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 to encourage and enable better engagement with science and technology across all of New Zealand.

The funding available

For the Fund’s 2020 investment round, approximately $2.0 million (excluding GST) is available through 2 grants to fund successful proposals from early February 2020 until 31 December 2020.

Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund Grants Available for Indicative total funding available (excluding GST) MBIE funding
per proposal
(excluding GST)
Project term
Local Projects that will take place in one town or city

$2.0m per year across both grants

100% of the total project costs up to a maximum of $30,000 Up to 11 months from 1 February 2020 until 31 December 2020
Regional /
National
Projects that will take place in one or more New Zealand regions 80% of the total project costs to a maximum of $150,000 Up to 11 months from 1 February 2020 until 31 December 2020

You cannot apply for funding for the same project from both grants.

  • Project costs must be solely and directly related to the project work programme.  This can be used to cover costs towards the work programme development, delivery, and operating costs (including travel).
  • Capital expenditure for any equipment with an asset life beyond the term of the project is not funded.
  • It is not a requirement to apply for the full funding available.

The Fund's objective

The objective of the Fund is to support projects that use innovative and/or best-practice approaches to provide New Zealanders with more opportunities to learn about and engage with science and technology, by:

  • funding education and community outreach initiatives that focus on science and technology
  • broadening participants’ 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.

Funding decisions

Our General Manager, Science System Investment and Performance will make the final investment decisions on which proposals will be funded.

We will notify applicants of the funding decisions. We will also publish decisions and make an announcement via press release.