Explore as a

Share our content

About Rutherford Discovery Fellowships

About the Rutherford Discovery Fellowships

The Rutherford Discovery Fellowships will support the development of future research leaders, and assist with the retention and repatriation of New Zealand's talented early- to mid- career researchers.  It operates under the Terms of Reference issued by the Minister of Science and Innovation. Receipt of a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship is expected to have significant value in the future career of a researcher. The Fellowship will:

  • Provide support for ten early- to mid-career researchers each year (as defined by being between three and eight years post-PhD).
  • Support the recipients for a five-year term.
  • Provide competitive funding, up to $160,000 a year.
  • Develop excellent researchers in New Zealand.

Ten prestigious Fellowships of five years in length will be awarded on a competitive basis annually, for research based in a New Zealand host institution. Royal Society Te Apārangi has responsibility for administering the Fellowships.

The scheme was set up in a way that will promote multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary links across the science and innovation sector. The Fellowships develop and foster the future leaders in the New Zealand science and innovation system by encouraging their career development and by enabling them to establish a solid track record for future research.

Application process (in brief)

The call for applications is made in March with the deadline for completed proposals to follow in April.

Applicants are required to submit both a completed application form and three applicant-solicited referee reports – the receipt of which is confirmed by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

These proposals are assessed by the appropriate panel, and the highest ranked are chosen to form a long list.

This is then reviewed by the interview panel and a number of candidates are invited to interview in August.

The recommendations of the interview panel are ratified by the President of Royal Society Te Apārangi.

The results of the funding are announced in October. View timeline for latest round dates.