Valuing our people

Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways will deliver better support and more opportunities for the research, science and innovation workforce, as our people are the greatest asset in meeting the challenges of the future.

More and better research fellowships

The Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships are a major investment in our research workforce. They will better support our exceptional researchers at various stages in their research careers, building cohorts of talented future research leaders.

The new fellowships are designed to address issues raised by the sector, including career stability, collaboration, mobility, and better representation in the workforce. Key features include:

  • more and higher value awards
  • a new organisational support component for early and mid career Fellows
  • increased duration for early career Fellows
  • a streamlined application process
  • dedicated awards for Māori, Pacific peoples and women.

Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships will support around 30 new Fellows per year, as the pool of funding available for general research fellowships has increased to $27.38 million.

The Māori name of the fellowships, Tāwhia te Mana, is inspired by the MBIE’s mission to grow Aotearoa New Zealand for all, and the names for individual schemes reflect the growing capability of Fellows as future research leaders. Mana Tūāpapa refers to building the foundations of one’s reputation, Mana Tūānuku to building an established and expansive reputation and Mana Tūārangi to building a reputation that extends far beyond one’s own career span.

Refer to the terms of reference for more information.

Terms of Reference

New Zealand Mana Tūāpapa Future Leader Fellowship

For early-career researchers looking to build the foundations of a strong reputation in their field.

New Zealand Mana Tūānuku Research Leader Fellowship

For mid-career researchers building an established and expansive reputation, and looking to make the transition to research leaders, both in their field and across the system.

New Zealand Mana Tūārangi Distinguished Researcher Fellowship

For senior researchers building an expansive reputation that includes making contributions that extend beyond their own careers to benefit the wider research, science and innovation system.

MBIE will work closely with the programme administrator to deliver on the aspirations of Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways and build the community of research leaders needed to meet the future needs of Aoatearoa New Zealand. MBIE is working through a procurement process to secure an administrator for the new fellowships.

The new schemes replace the Rutherford Discovery, Rutherford Foundation and James Cook Fellowships, which will no longer be offered from 2024. Researchers currently undertaking Rutherford Foundation, Rutherford Discovery and James Cook Fellowships will continue to be supported at the current funding levels throughout the duration of those awards.

New applied doctorates scheme

Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways is introducing a new applied doctorates scheme in 2024 to better prepare more researchers for the wide range of careers outside of academia, such as in Crown Research Institutes, industry, iwi organisations and local councils.

MBIE’s applied doctorates will build strong partnerships between academic and non-tertiary organisations with several centres established to support ongoing and face-to-face collaborations between students and applied organisations. This style of doctorate trains students in both academic and applied skills in their field to take research from inception through to application and impact, and is already offered at smaller scales by some New Zealand organisations.

This MBIE scheme further capitalises on our excellent science and research teaching to build key skills in the workforce and create additional opportunities to address sector needs. It will enable more students to use their theoretical knowledge to respond to practical problems in real-world environments.

MBIE will be seeking expressions of interest from potential host organisations and research partners in coming months.

Introducing narrative CVs

Through the Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways consultation, there was a strong call to introduce narrative CVs as an option for funding applications, which are common in the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland and Luxemburg.

The purpose of the Narrative CV is to consider the increasingly diverse range of contributions that researchers bring to their work and provide a more rounded picture of an individual’s career, their achievements and overall contribution to research. The narrative format allows applicants to highlight their own academic profile without being limited by prescribed questions and criteria.

We first provided applicants the choice of narrative CVs with the 2023 Endeavour Fund round. Feedback from applicants and assessors has been positive. The use of the narrative CV is being reviewed with the lessons learned to be incorporated other funding processes, such as the new Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships.

Preliminary support while new schemes are put in place

Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways is a multi-year reform with various phases. As we developed the new fellowships in the first stage of the reforms, we put in place some preliminary measures that could immediately address some key concerns from the sector and set the direction of Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways.

MBIE introduced a number of initiatives in 2023 to expand the impact of Vision Mātauranga. This includes the one-off Ngā Ngā Puanga Pūtaiao Fellowships for Māori and Pacific Peoples to establish careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics research while the Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships were put in place.

We also included expanded supports and significantly increased the value of the final round of Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships. This signalled the design of the Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships while ensuring 2023 Rutherford Foundation fellows had comparable support to researchers that will be awarded new fellowships from 2024.

Reform objectives

MBIE’s commitments and policy directions for the research, science and innovation system are outlined in the Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways White Paper.

Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways reform objectives

Last updated: 22 November 2023