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Panels and panellists

Definitions of funding round panels and details of panel members for Rutherford Discovery Fellowships.

Panel definitions and 2021 panellists

Three discipline-based panels are being established to aid the assessment of proposals. Panellists to be confirmed (TBC) will be updated when appointed.

2021 Humanities and the Social Sciences

Research related to the human condition or aspects of human society.

This includes: English; languages; history; religion; philosophy; law; classics; linguistics; literature; cultural studies; media studies; art history; film; economics; education; psychology (cognitive, social, developmental, organisational, community and health); cognitive science; linguistics; archaeology; anthropology; sociology; social, cultural and human geography; social anthropology; architecture, urban design and environmental studies; public health; nursing; public policy; marketing; political science; and business studies.


Professor Stuart Carr Massey University
Professor Susy Frankel Victoria University of Wellington
Professor Janet Hoek University of Otago
Dr William Jennings University of Waikato
Associate Professor Jay Marlowe University of Auckland


2021 Life Sciences

Research related to understanding the activities that occur in cells and tissues and the interrelationships between organisms and their environment.

This includes: physiology (plant or animal), pathology (animal or plant), pharmacology, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, microbiology; neurobiology and neuropsychology (including animals as a model species for humans); animal behaviour; population biology genetics; functional genomics and related bioinformatics; biostatistics and modelling; animal, plant and microbial ecology; biogeography; biodiversity; phylogenetics; systematics and evolution; biophysics, chemical biology; and biochemistry.


Associate Professor Jo James University of Auckland
Dr Kim Snowden Plant and Food Research
Professor Murray Cox Massey University
Professor Ruth Empson University of Otago
Professor Dave Kelly University of Canterbury


2021 Physical Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics

Research related to the physical world and mathematics.

This includes: physics; physical chemistry; organic chemistry; analytical chemistry; inorganic chemistry; pure and applied mathematics; statistics; logic, theoretical and engineering aspects of computer and information sciences; complexity theory; operations research; nanotechnology; software and hardware engineering; applications and robotics; materials science; engineering (including bioengineering and other cross-disciplinary research activities); geology; geophysics; physical geography; oceanography; hydrology; meteorology; atmospheric science; earth sciences; astronomy; and astrophysics.


Professor David Hutchinson University of Otago
Dr Sigrun Hreinsdottir GNS Science
Professor Peter Smith Victoria University of Wellington
Professor Sally Gaw University of Canterbury
Professor Suzanne Wilkinson University of Auckland  


2021 Interview panel

The President of the Royal Society Te Apārangi appoints the interview panel for the Rutherford Discovery Fellowships.  The interview panel has the responsibility of recommending Fellows and advising how the funding shall be allocated.


Professor Vic Arcus (Chair) University of Waikato
Professor Allan Blackman Auckland University of Technology
Professor Judi Hewitt NIWA / The University of Auckland
Professor Clemency Montelle University of Canterbury
Associate Professor Marama Muru-Lanning The University of Auckland