In the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, along with widespread power outages and flooding in many areas of New Zealand, Marsden Fund administrators anticipate disruption to researchers and research offices, especially in the north of the North Island.
As a result, they are extending the application deadline for all Expressions of Interest (EoI) by two working days, to noon on Monday 20 February.
They hope to be able to keep to the rest of the EoI timetable, including the scheduled panel meetings.
The Marsden Fund was established by the government in 1994 to fund excellent fundamental research. It is a contestable fund administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Marsden Fund Council and operates under the Terms of Reference issued by the Minister of Science and Innovation.
The Fund supports research excellence in science, engineering and maths, social sciences and the humanities.
The Marsden Fund Council, comprising 11 eminent researchers, is appointed by the Minister of Science and Innovation to make recommendations for funding.
Selection criteria focus on the research merit of the proposal, the potential of the researchers to contribute to the advancement of knowledge, and the enhancement of research skills in New Zealand, especially those of emerging researchers.
Ten panels have been established to help the Marsden Fund Council assess proposals. These are:
- Biomedical Sciences
- Cellular, Molecular and Physiological Biology
- Earth Sciences and Astronomy
- Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour
- Economics and Human and Behavioural Sciences
- Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences
- Mathematical and Information Sciences
- Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Social Sciences
Each year, the call for proposals is made in November. The deadline for project proposals follows in February.
Initially, applicants submit a short preliminary proposal. These are assessed by the appropriate panel, and the highest ranked are invited to submit full proposals.
In August of each year, the panels meet to decide their preferred projects. Referee reports, as well as feedback from the applicants about their referee reports, are used in the final panel discussions.
The recommendations of each panel are confirmed by the Marsden Fund Council and ratified by the Royal Society of New Zealand Council. The results of the funding are announced near the end of September.
The Marsden Fund takes its name from physicist Sir Ernest Marsden (1889-1970) who made a remarkable contribution to science both in New Zealand and overseas.
In November last year, the Marsden Fund, allocated $77.391 million (excluding GST) to 113 research projects.
Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi