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Expression of Interest guidelines for Fast-Start and Standard applicants

Detailed information on the preliminary funding round for Standard and Fast-Start proposals for the 2023 round

Also available as a PDF: 2023 EOI Guidelines FS and STD.

See also, information on the application portal

On this page:  

These guidelines pertain to Marsden Fund Fast-Start and Standard full proposals ONLY.


The Marsden Fund operates a yearly funding cycle and makes an annual call for proposals in November / December.

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.

To assist the Council, ten discipline-based assessment panels make recommendations on the proposals in their area of research. See “Ngā whakamāramatanga mō ngā wāhanga Panel definitions” in this document for a full list of panels and their definitions.

Marsden Fund Council mission statement

“To drive world-class research in New Zealand by supporting and incentivising excellent researchers to work on their best and boldest ideas and to connect internationally, leading to new knowledge and skills with the potential for significant downstream impact for New Zealand”.

Statement of support for early career researchers (2020):

“Given the constraints imposed by Covid-19 on the New Zealand research community and the particular effects on the trajectories of early career researchers, the Marsden Fund Council will give strategic attention to the criterion of building research capacity in New Zealand when assessing proposals”.

Award categories



Average maximum amount per year excl. GST





Up to 3 years

Two stages: February (EOI) and June (Full).


Varies by panel  - see “Project Size” in this document)

Up to 3 years

Two stages: February (EOI) and June (Full).

Marsden Fund Council Award

$1 million

Up to 3 years

One proposal stage ONLY: Full proposal due February. Two stages of assessment by Council.

There are three categories of proposals available for the Marsden Fund:

Fast-Start: For emerging researchers, capped at a maximum amount of $360,000 over 3 years. Two–stage process, with an Expression of Interest to be submitted by the February deadline. The EOI consists of a one-page abstract of proposed research, CVs plus supporting information. Assessed by discipline-based panels.

Standard: Open to all eligible researchers, amount of funding is flexible and is capped. These are larger than Fast-Start proposals. Funding can be sought for up to three years. Two-stage process, with an Expression of Interest to be submitted by the February deadline. The EOI consists of a one-page abstract of proposed research, CVs plus supporting information. Assessed by discipline-based panels.

Marsden Fund Council Award: Open to all eligible researchers. Larger than Standard grants, capped at a maximum amount of $3 million over 3 years. One-stage proposal process, with a full proposal to be submitted by the February deadline. Assessed in a two-stage process by the Marsden Fund Council. See separate guidelines for more details.

These guidelines pertain to Fast-Start and Standard proposals ONLY. Applicants wishing to submit a Marsden Fund Council Award proposal should consult the separate MFCA Guidelines for Applicants.

Funding deadlines

The deadline for all EOIs is 12 noon (NZDT) Thursday, 16 February 2023. Research Offices and private applicants will be advised by 9 May 2023 of the outcome of EOIs.

Proposal portal

All Marsden Fund proposals should be submitted on the web-based portal.

Researchers should write their proposals directly into this portal using the forms and templates provided.

Researchers who submit proposals through an institutional co-ordinator should contact their Research Office for log-in details for the portal. Independent researchers and researchers from small institutions should contact the Marsden Fund (marsden@royalsociety.org.nz or 04-470 5799) to obtain their log-in details.

Separate instructions for using the proposal portal are available there. However, the guidelines provided here should also be referred to as they contain background information about the Fund and what information is expected in each section of the proposal.

Changes for 2023

  • Vision Mātauranga section moved forward in the proposal (now section 2)
  • Vision Mātauranga text box increased to 200 words in section 2
  • Abstract, References and Roles and Resources are now Section 3
  • NEW: Proposals must not benefit a Russian state institution (including but not limited to support for Russian military or security activity) or an organisation outside government that may be perceived as contributing to the war effort
  • Trusted Research guidance has been updated
  • COVID-19: The guidelines and timetable have been written as if the 2023 round will proceed as normal. However, assessment processes may need to change at short notice in order to respond quickly to a rapidly evolving situation. Research offices and applicants will be notified if there are any changes to the assessment round.

Any COVID-related changes will also be posted on our website:


Information on applying

Information on applying is available:

  • From your research coordinator if you are at a university, Crown Research Institute (CRI), or Tertiary Education Organisation (TEO).
  • On the Marsden Fund web site: https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/application/
  • From the Marsden Fund office (phone 04-470 5799).


Early December 2022

Guidelines available and portal active

February 16, 2023

Closing date for EOIs and Marsden Fund Council Award proposals

April 3-6, 12-14

EOI Assessment Panel meetings

May 4

Marsden Fund Council meeting

May 9

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

June 21

Closing date for Full Proposals

August 2-3

Marsden Fund Council meeting

August 16

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

August 30

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

September 18-29

Assessment Panel meetings

October 12

Marsden Fund Council meeting

TBA: Approximately early November

Results announced


Marsden Fund objectives

The Marsden Fund invests in excellent, investigator-led 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 contributes 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 and innovation within the research, science and technology system.

The primary objectives of the Marsden Fund are to:

  • Enhance the quality of research in New Zealand by creating increased opportunity to undertake excellent investigator-initiated research; and
  • Support the advancement of knowledge in New Zealand, and contribute to the global knowledge base.

The secondary objectives of the Marsden Fund are to:

  • Contribute to the development of advanced skills in New Zealand including support for continuing training of post-doctoral level researchers, and support for the establishment of early careers of new and emerging researchers.
  • Contribute in the long-term to economic, social, cultural, environmental, health or other impacts for New Zealand.

Note: Impact will be monitored at the level of the whole Marsden Fund over a long timeframe.

The full Terms of Reference, last updated in 2017, are on the Marsden Fund website: https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/about/tor/

Eligibility criteria (Updated)

The Marsden Fund is fully contestable and is open to applicants who meet the Fund’s eligibility criteria. The criteria are determined by the Marsden Fund Council. Eligibility to apply for funding as a contact Principal Investigator (PI) is restricted to New Zealand-based researchers. The research should be carried out in New Zealand, except in cases where its nature demands that it be carried out elsewhere.

For Standard proposals, “New Zealand-based,” for researchers who have overseas appointments, has been defined by the Marsden Fund Council as being employed at a New Zealand host institution, and present, in New Zealand for 0.5 FTE (or more) per year.

Fast-Start applicants must be employed entirely in New Zealand for the duration of their grant. Applicants may apply from outside New Zealand with the support of a New Zealand host institution, with the intent of moving to New Zealand to undertake their Fast-Start research.

Please note that the requirement to be “New Zealand-based” for the duration of the grant applies to contact PIs only. It does not apply to co-PIs or associate investigators (AIs).

If an applicant is a panellist, they cannot apply to the panel on which they are sitting, either as a PI or as an AI.

NEW: For a proposal to be eligible for funding, it must not benefit a Russian state institution (including but not limited to support for Russian military or security activity) or an organisation outside government that may be perceived as contributing to the war effort.

More information is available at https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/new-eligibility-criteria-restricts-science-research-funding-that-could-contribute-to-russias-war-effort/

Definition of Principal and Associate Investigators

Principal Investigators (PIs) lead the research, contribute the main ideas and are responsible, with their institution, for the achievements of the objectives and the management of the contract.

Associate Investigators (AIs) play a lesser role than PIs and may only be involved with limited aspects of the work. These can include, for example, cultural advisors.

Mentors (Fast-Start proposals only) are people who should play a role in advising the PI on various aspects of project management, career guidance and professional development; they should not have a scholarly input into the proposed research (if they do, they should be listed as AIs instead). Mentors should ideally be based at the applicant’s institution. CVs are not required for mentors.

Collaborators providing a service may be named in the Roles and Resources section; no CV is required for them.

Number of proposals per person

For each annual funding cycle, eligible applicants must:

  • Be involved in no more than ONE proposal as a PI per funding round (assuming no exclusion – see below).
  • Be involved in no more than TWO proposals in total per funding round; either as a PI on one and an AI on another, or as an AI on two proposals.

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

Principal Investigator exclusion rule

If successful as a PI in a particular funding year, a researcher will be excluded from applying for another Marsden Fund grant as a PI 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 PIs, whether they are contact PIs or co-PIs.

For example:

  • A PI who was awarded a Marsden Fund grant in the 2021 round will not be permitted to apply as a PI to the Marsden Fund in 2023 but will be permitted to apply in the 2024 round.
  • A PI who was awarded a Marsden Fund grant in the 2022 round will not be eligible to apply as a PI in 2023 or 2024 but will be permitted to apply in the 2025 round.
  • A PI who was awarded a Marsden Fund grant in the 2020 round is eligible to apply in the 2023 round, even if the 2020 contract has been extended past its original completion date.
  • Any PI who is excluded by this rule in any particular funding round may still apply as an AI on a maximum of two proposals. For Fast-Start and Standard proposals, the maximum FTE is 0.05 per year; for Marsden Fund Council Award proposals, this restriction on AI FTE time does not apply.
  • On the very rare occasions where a new PI is appointed on an existing grant (for example if the original contact PI moves overseas), new PIs are not subject to the PI exclusion rule.

Assessment criteria

The key assessment criteria are:

  • 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.

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.

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

The cost of the project is not considered until the full proposal stage. 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.

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 criteria set out above.

How the criteria will be assessed

Proposals 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.

How to apply

Applicants should register their intent to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI), with the following information: name of contact PI (with all initials), type of proposal (Fast-Start or Standard), and panel the proposal is being submitted to.

The final date for registration of intent will be determined by Research Offices in each institution. Note that the Marsden Fund does not have a deadline for registration, and does not require Research Offices to notify the Marsden Fund of registrations. Institutional applicants will be registered by their co-ordinator, or, if there is no co-ordinator, by the Marsden Fund administration.

The strict deadline for submission of proposals is 12 noon (NZDT) Thursday, 16 February 2023.

After the panels and Council have considered the EOIs, a number of applicants will be invited to make Full Proposals with a strict deadline of 12 noon (NZST), 21 June 2023. The results of the final allocation process will be announced in early November 2023.

It is not intended that any pre-selection of proposals should occur within proposers’ institutions, but researchers must ensure that any proposal they submit has the approval of their research institute or other employing agency, where appropriate.

Trusted Research Guidance

Researchers should familiarise themselves with the Trusted Research Guidance for Institutions and Researchers. If there are any questions arising from this, please consult your Research Office.

New Zealand has an open and collaborative research and innovation system, and values academic freedom and research conducted independently by individuals and organisations.  While the government is actively seeking to increase the international connectedness of the research and innovation system, there are potential risks with international partnerships that have to be identified and managed to prevent damaged reputations (including harm to researchers), lost intellectual property (IP), and harm to New Zealand’s national interests (Trusted Research Guidance for Institutions and Researchers).

One such risk is that sensitive technologies* may be accessed by others and applied to purposes that are not consistent with New Zealand’s values or interests. In order to manage these potential risks, a risk analysis of those projects that are offered funding in the 2023 Marsden Fund selection round will be performed.  In the unlikely event that any funded project appears to contain a high level of risk, risk mitigation strategies may need to be employed.  These would be developed after a discussion with the Principal Investigator and the relevant institution(s) and may form part of the contractual conditions of the project.

*Technologies become sensitive when they: are or could become dual use i.e., have both a civil and military/security application; or, underpin, or have the potential to underpin, significant economic value for New Zealand.

Panel definitions

A broad, discipline-based assessment framework is used. This framework is as follows:

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; molecular ecology; 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.

Economics and Human & 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.

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.  Note that all computer science proposals should be sent to the MIS panel.

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.


The grant size for a Fast-Start is $120,000 per year, or a maximum of $360,000 over three years.

The Fast-Start programme is targeted at researchers who are employed at New Zealand universities, Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) 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. The applicant should be involved in their own independent research, and not merely be part of a larger group’s research programme.

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, and in a position that allows them to develop an independent research career.

Researchers wishing to submit a Fast-Start proposal 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 PIs in their own research programmes. While linkages with established researchers as AIs, 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.

The application process, timetable, selection criteria and assessment are the same as for a Standard Marsden Fund proposal, apart from one of the selection criteria (the contribution to the development of broadening of research skills in New Zealand, particularly those of emerging researchers), which is considered satisfied for these applicants. The distribution of successful applicants across research areas will be decided by the Marsden Fund Council. Note that the Fast-Start proposals are ranked separately from the Standard proposals.

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for this programme, but who wish to apply for larger grants, should submit a Standard proposal.


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 accounted for separately in the eligibility extension for dependent children - see below.

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

For the 2023 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 2016 (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 2013 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 carer for young children. If the applicant is the primary carer of a dependent child, the applicant can 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. Primary carers are defined as in the link below:


For someone who has had a career interruption due to primary carer responsibilities for young children born 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 2016

Within 10 fulltime years of start of research career

Beginning of 2013

1 child

9 years

Beginning of 2014

12 years

Beginning of 2011

2 children

11 years

Beginning of 2012

14 years

Beginning of 2009


Example 1 (Track A):

For someone who gained their PhD in 2015 and worked fulltime for 2 years, followed by sick leave for 1 year, followed by working for 4 years at 0.5 FTE, their years of experience would be 4 – making them eligible to apply.

Example 2 (Track A):

PhD awarded beginning of 2010; fulltime work for 4 years, parental leave for 1 year (primary caregiver for 1 child), employed at 0.5 FTE for 2 years, parental leave for 1 year (primary caregiver for a 2nd child), employed at 0.6 FTE for 4 years:                             

a) Years of experience

  • Fulltime work for 4 years 4
  • Parental leave for 1 year 1
  • Employed at 0.5 FTE for 2 years 1
  • Parental leave for 1 year 1
  • Employed at 0.6 FTE for 4 years 4

Total years of experience (a) = 9.4 years

b) Eligibility window

  • Number of dependent children the applicant was a primary caregiver for: 2
  • Eligibility extension = 2 children x 2 years each - 4 years (x)

Overall eligibility extension in fulltime years (b) is x + 7 = 11 years

a) is less than b), so the researcher is eligible for Fast-Start.

Note that the career interruption can apply to any gender, and the researcher does not necessarily have to have taken parental leave.

If an applicant is not sure whether they qualify for the primary carer eligibility extension, the Marsden Fund will consider on a case-by-case basis.

Please refer to the Marsden Fund website for a career gaps calculator if you need some help with part-time calculations. This is a very useful Excel spreadsheet which calculates your years of experience for you.

Fast-Start career gaps calculator

If there is doubt about eligibility, applicants should contact their Research Office in the first instance. If in further doubt, please contact the Marsden Fund.

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

Mentor (optional)

For Fast-Start proposals, there is an option to name a mentor on a Fast-Start proposal, where no funding/FTE would be sought for that person. This person would play a role in advising the applicant on various aspects of project management, career guidance and professional development; they would not have a scholarly input into the proposed research. While CVs are not required for mentors, their expected contribution should be outlined in the Roles and Resources section. Mentors should ideally be based at the applicant’s institution.

If a researcher is to act as a mentor and also plans to have an input into the proposed research, they should be listed as an AI instead. Any mentoring done by an AI should be detailed in the proposal under the Roles and Resources section along with their other contributions. They should NOT also be listed in the “Mentor” category. CVs need to be supplied for any AI, and FTEs sought for them.

A researcher can be entered on a Fast-Start proposal as a Mentor, or an AI, but not both.

If Fast-Start applicants do not have an AI on their proposal, it is advised that they have a named Mentor.

No more than one Mentor can be named for each Fast-Start proposal.


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.
  • Mātauranga, which involves exploring indigenous knowledge.

Vision Mātauranga and the Marsden Fund

Please note that Vision Mātauranga is 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 whether or not Vision Mātauranga is relevant and, if so, which of the four themes apply – please refer to instructions for Section 2.

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 3a-3c. 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; marae; 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). Mātauranga Māori 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. https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/11493

A 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/

Project size (Standard proposals)

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 where possible. 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 set a maximum amount per proposal, which differs between panels. There is no minimum. Amounts applied for may vary from year to year, as long as the total amount over 3 years is no greater than the maximum amount.


The maximum amounts are as follows:


Maximum total amount over 3 years


$960K (average $320k/year)


$960K (average $320k/year)


$870K (average $290k/year)


$960K (average $320k/year)


$960K (average $320k/year)


$960K (average $320k/year)


$660K (average $220k/year)


$720K (average $240k/year)


$960K (average $320k/year)


$870K (average $290k/year)

Please note that maximum amounts are exclusive of GST.

Other funding

Applicants are asked whether they have sought or received any other funding for the Marsden Fund-proposed research.

At the EOI stage, any applicants who have sought or received other funding for a grant for the same purpose should provide the following information:

  • Name of funding organisation.
  • Amount requested.
  • Title.

You may provide an explanation if you wish.

There is also provision to enter more than one instance of other funding, if required.

It is appreciated that some applicants will apply to other funding sources, for the same work. This will not affect assessment of the EOI. Should the proposed research be funded by more than one funding agency, this will be followed up by the Marsden Fund administration. Should applicants be invited to submit a Full Proposal, more details of funding sought or received will be required.

Format of proposals

All proposals should be submitted via the portal using the prescribed document templates. These can be downloaded from the portal with the original format retained from the templates. The layout of the entire proposal is automatic on the portal (seen via the “Print Preview” function). The limit on space in all sections of the templates should be adhered to. The typeface should be 12 point, Times or of similar size font, single spacing (12 point), with margins of 2 cm on the left and 2 cm on the right side of the page. Instructions may be removed, but not the margins. No additional pages or attachments will be accepted other than where requested (unless a translation is supplied – see below).

A hard copy of the last page of the proposal that contains the declaration page is not required. Instead, all contact PIs are required to tick a box on the portal to indicate their acceptance of the proposal declaration. For institutional sign-off, a single signature covering all submitted proposals is all that is required, and a form for this is available on the portal for Research Offices. For private individuals, the tick-box alone is sufficient.

IMPORTANT: Coloured images / text may be included in sections 3a to 3c of the proposal. Images are not permitted in CVs. The guidelines on formatting must be followed. Failure to do so may result in the proposal not being considered.


Applying in te reo Māori

If applicants wish to complete some, or all, sections of their proposal in te reo Māori, they are able to do so. However, because some of the panellists (and possibly referees) who will be assessing their proposal will not be fluent in te reo Māori, an English translation of the section(s) will be necessary. Applicants, therefore, are able to provide a translation for those sections as supplementary material over and above the page limits set for the relevant section of the proposal. Applicants must still keep to the set page limits for the “official” proposal, but can use additional pages for the translation.

The portal at present will not allow additional documents or pages, so we ask that anyone who is providing a translation sends it by email to rachel.averill@royalsociety.org.nz by the closing date of February 16th 2023. If an applicant chooses not to provide a translation, then we will arrange for a translation to be made by one of the third-party translation services that we use for our own publications. Please note that because this will be carried out by a third-party service, we will not be able to guarantee the accuracy of the translation.

Proposal numbers and panel selection

When you register your proposal on the portal, a unique proposal number will automatically be generated.

  • This consists of: 23-(Institution)-(Number).
  • The first two numbers refer to the year of application (2023). The institution is a three-letter abbreviation.
  • For example: LCR – Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, UOW – University of Waikato.
  • The numbers are consecutive 3-digit numbers. Your number can be obtained from your institution’s Research Office.
  • Private individuals or researchers need to contact the Marsden Fund for their proposal number.

You will need to select the category of proposal: Fast-Start, Standard, or Marsden Fund Council Award.

For Fast-Start and Standard proposals, select one of the ten Marsden Fund panels to assess your proposal, using the three-letter panel abbreviation as listed in the panel table above in the panel descriptions. It is not possible to apply to more than one panel. If you are unsure which panel to apply to, please seek advice from your Research Office. If there are any queries from panel convenors about panel choice, this will be followed up with the applicants.

The information entered will appear automatically at the top of each page of the proposal form, along with the name and initials of the contact PI (see notes on “Contact Person and Principal Investigators” below).

Example (Standard Proposal) for Dr H.R. Taumata:


Contact PI’s surname


Application Number








NZRIS obligations

Royal Society Te Apārangi is one of the data providers for the New Zealand Research Information System (NZRIS). In 2020, several new data elements were introduced for each proposal. These will form data to be collected in the future as part of NZRIS. These elements will continue.

  • Percentage share of Fields of Research (FOR) codes in the proposed research.
  • Socio-Economic Objectives (SEOs) and associated keywords required – note that these will not be accessible by anyone involved in the assessment of proposals.
  • Type of research activity (default set to “pure basic”, 100%) - will not be accessible by anyone involved in the assessment of proposals.
  • Share of the proposed research to each Vision Mātauranga theme.
  • On the “Statistical information” page, “Date of Birth” is requested for each applicant. This is not mandatory. Along with other statistical information such as gender and ethnicity, this will not be accessible by anyone involved in the assessment of proposals.

For more information about NZRIS, please see https://www.mbie.govt.nz/science-and-technology/science-and-innovation/research-and-data/nzris/

For more recent progress on NZRIS, please see https://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/nzris-phase-1-factsheet-august-september-2020.pdf

Our provision of data to the NZRIS system currently consists of the characteristics of awarded proposals and the names and institutions of supported investigators.

Proposal section by section

Instructions how to use the portal, along with FAQs, are available at:


Follow-on funding tick box

Please tick this box if this proposal is following on in any way or arising from previous Marsden funding. If so, please note in the text box the Marsden Fund contract(s) which the proposed research follows on from. The tick box and previous contract information provided here will be used for monitoring and evaluation purposes only and will not be accessible by anyone involved in the assessment of proposals. For this reason, any relationship to previous Marsden funding should be described in the proposed research.

Section 1a. Title

The title of your proposal should be in plain language, be descriptive, and no more than 25 words in length. Please note that the title helps potential reviewers decide whether to assist us in the review process, so please avoid puns, proverbs, colloquialisms, whimsical or obscure popular culture references. A clear title will also help the Marsden Fund Council meet its obligations to communicate the relevance and importance of Marsden-funded research to the New Zealand public. For this reason, the Marsden Fund Council reserves the right to alter your title, should your proposal be funded.

Section 1b. Contact person, and Principal and Associate Investigators

For Fast-Start proposals there shall be only one PI who will also be the contact person. For other proposals it is possible to name more than one PI in the case of partnerships or other sharing of responsibility for the project. However, one should be nominated as the contact person for the proposal and all correspondence between the Marsden Fund and the proposers must be directed through the contact person. Administrative contact on the research proposal is through the institution’s Research Office. Private applicants may sign as their own host.

Fast-Start applicants should also include the title of their PhD thesis and the name of their supervisor(s) in the spaces provided.

Please note that all PIs, AIs (and Mentors if applicable) on each proposal will need to confirm their own contact details via an individual URL, which will be emailed to each person after their email address has been entered into the portal by the contact PI. Each individual person will therefore be able to provide their own Fields of Research (FOR) codes, contact details and statistical information, and give consent for their involvement in each proposal that they are involved in, without a requirement for the contact PI to provide details.

ORCID: There is a facility in the "People" section of the portal for each named investigator to add or create an ORCID ID. An ORCID ID is preferred for all named investigators, but is not mandatory.  Please click on the "Create or Connect your ORCID ID" button on the top right of the "Contact Details" section and follow instructions.

All named PIs and AIs are requested to provide up to five Fields of Research (FOR) codes about their own research interests and expertise. A list of codes will be available on the portal, and can also be referred to at:


Each person named in the proposal needs to tick their acceptance of the personal Terms and Conditions page. Agreement is carried over from previous years.

They will also be able to see a list of proposals that they are named on, and will also need to click the "I Agree" box next to each proposal to indicate their agreement. Agreement is not carried over from previous years, as it relates to specific proposals.

Section 1b and use of personal information

To monitor the profile of different groups within Marsden funding, identify funding trends and gaps, and to help find experts in particular fields, Royal Society Te Apārangi collects statistical Information relating to each applicant. Statistical information (for example, gender, ethnicity, years since PhD, date of birth) is used for statistical purposes only. It is not accessible by anyone involved in the assessment of proposals.

Section 1b should contain the title, first name, first and middle initials, and last name of all PIs and AIs, and also a contact email address for all investigators. . Please note that although contact details of all investigators are required, only the names, institutions and countries (if outside New Zealand) of the investigators will be displayed when previewed as a document on the portal. It is important to list all PIs and AIs, including those based overseas, as new PIs and AIs cannot be added at the Full Proposal stage except in extraordinary circumstances.

For Fast-Start researchers, an optional “Mentor” category is present in Section 1b. Only one Mentor can be named per proposal. No CV or FTE input is required for Mentors, but their contribution must be outlined in the Roles and Resources section. Mentors will also be requested to enter their contact details on the portal and give their agreement to be named on the proposal.


Section 1c. Fields of Research codes, SEOs, Type of Research Activity

Fields of Research (FOR) codes, SEOs and Type of Research Activity are all part of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC). These codes have recently been updated (ANZSRC 2020). Further information can be found at:


Fields of Research (FOR) codes

Please enter up to THREE 6-digit codes, using codes that are as specific as possible. For a list of codes and a search field, please refer to:


As part of our NZRIS obligations (see “NZRIS obligations” earlier), we will be required to report the share of each FOR code to the proposed research. Please indicate the % share of each FOR code to the proposed research. The shares should add up to 100%.

Please also give key words or key phrases of no more than 255 characters in total, in a single list (separated by commas or semi-colons; please avoid using the return key). This information will be used to assist the process of finding referees and also to provide data for a strategic report on funding.

Socio-Economic Objectives (SEOs)

Collection of SEO data for Marsden Fund proposals will form part of our reporting obligations for NZRIS (see “NZRIS obligations” earlier). It is expected that the vast majority of Marsden proposals will be covered under “Expanding Knowledge” codes beginning with 28.

Please choose up to three codes from the drop-down field. Please also indicate the % share of each SEO code to the proposed research. The shares should add up to 100%.

For a list of codes and a search field, please refer to the Socio-Economic Objectives Calculator at:


Please also give key words or key phrases associated with the chosen SEOs, of no more than 255 characters in total, in a single list (separated by commas or semi-colons; please avoid using the return key).

This information will not be accessible by anyone involved in the assessment of proposals.

Type of Research Activity

Collection of research activity data for Marsden Fund proposals will form part of our reporting obligations for NZRIS (see “NZRIS obligations” earlier). The default setting on the portal for each proposal is “Pure Basic” and set to 100%. This can be changed if required. If no change is required, no action is needed.

The four activities are:

  • Pure basic research (default setting for Marsden Fund) is basic research carried out for the advancement of knowledge, without seeking long-term economic or social benefits or making any effort to apply the results to practical problems or to transfer the results to sectors responsible for their application.
  • Strategic basic research is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge directed into specified broad areas in the expectation of practical discoveries. It provides the broad base of knowledge necessary for the solution of recognised practical problems.
  • Applied research is original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge. It is, however, directed primarily towards a specific, practical aim or objective.
  • Experimental research is systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and producing additional knowledge, which is directed to producing new products or processes or to improving existing products or processes.

More information can be found at:


This information will not be accessible by anyone involved in the assessment of proposals.

Section 1d. Summary

Please describe in up to 100 words the nature of the proposed research. This should be in plain language and should cover the following items: What is the state of the field? What does the applicant want to do? How will the applicant do it? What is the broad outcome expected to be?

The summary will be used for two purposes: i) for the panellists as an introduction to the proposed research; and ii) as an aid for finding appropriate referees at the Full Proposal stage.

As the summary will be sent to potential expert referees to enable them to decide whether they have the relevant expertise, it should not contain any commercially sensitive information, and it should be a stand-alone description of the proposal.

Section 2: Vision Mātauranga (Updated)

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

This section has been moved from Section 3. The size of the text box has also increased.

Where research projects have one or more Vision Mātauranga themes, the Marsden Fund Council expects applicants to be in an engagement or consultation process at the planning stage, so as to achieve the best possible outcomes.

If the EOI goes through to the Full Proposal round, please note that it is essential that any costs associated with Vision Mātauranga capability development and engagement are appropriately accounted for in the budget.

Please refer to the Vision Mātauranga section earlier in this document for more guidance. If unsure about the relevance of the proposed study to the Vision Mātauranga themes, researchers should consult their institutional advisor. For the guidance of applicants, the relevance does vary according to panel. Examples of relevance could include proposals that involve biomedical research of significance to Māori health, social research, educational research, entrepreneurship, indigenous research, natural hazards, native flora and fauna, anthropology, the environment, sporting and cultural activities, literature, and language (even if the approach to these topics is seemingly irrelevant, such as algorithm development, biochemical pathways or mechanical properties). Furthermore, capacity and capability development, both now and for the future, are important aspects of Vision Mātauranga and should be considered for inclusion in any project.

In this section, PIs should identify which, if any, of the four Vision Mātauranga themes, can be associated with the proposed research. Please note that more than one box may be ticked. If none apply, please tick N/A. The themes are:

  • Indigenous innovation: Research that utilise distinctive products, processes, systems and services from Māori knowledge.
  • Taiao: Research that furthers environmental sustainability by engaging with local hapῡ and iwi and their researchers and initiatives.
  • Hauora/Oranga: Improving Health and Social Wellbeing.
  • Mātauranga: Exploring Indigenous Knowledge.

Collection of the % of the research that aligns to each Vision Mātauranga theme will form part of our reporting obligations for NZRIS (see “NZRIS Obligations” earlier). If you have ticked one or more Vision Mātauranga theme(s), please consider each theme one at a time. Indicate the proportion of the proposed research that aligns with that theme. Note that it is possible for the combined total to be over 100% (for example, if the proposed research is entirely Mātauranga and also has a Hauora/Oranga theme, the contributions could be 100% and 10% respectively).

Please note that the percentages do not form part of the assessment criteria – they were introduced as part of our NZRIS obligations.

UPDATED: There is a comment box on the portal to briefly explain your rationale for either choosing N/A, or your choice of Vision Mātauranga theme(s). The maximum size for this is now 200 words. Panellists will be looking for affirmation that applicants have considered whether their proposed research has Vision Mātauranga theme(s). If you feel that Vision Mātauranga does not apply to your proposed research, please state this here. Consultation is not a requirement; however, if you have received feedback from your institution that Vision Mātauranga does not apply to your proposed research, please state this here.

Please note that panellists will assess each proposal for Vision Mātauranga relevance, whether the applicant has indicated N/A or not.

Section 3a. Abstract

Note that sections 2 and 3 from previous years have been swapped for 2023.

The abstract is a one-page description of the proposed research. The description is expected to include the aim or hypothesis, or element of discovery, and the research proposed, explaining the importance of the research and providing information that will allow the Marsden Fund Council to make a judgement based on the listed criteria. The proposed research must be confined to the page allocated. If diagrams, images or footnotes are being used, they must be contained within this page. References should be listed separately (section 3b). Typeface should be 12 point, Times or of similar size font, single spacing (12 point), with margins of 2 cm on the left and 2 cm on the right sides of the page. The guidelines on formatting must be followed. Failure to do so may result in the proposal not being considered.

Colour images and /or diagrams may be included in this section. Footnotes may also be included.

Links (URLs) should not be included in this section. However, they may be listed in the “References” section (3b) if they are publicly accessible.

There is a limit of one page for this section when previewed as a document on the portal. Applicants are advised to check the length of their abstract by uploading it to the portal and checking a PDF, as the length may change slightly. 


Section 3b. References

Section 3b is for references associated with the abstract. It is important to support the proposal by means of references. Please ensure that these are not restricted or limited to the applicants’ own work. Applicants are also requested to:

  • Ensure that the references have been published, so that they are readily accessible when the proposal is being assessed.
  • Bold any applicants’ names if they appear in the reference list.
  • Include titles of each reference.

There is a limit of three pages for this section when previewed as a document on the portal. This section does not include the use of footnotes; it should contain a list of references only, rather than further explanation of ideas covered in the abstract. Links (URLs) may be included if they are publicly accessible.

Section 3c. Roles and Resources (Updated)

In this section, briefly outline the contribution that each team member will make to the proposed research. This should include AIs, mentors, post-docs, and postgraduate students (if any), regardless of the FTEs sought. This section should illustrate that the project has the personnel to manage the expected workload of the project, to ensure its smooth management, and to deliver results.

Clearly state the resources required for the proposed research that the team will have access to. This is an opportunity to discuss the practical requirements of your proposed research. For example: access to libraries/collections/archives; access to required instruments/equipment/techniques; ability to do fieldwork (for example: site access; assistance, etc.); access to pools of participants.

Please note that if applicants will require logistical support from Antarctica New Zealand for their proposed research, this should be signalled at the EOI stage in this section. Applicants will be required to engage with Antarctica New Zealand and document this engagement in the Full Proposal.

COVID-19: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic there may be uncertainty around some research activities, such as those which require travel or access to overseas facilities. If this is the case for your proposed project, please explain how this risk will be mitigated.

Fast-Start applicants will need to provide evidence for how the proposed research will support their independent research careers. Discuss opportunities for your career development and be clear on the role of any mentors or AIs (if applicable).

If the proposed research will require ethics approval, please use this section to convince the panellists that you have thought through all the relevant issues of your research and its possible implications (in the Full Proposal, there is a separate section, 3h, for details of ethical or regulatory obligations – for example, child protection policies if working with children).

Do not describe the background and expertise of the team in general terms or use the section to extend the Abstract and further describe your research.

Section 3c should not exceed one page in length when previewed as a document on the portal.

Section 4: Personnel (FTEs) table

The time that each member of the research team will spend on the proposed project should be listed in the table in section 4 and filled in for each year of the planned research. The contribution of all personnel must be included as a fraction of a full-time equivalent (FTE). For example, if the PI were to commit one day per week to the proposed research this would be expressed as 0.2 FTE. Please note that the absolute minimum combined time for all PIs on Standard proposals is now 0.1 FTE per year. This is designed to provide flexibility in special cases. However, the Marsden Fund Council expects that sufficient PI time be allocated to carry out the project successfully. The minimum time for a PI on a Fast-Start proposal is 0.2 FTE per year.

The minimum time for an Associate Investigator (AI) is 0.05 FTE per year.

Please note that overseas investigators cannot have their time (FTE) or institutional costs paid for by the Marsden Fund. For payment of any FTE on a Marsden grant, investigators are required to be New Zealand-based.

Post-doctoral researchers (Standard Proposals only) and / or postgraduate students can be included in the research team. Summer students may also be included under the “postgraduate student” category if required.

Post-doctoral researchers may be part-time or full-time on a Marsden Fund proposal.

Postgraduate students can be supported on Marsden Fund proposals on a fixed-rate basis. The  values are $35k scholarship per year, plus fees (New Zealand resident rates) for PhD students or $22k scholarship plus fees (New Zealand resident rates) for one year for Masters students. These figures assume the postgraduate students are assigned to the research on a full-time basis.

For summer studentships, please check with your Research Office for guidance on scholarships.

More information about postgraduate scholarships can be found here: https://www.royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/information-for-grant-recipients/marsden-funded-postgraduate-scholarships/

For both Fast-Start and Standard Proposals, projects may be supported for up to three years. The funds should be used to support the proposed research and researchers.


Section 5: Curriculum Vitae and publications

A CV should be completed for each named applicant, up to a maximum of five pages (see instructions below). CVs are not required for students, technicians, mentors (on Fast-Start proposals) or un-named post-docs, but are required for any post-docs named on the proposal. No photographs are permitted on CVs. MBIE, the Health Research Council and the Marsden Fund use a similar template, which largely standardises the type of information asked for. Please follow these guidelines, which are included with the CV template on the portal. This template allows you to maintain your own master CV, from which you can draw on when submitting a research proposal.

Please note: sections 2b, 2c, 2d of the standard template are relevant only to MBIE proposals and have been deleted from the template on the portal. The template allows you to expand/reduce sections as you see fit.

Part 1

1a.          This section is for personal details. It identifies who you are and where you can be contacted most readily. A space is provided for your own personal website about your research (optional).

1b.          You should list your academic qualifications in this section.

1c.          You should list the professional positions you have held in this section.

1d.          You should briefly describe your field of expertise in this section.

1e.          Please list your total years of research experience in this section, excluding periods away from research. For Fast-Start applicants, please note that this number may be different from years since PhD completion / start of your research career, as in the Fast-Start case, periods away from research are included in the year count.

You can describe any significant interruptions to your research career in the text box underneath section 1e – for example, parental leave, illness, administrative responsibilities. This can be expanded to include eligibility extensions in the case of Fast-Start applicants who have had career interruptions due to being a primary carer for dependent children. The information included here should give an idea of research relative to opportunity.

1f.           This section is for significant achievements, including, but not limited to, honours, prizes, previous grants, scholarships, memberships or board appointments.

1g.          This section is to record the total number of peer-reviewed publications and patents you have produced during your career. Only peer-reviewed or refereed publications, or patents should be counted in each section.  Books should be listed separately in this section.

Part 2

2a.          This section lets you list some of the peer-reviewed publications you have produced and that are relevant to your proposal. Recognising that research dissemination occurs other than through peer-reviewed publications, this section also lets you list other forms of research dissemination, such as technical reports or popular press. Please only include publications that are either published or in press. Submitted articles should not be included.

You should bold your name in the list of authors and include names of all other co-authors (up to 12).

You should bold the year of the publication if it was published in the last 5 years. For 2023, applicants should bold the year of publication from 2018 onwards only. 

In total, your CV must not be more than five pages long when submitted. This allows up to two pages for personal and work history information in Part 1, and up to three pages for evidence of track record in Part 2. All instructions in italics should be deleted before you submit your CV.

  • Note that the list of publications should include all publications relevant to the proposal; these are not limited to publications from the previous 5 years.

For book chapters or volumes, please give page numbers and also names of publishers.

For any published books, please indicate the number of pages for each book.

Please note that page limits are the same for each named person on the proposal.

Section 6: Declaration of other funding sought or received

If you have sought or received other funding for any part of the proposed research, please fill in the details required. There is an option to add more than one instance of other funding. 

Section 7: Declaration page

All contact PIs should read the proposal declaration page and check the tick box on the portal to “sign off” the proposal.

Referees (Fast-Start and Standard applications)

Referees are not contacted at the EOI stage but if you are invited to submit a Full Proposal then the Marsden Fund Council will appoint referees. The Marsden Fund Council will endeavour to get at least two, preferably three reports for each Full Proposal.

If there is any person whom you do not wish to referee your Full Proposal, please state this, providing reasons, in a communication provided to the Society on letterhead. The latest date to receive referee exclusion notifications is within one week of receiving the invitation to submit a Full Proposal – in other words: before May 16th 2023. The number of people that can be excluded as potential referees is strictly limited to three.

Please note that referee exclusions apply only to the funding round in which they are requested and are not carried over from year to year. They need to be requested anew for each funding round. If an applicant excludes a particular referee, does not get funded and gets through to the full round in future years, that referee exclusion will need to be requested again if the applicant still wishes to exclude them.


Statistical information and use of personal information

The Marsden Fund Council encourages proposals from all members of the New Zealand research community. To monitor the profile of different groups within Marsden funding and identify funding trends and gaps, Royal Society Te Apārangi collects statistical Information relating to each applicant. Statistical information (for example, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, years since PhD) is used for statistical purposes only. It is not accessible by anyone involved in the assessment of proposals. Personally identifiable information will not be shared with third parties without your authorisation.

In order to evaluate, and assess the long-term impact of our activities, we will keep an electronic record of the information we hold about you indefinitely unless you request that your private data be destroyed.

If you want to verify, modify, correct or delete any private data, you should apply to the Society's Privacy Officer <privacy.officer@royalsociety.org.nz>.

For “Gender”, there is a “Gender Diverse” category in addition to Male and Female. This is in line with guidelines and categories used by Statistics New Zealand:  http://www.stats.govt.nz/methods/classifications-and-standards/classification-related-stats-standards/gender-identity.aspx

Feedback (Updated)

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.
  • NEW: The proposal is considered ineligible due to missing sections, thus making it unable to be assessed (e.g., missing abstract).

Unsuccessful applicants and institutions will 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.

Qualitative feedback will be available to unsuccessful Fast-Start applicants who are ranked in both second and third quintiles. Applicants will be informed in their EOI result letter whether they qualify for feedback or not.

A general statement about the funding round will be prepared and given to all applicants.



Proposals should be released via the portal. Hard copies are not required.

For institutions, a combined declaration covering all proposals must be signed and submitted by the deadline below. The combined declaration can be downloaded from the portal and after signing, is then re-uploaded to the portal.

All proposals need to be released via the portal no later than 12 noon, Thursday 16th February 2023 (NZDT).


Contact details

The Marsden Fund is administered by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Email:                  marsden@royalsociety.org.nz



The Marsden Fund

Royal Society Te Apārangi

PO Box 598

Wellington 6140


For general information on the Marsden Fund, please see our website: https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/