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Jump Starting Research Careers

Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall

Associate Minister Of Research, Science And Innovation

The Government is investing up to $10 million to support 30 of the country’s top early-career researchers to develop their research skills.

“The pandemic has had widespread impacts across the science system, including the research workforce. After completing their PhD, researchers often travel overseas to gain experience but in the past year many have been unable to do so due to travel restrictions,” Associate Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Dr Ayesha Verrall said.

“The MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship will fund some of our best and brightest early-career researchers, providing them with much-needed certainty for the coming years. Each researcher will receive a one off fellowship worth $320,000 over two years to help them grow and develop their research skills in New Zealand.

“It’s vital that we ensure that our science community is well supported as we respond to COVID-19. Some of the long term challenges we are tackling as a Government, such as housing and climate change, rely on the contributions of the country’s leading scientists.

“This initiative is about attracting and retaining talented researchers and encouraging their career development. The Fellowships, which open in February 2021, will be awarded for research undertaken in any field, including the humanities, mātauranga and social science at an eligible New Zealand research institution,” Dr Ayesha Verrall said.

Notes for editors:

· The Fellowship will be administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi (Royal Society). The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Royal Society will determine eligibility and selection criteria, which will be published on the Royal Society website.

· Further details are available on MBIE’s website and the Royal Society Te Apārangi website.

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