Application and assessment information for the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund

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

Who can apply

Application guidelines including key dates, eligibility and assessment criteria are detailed in the Fund’s Call for Proposals which is updated and reissued each investment round.   

For a proposal submitted to an investment round to be considered for assessment it must meet the eligibility criteria for proposals set out in the Fund’s Call for Proposals issued for that investment round.

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

See our Document library to view the Call for Proposals and other documents supporting previous investment rounds.

Curious Minds documents in the Document library(external link)

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

Important dates

In response to the impact of COVID-19 Alert Level 4, the key dates for the 2022 investment round differ to that in the Call for Proposals with an adjusted submission period for registered applicants, assessment and funding decision timeframes.

Date Event
Monday, 12 July 2021 IMS opens for proposal registrations
Monday, 12 July 2021 IMS opens for proposals
Thursday, 29 July 2021 | 12:00pm Registration period closes
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 | 12:00pm   Submission period for proposals closes
October 2021 Assessment of proposals
December 2021 with contracting into January 2022 Investment funding decisions announced and contracting starts
Tuesday, 1 February 2022 Contracted work programmes commence

Dates are subject to change.

Subscribe to our alerts and updates(external link)

Essential documents

Conflicts of interest

Before the proposal submission closing date, we will publish the:

  • names and biographies of the assessors selected to assess all eligible proposals
  • names and biographies of the UCM Panel members.

If you identify a potential conflict of interest with your application, email us with the following details as soon as possible so we can look into it and reassign assessors as necessary:

  • your application reference
  • your contact phone number 
  • the assessor’s name or names
  • the reason for your concern.

Contact us

For proposal queries, email curiousminds@mbie.govt.nz

For IMS queries, email imssupport@mbie.govt.nz or call 0800 693 778 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

Last updated: 14 December 2021