Workforce Initiatives

Our people are the greatest asset in meeting the challenges of the future. MBIE aims to deliver better support and more opportunities for the research, science and innovation workforce.

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

The Māori terms in the fellowship names reference the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s values, which includes Tāwhia tō Mana (building and retaining your reputation) as part of enabling the aspiration to “Hīkina Whakatutuki - Grow Aotearoa New Zealand for all”. Tāwhia te Mana Fellowships contribute to building excellence in the Science, Innovation and Technology sector.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships will be administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi on behalf of the New Zealand Government.

More information on the Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships is available on the MBIE Funding Agencies page and the Royal Society Te Apārangi website.

MBIE Science and Innovation Funding Agencies: The Royal Society of New Zealand

Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships(external link) — Royal Society Te Apārangi

New applied doctorates scheme

A new applied doctorates scheme to be introduced in 2024 aims to create more impactful science and better prepare more researchers for the wide range of careers outside of academia, such as in industry, Crown Research Institutes, 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 will build 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.

Narrative CVs

MBIE introduced narrative CVs as an option for funding applications, which are common in the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland and Luxemburg. Other jurisdictions have been introducing narrative CVs as funding processes evolve. 

The purpose of the Narrative CV is to consider the increasingly diverse range of contributions not just for researchers but members of a project team. For researchers this means they can describe a more well-rounded career including their achievements and overall contribution to research, as well as highlight their own academic profile without being limited by prescribed questions and criteria. The narrative CV is particularly useful for project team members such as Māori Advisors, those with experience in commercialisation and social scientists.  

We first provided applicants the choice of narrative CVs with the 2023 Endeavour Fund round. Feedback from applicants and assessors has been positive. MBIE reviewed the use of the narrative CVs after the 2023 Endeavour Fund Round and has made the decision to provide the same choice for future rounds. The narrative CV will be used in other funding processes, such as the new Aotearoa New Zealand Tāwhia te Mana Research Fellowships.

Last updated: 22 May 2024