Application and assessment information for the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund

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

Who can apply

For a proposal to be considered for funding, it must meet the Fund’s eligibility criteria.

To be eligible for Unlocking Curious Minds

Local Grant Funding Regional / National Grant Funding
The proposed activity or activities must take place in one New Zealand (including the Chatham Islands) town or city. The proposed activity or activities must take place in one or more New Zealand (including the Chatham Islands) regions.
Applications must be either:
  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, or
  • from an Organisation that is a legal entity with an IRD number.
Applications must be from an Organisation that is a legal entity with an IRD number.
  A minimum co-funding amount of 20% of the total project costs must be secured.

For full details see Call for Proposals document below.

Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund 2020 Investment Round Call for Proposals [PDF, 1.7 MB] 

The application and assessment process

Applying for funding from the Fund’s 2020 investment round comprises a two-stage process.

Stage 1 - Register your intent to apply for funding

The registration process signals your intent to submit a funding proposal and is performed in our Investment Management System (IMS) – a secure online portal. 

We will use the information collected at registration to prepare for the assessment of submitted proposals.

Registration must be completed before you can submit a funding proposal. 

Stage 2 - Submit a funding proposal

All eligible proposals will be assessed by a panel of independent expert assessors against the assessment criteria. The assessment panel will provide recommendations to MBIE which will inform the final decision on which proposals will progress to contracting. All applicants will be notified of the assessment outcome.

As with registration, proposals are also entered and submitted in our Investment Management System (IMS). You may enter and submit your proposal immediately after you have completed Registration, i.e., you do not need to wait for the Registration period to close.

Download the Call for Proposals document below for full details on how to apply for funding and how to submit a proposal.

Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund 2020 Investment Round Call for Proposals [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Important dates

29 July 2019 until 12 noon, 15 August 2019 Registration period
29 July 2019 until 12 noon, 12 September 2019 Submission period for proposals
October 2019 Assessment of proposals
November 2019 Funding decisions announced
February 2020 Funding Agreements signed and funded work programmes start
31 December 2020 All work programmes completed

NB. Dates are subject to change. Subscribe to our alerts and updates(external link) to be kept up to date.

Essential documents

Document Description
Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund 2020 Investment Round Call for Proposals [PDF, 1.7 MB] The information required to prepare and submit a funding proposal.
Unlocking Curious Minds Contestable Fund 2020 Investment Round Assessment Guidelines [PDF, 982 KB] The information on how funding applications will be assessed.
scienceonline.tki.org.nz(external link) The principles, aims, values, objectives, and key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum – Science.
A Nation of Curious Minds He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara(external link) New Zealand's national strategic plan for science and society.
National Statement of Science Investments 2015-2025 [PDF, 1.8 MB] The New Zealand Government’s science investment strategy
Unlocking Curious Minds - Funding Agreement [PDF, 284 KB] The terms and conditions of the Funding Agreement that will apply to the provision of funding agreed between us and the contracting organisation.
Last updated: 29 August 2019