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Marsden Fund delivers largest amount ever

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Research Science and Technology

22 September 2008
Embargoed till 6am 23 September Media Release

Marsden Fund delivers largest amount ever

This year’s allocation of $54 million to Marsden Fund projects is the largest amount ever awarded under the scheme to New Zealand researchers, Minister of Research Science and Technology, Pete Hodgson said today.

The 2008 Marsden funding round will deliver $54.5 million over the next three years to 93 research proposals. 91 of these are new proposals, and two are extensions of existing contracts. Pete Hodgson said the number of proposals funded this year represented an increase of almost 30 percent compared with the number of projects funded in 2004.

The increased funding illustrates the diversity of the New Zealand research sector, with a wide range of research areas receiving funding. For example, carbon neutrality will be investigated by Markus Milne from the University of Canterbury, who will examine the substance behind organisations’ claims of being carbon neutral. And in health research, Dr Mark McCann from AgResearch Grasslands will study how a class of molecules found in many foods could help prevent cancer and other diseases.

Pete Hodgson said the Marsden funding will also support emerging researchers with more than a quarter of the awards being granted to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers, under the Marsden Fast-Start programme.

Budget 08 allocated an additional $13 million over four years for Marsden projects. Pete Hodgson said the increases to the Marsden Fund reflected the government’s commitment to investment in basic research and acknowledges the importance of recognising and supporting research excellence.

Pete Hodgson said increases to the Marsden Fund was an important part of the government’s commitment to maintaining a broad base of RS&T as outlined in ‘From Strength to Strength’, the government’s agenda for RS&T released earlier this year.

ENDS


About the Marsden Fund

The Marsden Fund is open to all fields of science and has supported research that has opened up new insights in biology, chemistry, mathematics and information sciences, physics, geology, ecology, physics, engineering, humanities and the social sciences.

The Marsden Fund is named after Sir Ernest Marsden in recognition of the major role The Marsden Fund is named after Sir Ernest Marsden in recognition of the major role he played in New Zealand science. After working as a student with Ernest Rutherford he came to New Zealand in 1915 as Professor of Physics at Victoria College (now Victoria University). In 1926, he was named Secretary of the new Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

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