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Information for referees

The Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship is one of the Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships. Mana Tūāpapa is designed to support Aotearoa New Zealand’s talented early career researchers to establish the foundations of an excellent and impactful research career.


2024 New Zealand Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship - Guidelines for referees

2024 New Zealand Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship

Guidelines for referees | Ngā aratohu mā ngā kaitautoko

Background | He whakamārama

The New Zealand Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship is one of three Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships designed to 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.

The Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship will support Aotearoa New Zealand’s talented early career researchers to establish the foundations of an excellent and impactful research career.

The suite of Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships additionally aims to:

  • 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.

The duration of the Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship is four years with a total value of $820,000. Around twenty Fellowships will be awarded annually.

The Fellowship is supported by the New Zealand Government with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and administered by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Information for referees | Ngā mōhiohio mā ngā kaitautoko

You have been asked to provide a reference for an applicant applying for a New Zealand Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship. Your referee report is due Wednesday 21 August 2024, 2pm (NZST).

Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to solicit a referee report from three referees. Applications that are not supported by the necessary three referee reports at the referee deadline will be withdrawn from further consideration. Should you, for ANY reason, be unable to submit a referee report in time, please contact the applicant as soon as possible to give them time to solicit another report before the deadline.

Confidentiality | Matatapu

The contents of the referee reports are confidential in every respect. A referee report is submitted on the understanding that: (i) it will only be used in the appraisal process; (ii) it is confidential to the selection panels appointed by Royal Society Te Apārangi; and, (iii) that it will not be made available to the applicant or the public (this includes all comments).

Referee’s comments | Ngā kōrero a ngā kaitautoko

The referee reports play an important part in assuring that the selection process selects talented early career applicants with a good potential to establish, re-enter, or progress their research career.

Referees are asked to comment on an applicant’s abilities in a series of questions on various aspects of a research career (see below). As applicants are eligible to apply for a Mana Tūāpapa Fellowship over a range of 0-6 years of research experience post PhD, you must consider the Applicant in relation to their years of research experience. As an example, applicants that have only just finished their PhD, should be compared to other researchers at a similar level, and not be directly compared to a researcher with 5-6 years of post-PhD research experience.

Applicants are asked to nominate three referees of which at least two should be able to comment on their capability as a researcher. Where relevant, applicants may choose to invite one referee that can 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 that may be relevant.

Applicants with less than three years of post-PhD research experience must include their PhD supervisor as a referee.

Referees should not have a conflict of interest with the applicant, i.e. they should not hold a line of management role over the applicant at the proposed host institution, and they should not be directly involved in the applicant’s proposed research. An exemption to this rule is allowed for the supervisor of an applicant’s PhD programme (who could now be the applicant’s current postdoctoral supervisor) as discussed above.

Referees are asked to score applicants abilities on a series of five questions.

Referees are additionally given the opportunity to give an overall free text reference of the applicant that supports and further explains the given scores. The free text will be made available to the selection panel if the application is selected for final review.

Lastly, referees must indicate in what capacity they know the applicant, and whether they have any perceived conflict of interest in acting as a referee for the applicant.

Scoring indicators:

Please ensure that you have familiarised yourself with the scoring indicators below in order for each applicant to the treated similarly.

  • Outstanding (5) – Performance is extraordinary with no gaps or weaknesses.
  • Excellent (4) – Performance is clearly strong or exemplary. Gaps or weaknesses are insignificant and managed effectively.
  • Good (3) – Performance is generally strong. Gaps or weaknesses are mostly insignificant and are managed effectively.
  • Adequate (2) – Performance is average. There are gaps or weaknesses which are mostly managed effectively.
  • Below standard (1) – Performance is below average to poor. Some gaps or weaknesses may not be managed effectively.
  • Insufficient evidence/knowledge (0) – unable to score.

The questions have been added below for your information. However, the questions must be scored and commented on directly on the referee portal, accessed via the emailed URL.

Relative to opportunity, how would you describe the applicant’s:

  • research achievements and their potential to establish, re-enter or further progress their career in research?
  • ability to independently develop and plan original and innovative research? This includes, where relevant, showing skill and expertise in mātauranga Māori and/or Kaupapa Māori.
  • preparation of the research plan? Is it clearly articulated? Does the applicant have a high likelihood to deliver research outcomes from this proposal?
  • ability to effectively communicate research in writing and verbally to a variety of audiences to generate impact (e.g., writing of funding proposals, research synopses, publications, or other written material, along with presenting at conferences, seminars, hui, wānanga, discussion forums, outreach events or other opportunities)?
  • ability to exhibit or cultivate skills and attributes as a mentor or leader within their research field? This includes, where relevant, a growing research reputation with iwi, hapū, and/or other groups and communities.
  • Any other comments about the applicant?
  • Relationship to Applicant.
  • Conflict of Interest.

If you are concerned about a potential conflict of interest you may have with an applicant, please see Appendix I: Conflicts of interest.

If you are concerned about your suitability as a referee, please see Appendix II: Referee suitability.

For a glossary of commonly used Māori concepts, words and phrases commonly seen in proposals, please see Appendix III: Glossary of te reo Māori terms.

Online web-based referee reports | Ngā pūrongo kaitautoko ā-tukutuku tuihono

Referees will be emailed a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) link to a web-based portal to complete their report. The timing of this invite is determined by the applicant. Applicants have been asked to confirm that their chosen referee are willing to submit a referee report before the invite is emailed to the referee.

Clicking on the URL will take you to the referee portal.

Sign up to the portal | Rēhita ki te tomokanga

If you have interacted with this portal before (e.g., for the Prime Ministers Science Prize or Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao Fellowship), you will already have a profile. Please use this existing Username and Password. Otherwise, you will need to sign up to the portal.

Portal Registration

It is preferred that all referees sign up by adding or creating an ORCID iD, but this is not mandatory. Alternatively, you can sign up using a number of options using i.e. TUAKIRI; Google or create a new account.

  • To sign up with ORCID click the green “Sign up with ORCID iD” option and add your 16 digit ORCID iD and password.
  • To create an ORCID iD click the green “Sign up with ORCID iD” option and follow the link “Don't have an ORCID iD yet? Register now” and follow the instructions.

Please continue to use the same logon for all interactions with Royal Society Te Apārangi portals.  Creating multiple user accounts will cause problems with your portal profile and records.

Personal profile | Tō Kīwhaiaro

Every person (including applicants and referees) using the portal for the first time must create a profile and must input at a minimum of the following:

  • Name
  • Contact email address
  • Agree to the Privacy Statement
  • Organisation Affiliations: Primary place of employment or education
  • Protection Pattern: Provide Protection Pattern settings.

Other questions that are asked for making a profile are optional for referees. There is no need to answer, just press “Skip and Complete” or “Next” through all unrequired sections.

Submitting your referee report | Te tuku i tō pūrongo kaitautoko

You will be linked to the form to complete for your referee report directly from the portal. Your referee report will be collected online in a LimeSurvey format. You will be asked to provide both a score and a comment for each question. The scores will allow for excellence filtering to select the applicants that enter into the stratified selection ballot. The comments will aid the selection panel in determining if the applicants selected in the stratified selection ballot meet the selection criteria outlined in the terms of reference for the Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship.

Contact us | Whakapā mai

If you are unable to submit your report before the deadline, you should notify the applicant as soon as possible to give them time to solicit another report before the deadline. It is not possible to extend the deadline for referee reports.

If you have any questions with regard to submission of the report, please address enquiries by email to: tawhia@royalsociety.org.nz or phone: + 64 4 470 5764

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

Appendix I: Conflicts of interest | Āpitihanga I: Ngā take whai-taharua

We want to make sure that there is a practically and procedurally fair process to apply for a Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship. Therefore, we will aim to take into account real and perceived conflicts of interest between applicants, referees and panel members along the application and assessment process.

Referees should ideally not have a direct conflict of interest with the applicant, i.e. they should not hold a line of management role over the applicant at the proposed host organisation, and they should not be directly involved in the applicant’s proposed research, as funding of the application would be seen to benefit the referee. An exemption to this rule is allowed for the supervisor of an applicant’s PhD programme for applicants with their PhD conferred less than three years ago as discussed above. If possible, it is recommended to use referees you have not co-published within the last 5 years. However, it is recognized that this is inherently more difficult for researchers who recently completed their PhD compared to researchers at a later stage in their career, so this will be assessed flexibly and within context by the assessment panel.

It is expected and acknowledged that each participant in the application and assessment process will have a range of outside interests and obligations. We also imagine you will likely have wide-ranging whakapapa and whanaunga relationships across Aotearoa and the rest of the Pacific due to whānau, iwi, hapū, motu/island, community and research sector ties. We believe that the best approach to deal with potential conflicts of interest is:

  • for some relationships to be generally considered conflicted
  • to clearly outline, and declare, a perceived conflict as it arises
  • for all participants to be flexible in navigating potential conflicts
  • for a clear record of the nature of any perceived conflict and the action taken in accounting for this to be noted/documented.

For the purposes of Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship applications, a referee is generally deemed to be conflicted if:

  • they are a panel member in the current funding round
  • they are the applicant’s parent, sibling or child
  • they have a low level of comfort assessing the application due to their relationship with the applicant.

Appendix II: Referee suitability | Āpitihanga II: Te tōtika o te kaitautoko

A suitable referee will be able to comment on one or more of the following:

  • whether the applicant has the potential to establish, re-enter, or progress their research career
  • whether the applicant has developed a reasonable research plan with high likelihood to deliver research outcomes
  • other relevant aspects of the applicants research career e.g. working with communities, stakeholder relationships, demonstration of leadership, research service or any other aspects.

Alternatively, applicants may choose to invite one referee that can 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 that may be relevant. In that case, the referee can choose to comment on the questions above as they see relevant and place more emphasis on the “Any other comments” option.

To help in assessing your appropriateness as a referee, please consider the following:

  • Whether you wish to act as a referee for the applicant
  • Whether a conflict of interest exists in that you have a line management role over the applicant
  • Whether a conflict of interest exists in that you are, or could be, directly involved in the proposed programme of research
  • Whether the applicant is a relative or close friend.

If you choose to withdraw as a referee, please advise the applicant as soon as possible so another referee can be contacted.

Appendix III: Glossary of te reo Māori terms | Āpitihanga III: 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