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Tāwhia te Mana - General Terms of Reference

Background

The Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships are administered by Royal Society Te Apārangi (the Society) 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.

Objectives

The overriding objective of the Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships is to develop the future leaders of the Aotearoa New Zealand science, innovation and technology system. The Fellowships will:

  • 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

The Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships consists 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
  • New Zealand Mana Tūārangi Distinguished Researcher Fellowship.

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 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).

These general Terms of Reference are common across all three schemes, with elements that are specific to individual schemes contained in following sections.

Applicant Eligibility

The Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships are open to researchers who demonstrate the potential to become leaders in the Aotearoa New Zealand SI&T system.

To be eligible applicants must:

  • be either a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • have a PhD, or have completed all requirements for their PhD to be conferred at the time of application
  • be supported by a New Zealand-based research organisation, with a supporting declaration that affirms that:
    • the applicant satisfies the eligibility criteria
    • the applicant has good potential to develop and progress their research career
    • it will employ the applicant at least for the duration of the Fellowship
    • it will facilitate the provision of support and facilities to enable the applicant to succeed in their Fellowship for the duration of the Fellowship.

Additional eligibility criteria for the individual Fellowship schemes may be found in their respective sections.

Host Eligibility

The host must be a New Zealand-based research organisation that can demonstrate it is capable and willing to provide support and facilities that will enable the applicant to succeed in their Fellowship.

The host cannot be a department of the public service as listed in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Public Service Act 2020.

Eligible hosts are research organisations based in New Zealand that meet the following definition: ‘An organisation that has sufficient internal capability for carrying out research, science or technology, or related activities in New Zealand.’

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.

Criteria

The award criteria must ensure successful proposals are consistent with the background and objectives of the Fellowships stated above.

Eligibility and selection criteria will be determined by the Ministry in conjunction with the Society. The Ministry may adjust these from time to time to increase the schemes’ effectiveness. The Society will publish these criteria at the start of each funding round.

Rules

  • An applicant may make only one application for a Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowship in any one funding round.
  • A former successful applicant may not apply for a second Fellowship in the same scheme.
  • A previous holder of a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship or the James Cook Research Fellowship may not apply for an equivalent Tāwhia te Mana Fellowship.
  • Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellows will commence their programme of research within twelve months of the award notification.
  • Successful applicants may not engage in other professional employment during the Fellowship without prior approval by the Society.

Selection Process

The selection process will be determined by the Ministry in conjunction with the Society. This process will reflect the Ministry’s Diversity in Science Statement, with a commitment to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion in the final cohort of funded Fellows. The selection process will be published by the Society when the Fellowship opens for applications.

Reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation

The Society will report to the Ministry on the Fellowships annually. The reporting will include information on the applications, monitoring of the Fellows and administration of the three schemes, and any suggested changes to improve their effectiveness.

Evaluations will be carried out by the Ministry from time to time to ensure the objectives are being met. In response to those evaluations, the Ministry, in consultation with the Society, may update these Terms of Reference.