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Fund for innovative child health research launched

26 January, 2017

Multi-million dollar fund for innovative child health research launched

A multi-million dollar funding pool to foster research that delivers tangible benefits to New Zealand children and their families was launched today.

A Better Start, one of the country’s 11 National Science Challenges, and Cure Kids, New Zealand’s largest national child health research charity, have joined forces to create a $2.8 million pool to fund child health research to find better ways to reduce childhood obesity, improve early literacy, reduce adolescent mental health problems and explore early diagnosis and behavioural management of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Researchers can submit proposals for up to $350,000. Proposals will go through a robust peer review process with successful proposals announced in July.

A Better Start National Science Challenge Director Professor Wayne Cutfield of the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland said, “The earlier we tackle a child’s health problems, the greater the benefit to the child throughout its life, and to the country. Healthier children become productive contributors to society. This new fund aims to cast a wide net to identify practical, evidence-based solutions to make a measurable difference for our children.”

Cure Kids CEO, France Benge, welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the A Better Start National Science Challenge, saying, ‘”These are important challenges facing our young people, and we’re looking forward to seeing the real impact this funding round will have on our children.”

Professor Cutfield said the partnership with Cure Kids not only created a greater funding pool but was an opportunity for both organisations to share and develop experience and expertise.

A Better Start National Science Challenge is hosted by The Liggins Institute, University of Auckland and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

A Better Start National Science Challenge fosters collaborative research that can help to address three key child health issues.

one in three New Zealand children are overweight or obese

one in three children are not meeting the National Standard for reading in their first year at school

one in three young people will have had a significant mental health problem by the age of 18 The contestable funding round seeks proposals that will complement the A Better Start National

Science Challenge strategic research programmes already underway.

Researchers can register their interest at A Better Start or Cure Kids websites.


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