

May 12

Invitations for Full Proposals sent to applicants (Fast-Start and Standard); notifications of Stage 1 outcome sent to Marsden Fund Council applicants

June 22

Closing date for Full Proposals

August 4 (tentative)

Marsden Fund Council meeting

August 17

Referee reports available from web portal (for applicants and panellists). Note that inevitably some reports will come in after the deadline.

August 31

Closing date for responses to referee reports (except for reports received late)

September 19-30

Assessment Panel meetings

October 13

Marsden Fund Council meeting

TBA: Approximately early November

Results announced

 

Appendix 1: Panel member worksheet help notes

Ranking by the whole panel

The initial ranking will be done prior to the panel meeting based on grades sent to the Marsden Fund administration by each panellist. The ranking will then be revised during the meeting according to the collective judgement of panel members.

Assessment criteria

The Marsden Fund Terms of Reference require that all applications should be assessed primarily on the following criteria:

  • Proposals must have the potential for significant scholarly impact* because of the proposal’s novelty, originality, insight and ambition
  • Proposals must be rigorous, and should have a basis in prior research and use a sound research method
  • The research team must have the ability and capacity to deliver
  • Proposals should develop research skills in New Zealand, particularly those at the post-doctoral level and emerging researchers (for the Fast-Start initiative, this criterion is considered to be satisfied for these applicants)

Where relevant to the proposal:

  • Proposals must** consider the relation of the research to the themes of Vision Mātauranga and, where relevant, how the project will engage with Māori.

In addition to the above, the Marsden Fund Council Award has an additional assessment criterion:

  • Proposals must use an interdisciplinary approach to significantly expand research possibilities and ambition through new researcher and institutional links.

*Scholarly impact is a demonstrable contribution to shifting understanding and advancing methods, theory and application across and within disciplines.

**This criterion has been changed from “should” to “must”.

Grading

Each proposal is given a combined grade; for scholarly impact, ability and potential, and development of research skills (the latter is not applicable to Fast-Start applications), along with Vision Mātauranga if relevant to the proposal. A number from 1 to 6 should be assigned. The grade will be used to determine the ranking.

Each panel member should use the following grade target distribution for the proposals that they assess, using the full range of scores available. The distribution needs to be adhered to for both EOI and Full Proposal rounds.

Grade score

1

2

3

4

5

6

% of proposals

10-20

15-25

20-30

15-25

10-20

5-15

Example 60 proposals

6-12

9-15

12-18

9-15

6-12

3-9

In the example above where 60 EOIs are assessed, between 6 and 12 proposals should be assigned a score of 1, between 9 and 15 proposals should be assigned a score of 2, between 12 and 18 proposals should be assigned a score of 3, and so on.

The purpose of the target distribution is to ensure that the proposals are ranked in a fair manner, and that no proposals are unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged by a skewed distribution.

Panel worksheet example

An example of the assessment worksheet available on the Panellist’s portal is below. The worksheet is for a Standard grant proposal.

Title, Summary, Application Number, Panel, PI, Category: all provided

Grading

Overall Grade (covering all criteria)

Excellent

 

 

 

 

Room for improvement

1

2

3

4

5

6

Assessment Criteria:

  • Potential for significant scholarly impact because of the proposal’s novelty, originality, insight and ambition
  • Rigour of the proposal- does it have a basis in prior research and use a sound research method?
  • Ability and capacity of the research team to deliver
  • Development of research skills in New Zealand, particularly those at the post-doctoral level and emerging researchers (Standard proposals only)
  • Vision Mātauranga (where relevant to proposal)

Comments:

Appendix  2: Vision Mātauranga

Information for Applicants (provided in EOI Guidelines)

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.

https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/application/submitting-a-proposal/vision-matauranga/

https://www.mbie.govt.nz/science-and-technology/science-and-innovation/agencies-policies-and-budget-initiatives/vision-matauranga-policy/

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.
  • Mātauranga, which involves exploring indigenous knowledge.

Vision Mātauranga and the Marsden Fund

Please note that Vision Mātauranga is now included as an assessment criterion:

Proposals must consider the relation of the research to the themes of Vision Mātauranga and, where relevant, how the project will engage with Māori.

For the EOI round, applicants indicate using a tick box whether or not Vision Mātauranga is relevant and, if so, which of the four themes apply – please refer to instructions for Section 3.

At the Full Proposal round, up to one additional page will be available for statements on Vision Mātauranga immediately following the description of research in Sections 2a-2c. This is to enable Vision Mātauranga to be more easily integrated into the conceptual framework and/or research design. Where Vision Mātauranga is appropriate to a proposal, it can contribute to the assessment of its overall excellence.

How do I decide whether to include a Vision Mātauranga statement in my proposal?

A Vision Mātauranga statement must be included for all research that has relevance for Māori. The research category descriptions outlined in the next section may help you decide if this applies to your project. Please note, however, that those categories are fluid, there may well be overlap between them, and not every point in each category need apply.

Categories of Research

The five categories identified below 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 that there may well be overlap between categories as in categories 2 and 3 in terms of the nature and degree of relevance to Māori.

The original categories were set out by MBIE in information for the Endeavour Fund c. 2015.

Research with no specific Māori component

  • No mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) is used.
  • Māori are not associated with the research process (for example: 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.

Research specifically relevant to Māori

This category includes research projects where:

  • 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.

Research involving Māori

This category includes research projects where:

  • 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 (for example: iwi, hapū, organisations) aspirations and outcomes.

Māori-centred research

This category includes research projects where:

  • The project is Māori led, and where Mātauranga Māori is used alongside other knowledges (for example: 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 Māori groups, commonly including Māori researchers or a collaboration with Māori researchers or researchers under the guidance/mentoring of Māori.
  • There is alignment with and contribution to Māori (for example: iwi, hapū, organisations) aspirations.

Kaupapa Māori research

This category includes research projects where:

  • 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, mara, individual) is high.
  • The work contributes strongly to Māori (for example: iwi, hapū, organisations) aspirations and outcomes and is mana enhancing.

Developing a Vision Mātauranga statement

It is important 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. You should document how you have considered Vision Mātauranga and demonstrate applicable actions and relationships throughout the research proposal. The following questions may be useful to consider when conceptualising and writing your 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?
  • Has budget been disclosed and agreed to with Māori partners? Is there provision in that budget for Māori involvement, capability development and consultation?
  • Is there appropriate Māori researcher involvement in the project, both in terms of PI/AIs and capability development?
  • What provisions have you made to ensure there is advice from appropriate Māori organisations throughout the life of the research project? If there are concerns or disagreements with Māori partners, how are these to be resolved?
  • What provisions have you made to ensure there is appropriate technology transfer to Māori partners as the research proceeds and as findings become available towards the end of the project?
  • Are there benefits to Māori? What are they? And how have these been agreed with Māori partners?
  • How is the project an opportunity to build the capacity of Māori researchers or students in your discipline, both now and for the future?
  • How might this research build new, or enhance existing, relationships with Māori?
  • How will you share the research outcomes with Māori?
  • Has there been agreement about the intellectual property ownership of research findings with Māori partners? What is the nature of that agreement?
  • Is there a need for members of the research team to be proficient in te reo? How has this aspect been addressed?
  • Is there a Tiriti o Waitangi component or requirement in your research?
  • Is the research mana enhancing?

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.

Allen, W., Jamie M. Ataria, J. M., Apgar, J. M., Harmsworth, G., and Tremblay, L. A. (2009). Kia pono te mahi putaiao—doing science in the right spirit. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 39:4, 239-242. DOI: 10.1080/03014220909510588

Crawford, S. (2009). Matauranga Maori and western science: The importance of hypotheses, predictions and protocols, Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 39:4, 163-166. DOI: 10.1080/03014220909510571

Broughton, D. (Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Taranaki, Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi), and McBreen, K. (Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe, Ngāi Tahu). (2015). Mātauranga Māori, tino rangatiratanga and the future of New Zealand science. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 45:2, 83-88. DOI: 10.1080/03036758.2015.1011171

Kana, F. and Tamatea, K. (2006). Sharing, listening, learning and developing understandings of Kaupapa Māori research by engaging with two Māori communities involved in education. Waikato Journal of Education, 12, 9-20. https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/6198/Kana%20Sharing.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y

Macfarlane, S., Macfarlane, A. and Gillon, G. (2015) Sharing the food baskets of knowledge: Creating space for a blending of streams. In A. Macfarlane, S. Macfarlane, M. Webber, (eds.), Sociocultural realities: Exploring new horizons. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 52-67.

Moewaka Barnes, H. (2006). Transforming Science: How our Structures Limit Innovation. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand Te Puna Whakaaro, 29, 1-16. https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/journals-and-magazines/social-policy-journal/spj29/29-pages-1-16.pdf

Pihama, L., Tiakiwai, S.-J., and Southey, K. (eds.). (2015). Kaupapa rangahau: A reader. A collection of readings from the Kaupapa Rangahau workshops series. (2nd ed.). Hamilton, New Zealand: Te Kotahi Research Institute. https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/11738/Kaupapa%20Rangahau%20-%20A%20Reader_2nd%20Edition.pdf?sequence=7&isAllowed=y

Smith, L. T., Maxwell, T. K., Puke, H., and Temara, P. (2016). Indigenous knowledge, methodology and mayhem: What is the role of methodology in producing indigenous insights? A discussion from Mātauranga Māori. Knowledge Cultures, 4(3), 131–156.

A new video resource is available at: https://www.royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/marsden-fund-application-process/information-for-applying-to-the-marsden-fund/

Appendix 3: Glossary of te reo Māori terms

Definitions taken from maoridictionary.co.nz

Ka mihi ki a Ahorangi Angus Macfarlane, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, mō tēnei. With thanks to Professor Angus Macfarlane, University of Canterbury, for his input.

Aotearoa

the Māori name for New Zealand

Aroha

affection, sympathy, charity, compassion, love, empathy

Atua

ancestor with continuing influence, god, demon, supernatural being, deity, ghost, object of superstitious regard, strange being - although often translated as 'god' and now also used for the Christian God

Hapū

kinship group, clan, tribe, subtribe - section of a large kinship group and the primary political unit in traditional Māori society. It consisted of a number of whānau sharing descent from a common ancestor, usually being named after the ancestor, but sometimes from an important event in the group's history. A number of related hapū usually shared adjacent territories forming a looser tribal federation (iwi)

Hau kāinga

home, true home, local people of a marae, home people

Hauora

health, wellbeing

Hui

gathering, meeting, assembly

Iwi

extended kinship group, tribe, nation, people, nationality, race - often refers to a large group of people descended from a common ancestor and associated with a distinct territory

Kāinga

home, address, residence, village, settlement, habitation, habitat, dwelling

Kaitiaki

trustee, minder, guard, custodian, guardian, caregiver, keeper, steward

Kaitiakitanga

guardianship, stewardship, trusteeship

Kaumātua

adult, elder, elderly man, elderly woman, senior person - a person of status within the whānau or iwi

Kaupapa

philosophy, topic, policy, matter for discussion, plan, purpose, scheme, proposal, agenda, subject, programme, theme, issue, initiative

Kaupapa Māori

Māori approach, Māori topic, Māori customary practice, Māori institution, Māori agenda, Māori principles, Māori ideology - a philosophical doctrine, incorporating the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values of Māori society

Koha

gift, present, offering, donation, contribution - especially one maintaining social relationships and has connotations of reciprocity

Kōiwi tangata

human bones or remains

Kōrero

to tell, say, speak, read, talk, address; speech, narrative, story, news, account, discussion, conversation, discourse, statement, information

Mamae

be painful, sore, hurt

Mana

prestige, authority, control, power, influence, status, spiritual power, charisma - mana is a supernatural force in a person, place or object. Mana goes hand in hand with tapu, one affecting the other. The more prestigious the event, person or object, the more it is surrounded by tapu and mana. Mana is the enduring, indestructible power of the atua and is inherited at birth, the more senior the descent, the greater the mana. The authority of mana and tapu is inherited and delegated through the senior line from the atua as their human agent to act on revealed will. Since authority is a spiritual gift delegated by the atua, man remains the agent, never the source of mana. This divine choice is confirmed by the elders, initiated by the tohunga under traditional consecratory rites (tohi). Mana gives a person the authority to lead, organise and regulate communal expeditions and activities, to make decisions regarding social and political matters. A person or tribe's mana can increase from successful ventures or decrease through the lack of success.

Manaakitanga

hospitality, kindness, generosity, support - the process of showing respect, generosity and care for others

Māori

Māori, Indigenous New Zealander, Indigenous person of Aotearoa/New Zealand - a new use of the word resulting from Pākehā contact in order to distinguish between people of Māori descent and the colonisers

Marae

courtyard - the open area in front of the wharenui (meeting house), where formal greetings and discussions take place. Often also used to include the complex of buildings around the marae

Mātauranga

knowledge, wisdom, understanding, skill - sometimes used in the plural; education - an extension of the original meaning and commonly used in modern Māori with this meaning

Mauri

life principle, life force, vital essence, special nature, a material symbol of a life principle, source of emotions - the essential quality and vitality of a being or entity. Also used for a physical object, individual, ecosystem or social group in which this essence is located

Moana

sea, ocean, large lake

Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa

the Pacific Ocean

Pākehā

English, foreign, European, exotic - introduced from or originating in a foreign country; New Zealander of European descent - probably originally applied to English-speaking Europeans living in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Pepeha

tribal saying, tribal motto, proverb (especially about a tribe), set form of words, formulaic expression, saying of the ancestors, figure of speech, motto, slogan - set sayings known for their economy of words and metaphor and encapsulating many Māori values and human characteristics

Pūrākau

myth, ancient legend, story

Rangatahi

younger generation, youth

Rangatira

chief (male or female), chieftain, chieftainess, master, mistress, boss, supervisor, employer, landlord, owner, proprietor - qualities of a leader is a concern for the integrity and prosperity of the people, the land, the language and other cultural treasures (e.g. oratory and song poetry), and an aggressive and sustained response to outside forces that may threaten these

Rangatiratanga

chieftainship, right to exercise authority, chiefly autonomy, chiefly authority, ownership, leadership of a social group, domain of the rangatira, noble birth, attributes of a chief

Rohe

boundary, district, region, territory, area, border (of land)

Rūnanga

council, tribal council, assembly, board, boardroom, iwi authority - assemblies called to discuss issues of concern to iwi or the community

Tamariki

children - normally used only in the plural

Tāne

husband, male, man

Tangata whenua

local people, hosts, indigenous people - people born of the whenua, i.e. of the placenta and of the land where the people's ancestors have lived and where their placenta are buried

Taonga

treasure, anything prized - applied to anything considered to be of value including socially or culturally valuable objects, resources, phenomenon, ideas and techniques

Tapu

be sacred, prohibited, restricted, set apart, forbidden, under atua protection; restriction, prohibition - a supernatural condition. A person, place or thing is dedicated to an atua and is thus removed from the sphere of the profane and put into the sphere of the sacred. It is untouchable, no longer to be put to common use

Te reo Māori

Māori language

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi

Tikanga

correct procedure, custom, habit, lore, method, manner, rule, way, code, meaning, plan, practice, convention, protocol - the customary system of values and practices that have developed over time and are deeply embedded in the social context

Tino rangatiratanga

self-determination, sovereignty, autonomy, self-government, domination, rule, control, power

Tipuna

ancestor, grandparent, grandfather, grandmother - singular form of tīpuna and the eastern dialect variation of tupuna

Tohunga

skilled person, chosen expert, priest, healer - a person chosen by the agent of an atua and the tribe as a leader in a particular field because of signs indicating talent for a particular vocation

Tupuna

ancestor, grandparent – singular form of tūpuna and the western dialect variation of tipuna

Tūrangawaewae

domicile, standing, place where one has the right to stand - place where one has rights of residence and belonging through kinship and whakapapa

Wairua

spirit, soul - spirit of a person which exists beyond death. It is the non-physical spirit, distinct from the body and the mauri

Wahine/wāhine

wahine - woman, female, lady, wife; wāhine - women, females, ladies, wives – plural form of wahine; female, women, feminine

Wairuatanga

spirituality

Wānanga

seminar, conference, forum, educational seminar; tribal knowledge, lore, learning - important traditional cultural, religious, historical, genealogical and philosophical knowledge; tertiary institution that caters for Māori learning needs - established under the Education Act 1990

Whaikōrero

oratory, oration, formal speech-making, address, speech - formal speeches usually made by men during a pohiri and other gatherings

Whakapapa

genealogy, genealogical table, lineage, descent - reciting whakapapa was, and is, an important skill and reflected the importance of genealogies in Māori society in terms of leadership, land and fishing rights, kinship and status. It is central to all Māori institutions. There are different terms for the types of whakapapa and the different ways of reciting them including: tāhū (recite a direct line of ancestry through only the senior line); whakamoe (recite a genealogy including males and their spouses); taotahi (recite genealogy in a single line of descent); hikohiko (recite genealogy in a selective way by not following a single line of descent); ure tārewa (male line of descent through the first-born male in each generation)

Whakataukī

proverb, significant saying, formulaic saying, cryptic saying, aphorism. Like whakatauākī and pepeha they are essential ingredients in whaikōrero

Whānau

extended family, family group, a familiar term of address to a number of people - the primary economic unit of traditional Māori society. In the modern context the term is sometimes used to include friends who may not have any kinship ties to other members

Whānaungatanga

relationship, kinship, sense of family connection - a relationship through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. It develops as a result of kinship rights and obligations, which also serve to strengthen each member of the kin group. It also extends to others to whom one develops a close familial, friendship or reciprocal relationship

Whenua

land - often used in the plural; territory, domain; country, land, nation, state

 

Contact details

The Marsden Fund Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden is administered by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Telephone:        +64 (0)4 470 5799

Email:                  marsden@royalsociety.org.nz

Postal address:

The Marsden Fund

Royal Society Te Apārangi

PO Box 598

Wellington 6140

NEW ZEALAND

Courier address:

The Marsden Fund

Royal Society Te Apārangi

11 Turnbull Street

Thorndon

Wellington 6011

NEW ZEALAND

https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/