Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund
The Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund supports the objective of He Whenua Hihiri I Te Mahara - A Nation of Curious Minds by supporting projects that help New Zealanders, particularly those that have fewer opportunities, to learn about and to engage with science and technology.
The Fund aims to encourage quality projects that reach and inspire a broad base of New Zealanders through initiatives that bring science and technology to audiences that have less opportunity to learn about and to engage with science and technology.
The Fund will support projects that:
- take place in one or more New Zealand regions.
- reach audiences in more than one location across a region(s).
- provide one or more new science and technology engagement activities.
New Zealand's national strategic plan for science and society [PDF, 1.2 MB](external link) - A Nation of Curious Minds He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara
Unlocking Curious Minds supports the objective of He Whenua Hihiri I Te Mahara - A Nation of Curious Minds to encourage and enable better engagement with science and technology across all of Aotearoa New Zealand.
New Zealanders are generally curious about what’s around us, understanding the world we live in and how it works. As a nation with a remarkable history of pioneers and innovators in many areas, we often push boundaries and ask difficult questions to find a way to get things done.
Science and technology have shaped our nation in many ways. Engagement with science and technology is about understanding, becoming informed, and questioning what we need science to address and what we do with the new knowledge that science produces.
The funding available
The funding available is set for each investment round. For the Fund’s 2024 investment round, approximately $1.6 million (excluding GST) is available to fund successful projects of up to an 11 month period. The funding available per project is between $50,000 (minimum) and $150,000 (maximum).
Full details on the 2024 investment round are in the 2024 Call for Proposals:
The Fund supports projects that help New Zealanders, particularly those that have fewer opportunities to learn about and to engage with science and technology, by:
- Funding education and community outreach initiatives that focus on science and technology.
- Broadening their ability to engage with science and technology.
- Promoting the relevance of science and technology in their lives.
- Supporting them to engage in societal debate about science and technology issues facing the country.
- New Zealanders to understand the relevance of science and have the ability to use science to make informed decisions.
- Greater interest and uptake of higher education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
- Increased knowledge and visibility of different research methodologies, including kaupapa.
- Māori approaches and Pacific-centred research methods.
- Engagement with Mātauranga Māori as a knowledge system.
- The research, science and innovation system to connect to communities and respond to their needs.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this section
MBIE invites proposals to the Unlocking Curious Minds Contestable Fund. This Call for Proposals provides you with information about how to apply, how your proposal will be assessed, and what happens if your proposal is successful.
Through the 2023 funding round, the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund is supporting 12 projects aimed at engaging more New Zealanders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).