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Information for panellists

The Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowship is one of the Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships. Mana Tūānuku is designed to support Aotearoa New Zealand’s talented mid-career researchers to firmly establish themselves as experts in their research domain and as leaders within the research landscape.


2024 New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowship - Guidelines for panellists

2024 New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowship

Guidelines for panellists | Ngā aratohu mā te rōpū whiriwhiri

Background to the Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships | He whakamārama mō Tāwhia te Mana

The Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships are administered by Royal Society Te Apārangi on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (the Ministry).

The Fellowships will support researchers at different career stages to produce excellent and impactful research and to develop into leaders in their fields, their respective host organisations and across the whole of the Aotearoa New Zealand science, innovation and technology (SI&T) system. It is expected that Fellows, throughout their careers, will contribute to positive outcomes for Aotearoa New Zealand, including by embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi in their work and their community.

Receipt of an Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowship is expected to have significant value for the future career development and leadership potential of a researcher.

The Māori terms in the fellowship names reference the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s values, which includes Tāwhia tō Mana (building and retaining your reputation) as part of enabling the aspiration to “Hīkina Whakatutuki - Grow Aotearoa New Zealand for all”. Tāwhia te Mana Fellowships contribute to building excellence in the SI&T sector.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships consist of three schemes, targeted at early, mid- and established career researchers respectively. The three schemes are:

  • New Zealand Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship
  • New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowship (discussed in these guidelines)
  • New Zealand Mana Tūārangi Distinguished Researcher Fellowship.

The schemes target excellent candidates at three career stages: early-career researchers/future leaders building the foundations of their career (mana tūāpapa); mid-career researchers, further establishing themselves as research leaders (mana tūānuku); and distinguished researchers with expansive career success and a prominent international reputation (mana tūārangi).

New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowships | Mana Tūāpapa

The panellist guidelines below provide panellists with information on the selection of the New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowship. The fellowship targets mid-career researchers, further establishing themselves as research leaders (mana tūānuku).

Objectives | Ngā whāinga

The New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowships will support mid-career researchers to firmly establish themselves as experts in their research domain and as leaders within the research landscape.

All Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships include the overriding objective to develop the future leaders of the Aotearoa New Zealand science, innovation and technology system, and:

  • improve the retention of talented future research leaders within the SI&T system, both during the fellowship and in their post-fellowship careers, through development of a strong track record
  • support career development, to empower Fellows to become leaders in their fields, their organisations and across the SI&T system
  • improve equity and diversity within the SI&T system, in particular by creating opportunities for Māori, Pacific peoples and women who are excellent researchers and future leaders of research
  • reward and support a range of boundary-pushing research activities, including those that focus on generating impact from research.

Description | Whakamāramatanga

Around ten New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowships of four years in length will be awarded annually, for research in any field based in an Aotearoa New Zealand host organisation. The scheme aims to fulfil the following diversity goals where possible:

  • around 20 per cent of fellowships are awarded to applicants who whakapapa Māori
  • around 10 per cent of fellowships are awarded to applicants who identify as being of Pacific ethnicity
  • around 50 per cent of fellowships are awarded to applicants who identify as female.

The Fellowship furthermore aspires to reach a diverse pool of talent from a wide range of organisations.

Fellowships may be awarded between a 0.4 and 0.8 Full Time Equivalent basis as requested by the applicant. The remainder of Fellows’ time may be used for other research, teaching and non-research related development opportunities. The Fellowship may also be undertaken on part-time basis subject to approval by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

The total value of the Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowship is $1,160,000 (excl. GST), of which $115,000 p.a. support the researcher’s salary, $115,000 p.a. support organisational overheads, and $60,000 p.a. support research-related expenses.

Eligibility | Ngā paearu āheitanga

For the purposes of the New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowships, a mid-career researcher is a researcher with 6-12 years of research experience. The eligibility window of 6-12 years of research experience is defined as the PhD being conferred more than six years and less than twelve years from the closing date for applications (PhD conferred on or after 25 July 2012 and before 24 July 2018).

Following approval by Royal Society Te Apārangi, eligibility can be extended where applicants have an allowable career interruption, including maternity/parental leave, medical leave, part-time employment because of ongoing childcare responsibilities or to account for work or service in the community or in industry, or as otherwise agreed to by Royal Society Te Apārangi. Applicants that are the primary caregiver of dependent children born since their PhD was awarded, are also able to extend the period of eligibility by two years per child, to account for career interruptions experienced due to being the primary caregiver for young children. The extension of two years per dependent child is inclusive of any periods of parental leave.

Royal Society Te Apārangi checks the eligibility of all applications prior to forwarding these to panellists. All applications forwarded for review fulfil the eligibility requirements.

Additional requirement

In accordance with the Russia Sanctions Act 2022, the applicant and their research 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.

Assessment of proposals | Te aromatawai i ngā tono


The assessment of proposals is a two-stage process.

Stage one is the assessment of all proposals by a discipline based panel. Applicants can select which of the four panels they wish to assess their proposal:

  • Humanities and the Social Sciences (HSS)
  • Life Sciences (LFS)
  • Physical Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics (PEM)
  • Indigenous Knowledge and Approaches (IKA).

The discipline-based panels make recommendations of a proportional number of application for consideration by the Interview Panel. The discipline-based panels are advisory only, providing recommendations on the relative merits of proposals to the Interview Panel.

Stage two is in two parts: The assessment of the long-list of applicants by the interview panel; and, interviewing a shortlist of applicants and making recommendations for the successful Fellows.

Tuanuku figure

Figure 1: Process flow (panels: HSS – Humanities and the Social Sciences; LFS – Life Sciences; PEM – Physical Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics; IKA - Indigenous Knowledge and Approaches)


Proposals are assessed on the information provided in the application, the accompanying forms and the applicant’s self-nominated referee reports.

Applicants will be assessed on:

  1. calibre of the applicant as a research leader, which may include: vision for their field of work, team leadership, knowledge transfer activity, entrepreneurial activity and how they will embed Te Tiriti o Waitangi in their research community (weighted at 40%)
  2. applicant track record and potential to establish, re-enter or progress their career in research relative to opportunity (weighted at 40%)
  3. the clear articulation of a research plan with high likelihood to deliver research outcomes (weighted at 20%)
  4. suitability of the host’s capability to support the Fellow (including cultural support and commitment to embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi) throughout the Fellowship (approved/ concerns to be addressed by host /not approved).

Considerations for assessing proposals to each criterion

When assessing proposals, the discipline-based panellist should consider the following for each criterion (note that any references to sections of the applications below is for guidance only. Information can be taken from other sections where relevant):

1.      Applicant’s calibre as a research leader

Research leadership can take many forms. It may include, but is not limited to, applicants’ vision for their field of work, team leadership, knowledge transfer activity, entrepreneurial activity and/or how they will embed Te Tiriti o Waitangi in their research community.

The narrative CV gives the applicant an opportunity to demonstrate various forms of previous leadership opportunities. The Visionary Statement furthermore provides opportunities for applicants to discuss primarily future focussed leadership as relevant, including but not limited to: vision for their field of work (research, community and/or industry); project management; stakeholder relationships; mentoring activity with students or early career researchers; knowledge transfer activity; presence in relevant research communities; collaborator networks; entrepreneurial activity; how they will embed Te Tiriti o Waitangi in their research community; and/or other ways they intend to create impact from their fellowship and research.

Additional information may be available in the referee reports and/or the proposed research template.

2.      Applicant’s track record and potential to establish, re-enter or progress their career in research relative to opportunity

In assessing an applicant’s track record, the panel should consider:

  • The applicant’s contribution to the generation, revitalisation, and preservation of knowledge
  • Evidence of stakeholder feedback, award, prizes, funding received, or similar that speaks to the applicant’s ability to generate, revitalise, and preserve knowledge
  • Inclusion of communities/stakeholders in research design and monitoring processes and/or the incorporation of Te Ao Māori perspectives into research and research planning where applicable or as chosen by the applicant to enrich their research activities
  • The applicant’s potential to establish, re-enter or progress their career in research.

In relation to this criterion, the Visionary Statement provides applicants with an opportunity to discuss how the fellowship will support them to establish, re-enter, or progress their career in research.

Assessment note: When assessing evidence of peer esteem etc…, panellist must hold this up against the researcher’s chosen impact focus. For example, appointment to journal editorial boards may demonstrate peer esteem for a researcher with a mostly academic focus, whereas evidence of community support could be more suitable for a researcher focussing on driving community impact.

3.      The clear articulation of a research plan with high likelihood to deliver research outcomes

The scheme will support a range of boundary-pushing research activities, including those that focus on generating impact from research. The research could significantly contribute to advances in theoretical understanding, develop new methodologies, contribute to new knowledge, lead to advancement in a field by cross-fertilisation with ideas and results from another field, or satisfy end-users expectations. The planned research plan must have high likelihood to deliver research outcomes.

Where relevant, applicants must consider the relation of the research to the themes of Vision Mātauranga and how the project will engage with Māori or, where relevant, Pacific communities. For more information, please see the Vision Mātauranga section below.

Often the design and planning of a programme of research determines its success. Good design and planning are determined by whether the overall proposal and its specific objectives have a clear focus, and the methods and experimental or sampling design are likely to produce high quality results. Expected sources of evidence include the proposed research and referee reports.

4.      Suitability of the host’s capability to support the Fellow (including cultural support and commitment to embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi) throughout the Fellowship

The panel should consider if the host has demonstrated suitable capability to support the Fellow (including cultural support and commitment to embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi) throughout the Fellowship. The support could also include commitment to provide resources as necessary for the proposed research.

Discipline panellists are welcome to comment on the host support, but this should not impact on their scoring of the proposal. Host support will form part of the Interview Panel’s discussions.

Assessment in relation to years of research experience

Panel members must consider applicants’ track record in relation to their years of research experience, which may differ from the number of years since PhD conferment. The years of research experience (R) is noted in the application header and on the first page under research area, and excludes periods of maternity/parental leave, medical leave or other relevant career breaks outlined in the narrative 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. 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.

Alignment with Vision Mātauranga must be considered by all. If an application has been marked as ‘Non Applicable’ to Vision Mātauranga, the applicant is required to provide a rationale for this decision.

Applications that align with one or more of the four themes, are given up to one additional page to describe their proposed research. This gives applicants an opportunity to more easily integrate Vision Mātauranga into the conceptual framework and/or research design of the proposed programme, for example, demonstration of consultation, linkages, outcomes or other relevant information. Alternatively, applicants may choose to gather all relevant Vision Mātauranga information under a separate relevant Vision Mātauranga heading under the Research Programme template, or use any combination of information across the template.

Panellists are asked to consider the quality of the Vision Mātauranga engagement (including reasoning for why engagement is not applicable) in their assessment.

Vision Mātauranga costs

If a proposal is aligned to Vision Mātauranga, the interview panel assessment may additionally consider costs associated with Vision Mātauranga capability development and engagement in the budget.

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • 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

For more information on Vision Mātauranga (i.e. guidance for applicants, please see Appendix I.

For a glossary of commonly used Māori concepts, words and phrases commonly seen in proposals, please see Appendix II.

Consideration of referee reports

Each applicant must solicit three referee reports for their proposal. At least two of the referees should be able to comment on their capability as a researcher. Where relevant, an applicant may choose to have one referee comment on other aspects important for their career as a researcher, e.g. working with communities, stakeholder relationships, demonstration of leadership, research service or any other aspects you see relevant.

The applicant-solicited referees are used for the assessment of proposals in conjunction with the selection criteria. Where referees disagree, the panel members must use their own judgement in determining which referee reports to emphasise and what score to assign. These deliberations should be guided by considerations such as: the panel member’s own level of expertise on the subject; the comments made by referees; the relative competencies of the referees; and, possible conflicts of interest. Applicants have been informed that referees should not be directly involved in the proposed programme of research or in the chain of line management of their proposed host department.

Referee reports will be treated as confidential by Royal Society Te Apārangi and are not made available to the applicants.

Discipline-based panels (Stage one) | Ngā rōpū whiriwhiri ā-peka (Wāhanga tuatahi)

The discipline-based panel comprises researchers who are experts in their field, have a broad knowledge of the research area and are experienced in assessment. Panel members are appointed by Royal Society Te Apārangi. These panels are advisory only, providing recommendations on the relative merits of proposals to the interview panel. The four research areas are:

Humanities and the Social Sciences (HSS)

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

This includes, but is not limited to: 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.

Life Sciences (LFS)

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

This includes, but is not limited to: physiology (animal or plant); 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 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.

Physical Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics (PEM)

Research related to the physical world and mathematics.

This includes, but is not limited to: 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.

Indigenous knowledge and approaches (IKA)

Research related to indigenous knowledge, data, and/or methodologies

This includes, but is not limited to: Te ahurea, reo me te hītori o te Māori (Māori culture, language and history); Mātauranga Māori (Māori education); Ngā mātauranga taiao o te Māori (Māori environmental knowledges); Te hauora me te oranga o te Māori (Māori health and wellbeing); Ngā tāngata, te porihanga me ngā hapori o te Māori (Māori peoples, society and community); Ngā pūtaiao Māori (Māori sciences); Pacific Peoples culture, language and history; Pacific Peoples education; Pacific Peoples environmental knowledges; Pacific Peoples health and wellbeing; Pacific Peoples sciences; Pacific Peoples society and community; Mātauranga Māori, Kaupapa Māori and Pacific Peoples and other indigenous models, methodological frameworks and approaches; Other Indigenous data, methodologies and global Indigenous studies.

Additional information

The panel descriptors above are advisory as many proposals are interdisciplinary in nature. Ultimately, it is up to the applicant to select the panel they think best reflects their proposal. Likewise, applicants working with indigenous knowledge and approaches can chose to submit their proposal to any panel, depending on which panel they think is the most appropriate panel for their proposal.

Discipline-based scoring and panel meetings

Discipline-based panellists are asked to participate in two online panel meeting, a briefing video conference (about 1 hour) prior to beginning the assessment process, and an online panel meeting (about 5 hours) after submission of scores.

Panellists are asked to grade the proposals submitted to their panel on selection criteria 1-3. The discipline-based panels do not consider criterion 4, “Suitability of the host’s capability to support the Fellow”. For more information on the grading, see below.

Each panel member will receive the proposals submitted to their panel and an electronic form on which to record their grades and comments. Each panel member is asked to start reading applications at different points through the order of the proposals to avoid proposals from institutions or researchers first in the alphabet always being read first.

When grading proposals, panellists should take into account Vision Mātauranga across all assessment criteria where applicable. Proposals are to be assessed by panel members exclusively on the information provided in the proposal and referee reports. Panel members also need to identify proposals for which they have a conflict of interest, explaining the nature of the conflict (please refer to conflicts of interest section).

The discipline-based panellists must complete, and return to Royal Society Te Apārangi, the scoresheet by the agreed completion date listed in Table 3 (Timetable).

Royal Society Te Apārangi will collate a list of submitted scores for each panel, which will form the starting point for further discussion at panel meetings. The meetings provides an opportunity for the panels to seek feedback from other panellists, and for the panels to finalise their ranking.

The discipline-based panels must consider the schemes diversity goals as best as possible (see “Description” above) when making their longlist recommendations.

For information, discipline panellists will receive the overall panel scores and Long List following stage 2a of the process.

Grades and distribution

There are six scores available; 1 (Most outstanding) to 6 (Least convincing). Each criterion should be assigned one of the six scores. Each panel member should use the following target distribution for the proposals that they assess.


(MOST OUTSTANDING application)





(LEAST CONVINCING application)

% of proposals







Example (60 proposals)







  • Target distribution.

In the example above where 60 proposals are assessed, between 6 and 12 proposals should be assigned a score of 1 (the very best), 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. Additional help to achieve the target distribution is provided in the score sheet. Note that scoring a proposal a 6 does not necessarily mean that it is a terrible proposal – it just happens to be among the least convincing of the submitted proposals.

Interview panel (Stage two) | Rōpū uiui (Wāhanga tuarua)

The Chair and members of the Interview Panel will conduct the interviews. This is a two-part process:

Approval of long-list

From the discipline-panel recommendations, Royal Society Te Apārangi will collate a list of the top 40 long-listed applications to be approved by the Interview Panel. The number of long-listed applicants from each panel must be proportional to the total number of applications submitted to the panel. When considering the long-list, the Interview Panel may choose to add additional proposals to be able to better fulfil the Fellowships diversity aims.

Short-list for interviews

The Interview Panel will read and assess all long-listed proposals. From the long-list, the Interview Panel will finalise a short-list of minimum 20 applicants for interviews. In doing so, the panel must ensure, as best as possible, the diversity targets of the Fellowship can be met, and that the background and objectives of the New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowship in particular, and the Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships in general, are adhered to. The Interview Panel should be cognisant of ensuring equal opportunities across different fields of research. However, the interviewees and awarded Fellows do not need to reflect the number of proposals in a particular discipline.

Conducting interviews

The Interview Panel will meet in person to conduct the interview, but the interviews will be conducted by video link. The interviews will enable the Interview Panel to select Fellows that fulfil the background and objectives of the New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowship in particular, and the Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships in general. The Interview Panel is also charged with ensuring the Fellowship’s diversity targets are being met as best as possible.

The Chair of the interview panel is responsible for the effective conduct of the assessment process. This post will be filled by the President of Royal Society Te Apārangi or their nominee.

The recommendations of the interview panel for successful applicants are ratified by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Sensitive issues | Ngā take tapu

Unconscious bias

Unconscious bias refers to a bias which we are unaware of, and which happens outside of our control. Royal Society Te Apārangi wants to ensure that this bias has minimal influence on funding recommendations being made by Society-appointed reviewers. The literature suggests that awareness of unconscious bias can limit the impact of this bias. We therefore encourage panellists to watch the short (3 minutes) introduction video below from the Royal Society London to familiarise/reacquaint yourself with the topic.

Royal Society London – Understanding unconscious bias

Some recommendations to blunt the impact of unconscious bias are to:

  • Be prepared to recognise the impact of unconscious bias
  • Deliberately slow down decision making
  • Reconsider reasons for decisions
  • Question cultural stereotypes.

The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) recognises the need to improve the ways in which researchers and the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated. Therefore we encourage panellists to read the Rethinking Research Assessment - Unintended Cognitive and System Biases resource which is amended to these guidelines in Appendix III.

Please also feel free explore some of the additional resources below:

Link to Harvard University implicit association tests (IAT) on unconscious bias in relation to Gender and Science, and Gender and Career.

Short Microsoft eLesson course designed to help participants understand what unconscious bias is, how it works, and strategies to counter it in the workplace.

“State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review” from Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity – this publication covers a wide range of issues relating to implicit or unconscious bias and general mitigation strategies.

Unconscious bias training prepared by the Tertiary Education Commission in 2018 for the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) assessment panels.


Royal Society Te Apārangi has obligations under the Privacy Act to keep confidential certain information provided by individuals. Moreover, the records of deliberations by panels are regarded as strictly confidential; as are the contents of applications.

  • Panel members should ensure the safe keeping of all applications and related confidential documents (for example, applications, referee reports, scoring spreadsheets or summaries).
  • At the conclusion of the grading, panel meetings and the interviews, members should leave documentation with Royal Society Te Apārangi staff and destroy any documentation remaining elsewhere.
  • Panel members should not enter into correspondence or discussion of the contents of the applications with referees, third parties, or the applicants. Any necessary correspondence shall be addressed by the Secretariat of the Tāwhia te Mana Fellowship using the email address tawhia@royalsociety.org.nz.
  • The intellectual property of the ideas and hypotheses put forward in the applications should be treated in strict confidence.

Conflicts of interest

Royal Society Te Apārangi takes the issue of conflicts of interest very seriously. A rigorous position is taken in order 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 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 panel members, the following rules will apply:

  • All conflicts of interest must be declared in writing to Royal Society Te Apārangi. Society staff will minute all conflicts of interest and actions taken
  • Where a panel member is a family member or close friend of any applicant(s), that person will not assess the proposal or interview the candidate and take no part in the consideration of that proposal. They will hear about the outcome of that proposal when official letters are sent to all applicants
  • If a 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 or interview the candidate
  • A panel member cannot be a referee for any applicant in the current funding round
  • If the interview panel Chair has a conflict of interest then the duties of chairing the interview shall be passed to another panel member.

*A 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 Chair may deem there to be no conflict
  • They work at the same 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 have a low level of comfort assessing the application due to their relationship with the applicant(s).

For the interview panel, when all conflicts of interest are taken into account, the interview panel Chair 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 if possible. Alternatively, a panellist who has previously left the room may be asked to return to answer technical questions only.

Additional Information | Ngā mōhiohio tāpiri

Feedback to applicants

Applicants will receive feedback in the form of quartiles for the three graded criteria at the conclusion of the funding round. A general statement about the funding round will also be prepared and given to all applicants. Additional feedback will be available for unsuccessful interviewees.

Applicants will also be notified:

  • if the applicant was successful in making the long-list

Disposal of applicant proposal matter

Panellists are asked to return only the completed scoresheet. Please destroy all proposal material once the review has been completed.

Role of Royal Society Te Apārangi staff

It is not the role of Society staff to make funding decisions. Rather, their role 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 discipline-based and interview panellists 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 applicants and their host organisations - all discussions related to a decision should occur through Society staff
  • negotiate contract details with host institutions.

Timetable | Wātaka



From now

Registration of prospective hosts to the online web-based application system (portal) opens

30 May 2024

Online web-based application system (portal) opens to applicants

25 July 2024

Online portal closes, 2pm New Zealand Standard Time (NZST)

29 July 2024

Royal Society Te Apārangi sends out referee invitations

21 August 2024

Deadline for receipt of applicant-solicited referee reports at 2pm NZST.

26 August 2024

Applications are made available to discipline-based panels

23 September 2024

Deadline for discipline-based panel scores

25 September – 01 October 2024

Discipline-based panel meetings (dates TBC)

04 October 2024

Longlisted applications forwarded to interview panel

01 November 2024

Deadline for discipline-based panellists short-list recommendations

06 November 2024

Last day for interview panel short-listing meeting (day TBC)

22-29 November 2024

Interviews (exact dates TBC)

13 December 2024

Results announced

Contact us | Whakapā mai

If you require further information about the Tāwhia te Mana Fellowships, please email us at tawhia@royalsociety.org.nz.

Additional information is available on the Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships website.

Appendix I: Vision Mātauranga information for applicants | Āpitihanga I: Ngā kōrero mō Wawata Māori mā ngā kaitono

Vision Mātauranga is a policy about innovation, opportunity and the creation of knowledge that highlights the potential contribution of Māori knowledge, resources and people.

Applicants must identify which, if any, of the four Vision Mātauranga themes below are associated with the proposed research. If this is not applicable to your proposed research, you must tick N/A AND provide a brief rationale for this decision.

The four themes are:

  • 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.

Collection of the % contribution of each Vision Mātauranga theme to the proposed research will form part of our reporting obligations for the New Zealand Research Information System (NZRIS) (see “Changes” earlier). If you have ticked one or more Vision Mātauranga themes, please consider each theme one at a time. Indicate the proportion of the proposed research that aligns with that theme. 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).

If one or more themes apply to your proposed research programme, up to one additional page will be available for the “Proposed Research” template. This gives applicants an opportunity to more easily integrate Vision Mātauranga into the conceptual framework and/or research design of the proposed programme, for example, demonstration of consultation, linkages, outcomes or other relevant information. Alternatively, applicants may to choose to gather all relevant Vision Mātauranga information under a separate Vision Mātauranga heading in the “Proposed Research” template, or use a mix of entering the information where most relevant and at the same time using a separate Vision Mātauranga heading. Where Vision Mātauranga is appropriate to a proposal, it can contribute to the assessment of its overall excellence.

How do I decide whether my proposal aligns with Vision Mātauranga?

The five ways of conceptualising Vision Mātauranga in your research may help you decide if this applies to your project. The categories 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, however, that these categories are fluid. There may well be overlap between them as in categories b and c in terms of the nature and degree of relevance to Māori, and not every point in each category need apply. 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 stakeholders.
  • There is alignment with and contribution to Māori (for example, iwi, hapū, organisations) aspirations.

Kaupapa Māori research

  • 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 the applicant has 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. It is also essential that any costs associated with Vision Mātauranga capability development and engagement are accounted for in the budget.

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. 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 a researcher?
  • To what extent have you discussed the research with Māori stakeholders and agreed on the methodology you will use?
  • Was there full disclosure and informed consent to the proposed research with Māori stakeholders? How has that agreement/informed consent been agreed to?
  • Has the budget been disclosed and agreed to with Māori partners? Is there provision in that budget for Māori involvement, capability development and consultation?
  • What provisions have you made to ensure there is appropriate technology transfer to Māori stakeholders 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?
  • 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.

For a glossary provided to panellists and referees of commonly used Māori concepts, words and phrases commonly seen in Fellowship proposals, please see Appendix II.

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. https://addletonacademicpublishers.com/component/content/article?id=2834:feature-article-indigenous-knowledge-methodology-and-mayhem-what-is-the-role-of-methodology-in-producing-indigenous-insights-a-discussion-from-matauranga-maori

Appendix II: Glossary of te reo Māori terms | Āpitihanga II: Papakupu o ngā kupu reo Māori

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.


the Māori name for New Zealand


affection, sympathy, charity, compassion, love, empathy


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


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


health, wellbeing


gathering, meeting, assembly


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


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


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


guardianship, stewardship, trusteeship


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


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


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

Kōiwi tangata

human bones or remains


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


be painful, sore, hurt


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


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


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


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


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


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


sea, ocean, large lake

Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa

the Pacific Ocean


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


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


myth, ancient legend, story


younger generation, youth


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 (for example, oratory and song poetry), and an aggressive and sustained response to outside forces that may threaten these


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


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


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


children - normally used only in the plural


husband, male, man

Tāngata 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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)


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


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


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


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

Appendix III: DORA | Āpitihanga III: DORA