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 encouraging and enabling New Zealanders with fewer opportunities to better engage, experience and connect with science and technology.

Curious Minds banner. Science and technology in Aotearoa New Zealand starts with curiosity.

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

The funding available

The funding available is set for each investment round. For the Fund’s 2022 investment round, approximately $1.6 million (excluding GST was available to fund successful projects of up to an 11 month period. The funding available per project was between $50,000 (minimum) and $150,000 (maximum).

Full details on fundable activities, the eligibility criteria, the application process, and the assessment criteria against which eligible applications will be assessed are detailed in the 2022 investment round’s Call for Proposals.

Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund 2022  Investment Round Call for Proposals [PDF, 2.8 MB]

Applications for the 2022 investment round are now closed and funding decisions can be viewed on our webpage

Successful 2022 Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund investment round proposals

Funding decisions

Our General Manager of the Science System Investment and Performance Branch in the Labour, Science and Enterprise Group, MBIE makes the final investment decisions on which proposals will be funded.

The 2022 investment round of the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund awarded $1.592 million 13 successful applications for projects that will start on 1 February 2022.

Contact us

For more information, email curiousminds@mbie.govt.nz.

In this section

Application and assessment information

How to apply for funding from the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund and how applications are assessed.

2022 Funding Round Assessors

Independent Assessors appointed by MBIE will assess eligible 2022 Unlocking Curious Minds Contestable Fund proposals against the assessment criteria set out in the 2022 Call for Proposals.

2022 Funding Round Panellists

The Panel members appointed by MBIE will make the final funding decisions for the 2022 Unlocking Curious Minds Contestable Fund.

Successful 2022 Unlocking Curious Minds proposals

Through the 2022 funding round, the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund is supporting 13 projects aimed at engaging more New Zealanders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Last updated: 14 December 2021