MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship

The MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship is aimed at supporting excellent early career researchers impacted by COVID-19 in the New Zealand research science system. This is a one-off initiative and will provide support of around $10 million over two years for 30 Fellows.

The Fellowship objective

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on world economy and is likely to have long-term adverse impacts on the Research, Science and Innovation workforce. In response to the reduced opportunities experienced by New Zealand early career researchers (ECRs), we are providing this one-off funding opportunity to support the retention and development of ECRs with the potential to excel in a research environment.

The Fellowship intends to support up and coming researchers to rise and establish a career in their chosen field of research. This is captured in the name of the Fellowship ‘Te whitinga mai o te rā,’ which can translate to “the rising of the sun”.

Fellowship description

30 Fellows have been selected for a 2 year Fellowship to undertake research in any field (including the humanities, mātauranga and social science) at a New Zealand host research institution.

The MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship is administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi for the New Zealand Government. The final decision on who receives a fellowship has been made by MBIE.

Fellowship Funding

The MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship will award per annum (excluding GST), for a 2 year term:

  • $75,000 towards the researcher’s salary
  • $75,000 in organisational overheads
  • $10,000 for research-related expenses.

The total value of an MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship is $320,000 per award.


The full list of the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellows:

Fellow Subject Host
Dr Sylvia Frain A Second Sun: The Legacies of Nuclear Imperialisms across Oceania Auckland University of Technology
Dr Tui Matelau-Doherty The value of positive ethnic and national identities for Māori and Pacific people in New Zealand Auckland University of Technology
Dr Reem Abbas Enhancing New Zealand’s Response and Resilience to Future Pandemics: Towards A Minimum Dataset for Health Disasters Auckland University of Technology
Dr Greer Gilmer Southward migration of the westerly wind belt: What is the impact on South Island water resources GNS Science
Dr Leon Salter Examining the effects of the expansion of gig work on health and wellbeing in a post-pandemic economy Massey University
Dr Mahonri Owen Semi-Autonomous Brain Controlled Interfaces to Overcome Physical and Nervous system Disorders Massey University
Dr Rebecca Fitzgerald Forecasting volcanic ballistic projectile hazard from blue sky eruptions at touristic volcanoes Massey University
Dr Rebecca Campbell High resolution epidemiological models for plant disease prediction and risk management in Aotearoa New Zealand Plant & Food Research
Dr Samantha Heath Fit for the future: Reimagining nurse preparation for practice in New Zealand’s changing demography Unitec New Zealand
Dr Kris Taylor 'Boys Talk': Working with boys and young men towards the prevention of gender-based harassment and violence through a series of workshop interventions The University of Auckland
Dr Jennifer Eom Dissecting the molecular and functional diversity of tumour associated fibroblasts in the tumour microenvironment The University of Auckland
Dr Febelyn Reguyal NZ electric vehicles: Eco-friendly now, how about in the future? The University of Auckland
Dr Anna Forsyth Developing neuroimaging biomarkers of drug action for mental health medicines The University of Auckland
Dr Jesse Wiki Developing a spatial microsimulation model for population health and health policy in Aotearoa New Zealand The University of Auckland
Dr Moeata Keil ‘It takes a village’: Caring for children in Pacific post-separation families The University of Auckland
Dr Siobhan Tu'akoi Co-designing a health promotion intervention for sustained rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease prevention in South Auckland Pacific communities The University of Auckland
Dr James Hewett Deep vein thrombosis: getting to the heart of the problem University of Canterbury
Dr Wei Teng In the Lay-reader’s Eyes - Reassurance of Translation Quality University of Canterbury
Dr Amba Sepie Strategies for Decolonisation: Indigenous Knowledges and Regenerative Cultural Design University of Canterbury
Dr Anne Marie Sohler A New Life at the Bottom of the World: Exploring the Embodied effects of Colonialism in 19th Century Pākehā and Chinese Migrants to New Zealand University of Otago
Dr Xiaolin Cui Minimally invasive delivery of exosomes for myocardial infarction therapeutics University of Otago
Dr M-Remy Muhsin Targeting Cryptosporidiosis with Novel Peptoid Therapeutics University of Otago
Dr Paul Brown Developing Accurate Preventative Crime Models that Reduce Systemic Biases University of Waikato
Dr Jessica Tupou Culturally responsive early intervention for tamariki Māori with takiwātanga/autism Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Katharina Robichon Towards personal medicine – Analysis of Receptor abundances in Multiple Sclerosis to determine treatment regime Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Tara McAllister Transforming how we do science in Aotearoa with mātauranga Māori
Dr Juergen Oesterle Using cosmogenic radionuclides and fission-track thermochronometry to benchmark human enhanced erosion in a time of rapid climate change Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Matt Majic Mean path length in optical billiards Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Samuel Crawley Comparing public opinion on climate change in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia: belief and issue salience Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Julian Mackay Chainmail: Holistic Specifications for Robust Programs Victoria University of Wellington

The recipients meet the diversity targets of the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship by funding:

  • 8 of 30 Fellows identifying as Māori
  • 4 of 30 Fellows identifying as Pacific Peoples
  • 18 of 30 Fellows identifying as female

More information

For more information on eligibility and selection process, visit the Royal Society Te Apārangi website.

About the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship(external link) — Royal Society Te Apārangi website

Last updated: 02 July 2021