Application and assessment information: 2024 Call for Proposals

We are inviting proposals for investment in activities that strengthen capability and networks between Māori organisations and the science and innovation system, and increase understanding of how research can contribute to the aspirations of Māori organisations and deliver benefit for New Zealand.

We fund Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund projects through 2 investment schemes – Connect Scheme and Placement Scheme.

This Call for Proposals provides you with information on:

  • how to apply to the Fund
  • how your application will be assessed
  • what happens if your application is successful
  • how to contact us for assistance with the application process.

More information on the Investment aims, objectives, and descriptions of both the Connect and Placement Schemes.

Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga 2024 Investment Plan
Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga web pages

The funding available

Approximately $2.0 million (excluding GST) is available to fund successful new proposals in the Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund 2024 investment round.

The total funding available is $4.0 million (excluding GST) per year with the remaining approximate $2.0 million (excluding GST) per year being allocated to existing contracts from the Fund’s previous investment rounds.

The work programme term for both Connect and Placement schemes is up to 2 years. For a project with a work programme of:

  • up to 1 year in length, the maximum funding per successful proposal is $150,000 (excluding GST)
  • between 1 and 2 years, the maximum funding per successful proposal is $250,000 (excluding GST). It is not a requirement to apply for the full funding available or the full 2-year project term.

Project costs must be solely and directly related to the project work programme. Funding can be used to cover costs towards the work programme development, delivery, and operating costs (including travel). Capital expenditure is not funded.

Who can apply

For a proposal to be considered for assessment for either the Connect Scheme or Placement Scheme, it must meet all the eligibility criteria set out below. Proposals that we consider do not meet these criteria will be declined for funding on eligibility grounds.

To be eligible for funding, proposals must:

  • Be made by a New Zealand based single legal entity that is a Māori organisation, Research organisation or individual researcher.
    • A Māori organisation is defined as an organisation that identifies itself as Māori and uses (or wishes to use) research, science and technology or related activities.
    • A Research organisation is defined as an organisation that has the internal capability to carry out research, science and technology or related activities. Government departments (as defined in Schedule 2 of the Public Service Act 2020) are not considered to be Research organisations and are not eligible to apply for this funding.
    • An individual researcher is defined as a person operating on his or her own, and is not employed by a Research organisation, with the capability to carry out research, science and technology or related activities.
  • Include both a Research organisation or individual researcher and a Māori organisation, with one or the other taking the lead as Contracting organisation and the other as Partner organisation.
    • A relationship must not be solely between the applicant and an organisation that is either a parent entity, subsidiary, or co-subsidiary of another organisation; or between departments within a single organisation (for example, a tertiary institution).
  • Be for activities that fit one of the 2 schemes, and the requirements of one of the 2 schemes as set out in the Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund Investment Plan. For the Placement Scheme, a proposal must name the individual(s) who will be the placement person(s).
  • Not be for activities for the same purpose already funded by any government agency.
  • Not include any full-time tertiary or school students.
    • Proposals with work programme activities that are eligible for funding from the Ministry of Education, or Unlocking Curious Minds are a poor fit for Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund.
  • Address one or more Vision Mātauranga themes, and not solely address hauora/health.
    • The MBIE-led investments outlined in the Investment Plan and the Health Research Council (HRC) investments are designed to complement each other. To avoid duplication with the investments made by the HRC, MBIE does not provide funding for programmes exclusively relevant to the health/hauora area. Proposals where hauora improvements are part of a much broader suite of outcomes will be considered.
  • Be for activities the majority of which are to be undertaken in New Zealand, unless MBIE considers there are compelling reasons to consider the proposal.
    • If the majority of the work programme will not be carried out in New Zealand, then explain in your proposal the reasons for this and why they are compelling. If a work programme is to have significant linkages with indigenous knowledge practitioners in other countries, demonstrate how this will be of benefit to New Zealand.
  • Not benefit a Russian state institution (including but not limited to support for Russian military or security activity) or an organisation outside government that may be perceived as contributing to the war effort.
  • Be submitted via MBIE’s Investment Management System (IMS) and meet any applicable timing, formatting, content, or other administrative requirements set out by MBIE

Co-funding arrangement

Co- funding is not a requirement for your project. However, if co-funding is provided (by either organisation), please tell us:

  • the organisation name
  • whether the co-funding is cash or in-kind
  • the value per year (excluding GST).

Co-funding can be in the form of both cash and in-kind contributions.

  • Cash co-funding is cash received from an organisation that contributes directly to your project. This cash:
    • does not include money you may receive after the end date of the project
    • must be essential to the achievement of the work programme and be genuine cash funding for the proposed project
    • is not money from which an income is derived or that can be returned to the funder.
  • In-kind co-funding is a non-cash contribution that contributes directly to your project. This may include:
    • the use of equipment, staff time or access to data
    • actual personnel costs incurred by either organisation. For example, staff costs met by either organisation for an individual who has been placed, or for the mentoring or supervision of the individual who has been placed.

The application and assessment process

Key dates

Proposal submission period

Noon 16 August 2023 to
11 October 2023

Information webinar

12 September 2023

Assessment Panel members published

By 29 September 2023

We check all proposals against the eligibility criteria

October 2023

Assessor briefing

October 2023

Proposals assigned to Assessors

November 2023

Assessment of proposals by the assessment panel

November to December 2023

Assessor assessments and scores recorded in IMS

Noon 15 December 2023

Assessment Panel meeting

20 to 21 February 2024

Feedback to Applicants

March 2024

Investment funding decisions announced

March 2024

Contracts begin

June 2024

Key activity


Dates are subject to change. We will notify all date changes by email.
You can join this mailing list and recieve our Alert e-newsletter for updates.

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Key documents and content

When developing your application, we encourage you to consult the following key reference documents:

Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga 2024 Investment Plan

Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga web pages

Assessment and scoring guide

Application process

Applicants are required to complete their proposals in our Investment Management System (IMS) a secure online portal. To help you prepare your proposal we’ve provided a proposal template.

  1. Proposals are entered and submitted in our Investment Management System IMS – a secure online portal. If you do not have an IMS login, you will need to request access. Before developing your proposal, you are encouraged to consider the eligibility criteria, the assessment criteria, and the terms and conditions relating to this Call for Proposals.

    Investment Management System IMS(external link) — MBIE Portal

  2. The proposal template provides guidance on how to prepare your proposal and the information you are required to provide. We recommend you use the proposal template provided to draft the required information in a word processer of your choice and then when ready to submit, copy and paste the necessary segments into the appropriate IMS fields and upload your supporting documentation where directed.
  3. MBIE staff will be able to assist you with accessing IMS and providing guidance about how to go about entering content.
  4. The information in your proposal is used for assessment and forms the basis of the contract for successful projects.
  5. Proposals submitted in te reo Māori are welcomed. The assessment of proposals may take place in English. Applicants may choose to provide a translation of their proposal or rely on MBIE to commission translation without further recourse to the Applicant. The choice of language will not influence assessment outcomes. Applicants must upload any translations into IMS and any translations must be consistent with the original te reo Māori version.

Assessment process

The following assessment process applies:

  1. Applicants submit a funding proposal.
  2. MBIE will check all proposals against the eligibility criteria.
  3. Assessors will accept/decline assigned eligible proposals and declare any conflicts of interest.
  4. All eligible proposals are assessed by four independent assessment panel members against the assessment criteria and recorded in IMS.
  5. The Assessment Panel meet and discuss the proposals and reach a consensus about the preferred proposals, feedback comments, and recommendations which will inform the Panel Chair's report.
  6. The Panel Chair provides a report that includes funding recommendations to the Deputy Secretary, Labour, Science and Enterprise.

Conflicts of interest 

If you are submitting a proposal, check the list of Assessment Panel members below for any potential conflicts of interest.

If you identify an actual, potential, or perceived direct or indirect conflict of interest, you must notify us before the application closing date by emailing with the details for further discussion.

Conflicts of interest may occur on 2 different levels:

  • A direct conflict of interest, where an Assessor is:
    • directly involved with a proposal (as a participant, manager, mentor, or partner) or has a close personal relationship with the applicant, for example, family members
    • a collaborator or in some other way involved with an applicant’s proposal.
  • An indirect conflict of interest, where an Assessor:
    • is employed by an organisation involved in a proposal but is not part of the applicant’s proposal
    • has a personal and/or professional relationship with one of the applicants, for example, an acquaintance
    • is assessing a proposal under discussion that may compete with their business interests.

The conception of a close personal relationship is generally considered in relatively narrow terms, for example, that of a direct relationship (spouse/partner, sibling, dependent). Iwi or hapū affiliation would not normally rise to the standard of a direct conflict of interest unless the nature of other relationships, roles or public statements might give rise to an actual or perceived conflict of interest.

Assessment Panel members

Assessment criteria

The Assessment Panel members will assess proposals on each of the criteria below and score them from 1 (Low quality) to 7 (High quality).

An assessment panel will assess Connect and Placement Scheme proposals against the following criteria. Each criterion has a 25% weighting.


Development of People, Relationships, and Skills (25%)

Key question: To what extent are longer-term skills, capability, networks, relationships, and research opportunities likely to emerge and be sustained from the proposed work programme?

Ability to Deliver (25%)

Key question: What is the likelihood that the proposed outputs of the work programme will be achieved?


Vision Mātauranga Outcomes (25%)

Key question: To what extent does the proposal support the Vision Mātauranga policy and support unlocking the science and innovation potential of Māori knowledge, resources, and people for the benefit of New Zealand?

Benefits to Research, Science, and Technology (25%)

Key question: How will the increased capability, capacity, skills, and networks benefit the Research, Science and Technology (RS&T) sector, and achieve the objectives and outcomes of the Vision Mātauranga policy?

For more information on how Assessors will assess and score proposals see the Assessment and scoring guide pages.

Assessment and scoring guide

Applicant feedback

Following eligibility checks, all applicants will be notified whether they were eligible or not. If applicants are not eligible, we will let you know the reasons why.

After the full assessment process has been completed, all applicants will receive written notification and feedback about their applications. Feedback will be based on information gathered from assessment panel members about the main strengths and weaknesses of their proposals.

Funding decisions

MBIE’s Deputy Secretary, Labour, Science and Enterprise will make the final investment decisions based on recommendations from the Panel Chair’s report, on which proposals will be funded and may:

  • set pre-contractual conditions which must be met before the investment is contracted
  • set special conditions in addition to the general terms and conditions set out in the Fund’s Funding Contract
  • vary the proposed term of the project
  • vary the funding allocated from that proposed
  • require the proposed project plan be negotiated to MBIE’s satisfaction to reflect the changed funding
  • take into account prior performance in previous Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund (VMCF) Funding Contracts. Where an applicant is recommended to be funded but has an outstanding reporting requirement, or unmet VMCF contractual obligations, at the time of contracting, we may withhold the funding contract until such a time as previous VMCF contracting obligations are fulfilled. Please note that the new contract start date could be delayed where earlier VMCF contractual obligations are unfulfilled.

We will advise the proposal’s primary contact person of the funding decisions in March 2024. The successful applicants will be published on our Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund webpages and announced via a press release, or announced by the Ministers for Research, Science, and Innovation and Māori Development.

Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund

The contracting process

Successful applicants will enter into a Funding Contract and associated work programme agreement with us (subject to any pre-contractual conditions being met).

This agreement must be signed and returned to us within 1 month of receipt.

The terms and conditions of the Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund Funding Contract will apply to the provision of funding agreed between us and the contracting organisation. By submitting a proposal, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund Funding Contract. A sample Funding Contract is available in our Key documents and content section above.


The contract holder must manage the funding to ensure delivery of the contracted work programme and adhere to any reporting requirements. Subject to specific contract conditions, MBIE funding will be provided as follows:

  • 50% at the start of the work programme
  • 40% at the mid-point (after submission of a progress report to our satisfaction)
  • 10% on completion of the work programme (after submission of a final report to our satisfaction). The following table provides an overview of the contract reporting requirements for contracts.

Reporting and monitoring

The following table provides an overview of the contract reporting requirements for contracts.

Required reporting

Due date

Reporting period

Progress report

1 month before the mid-point of the work programme or as otherwise agreed with us

From the start date of the work programme to the last day of the month before the report is due

Final report

No later than 1 month after the end date of the work programme

From the start date of the work programme to the end date of the programme

These reports should be prepared jointly and include information provided from both the contract holder and Partner organisation(s), including a co-development letter from the Partner organisation(s) to confirm that the report has been prepared in conjunction with that organisation and that the information contained in the letter is accurate.

The reports should also include information on:

  • the status and progress towards delivering on the Impact Statement and Research Aims contracted
  • co-funding contributions (if applicable)
  • mentoring arrangements (for Placement Scheme only)
  • key achievements
  • emerging risks and what is being done to address them
  • an assessment of whether or not the work programme has or will lead to further Vision Mātauranga opportunities, the project’s success in building skills and networks, and the effectiveness of the overall work programme.

Reports will be submitted in IMS and evaluated by us.

Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund webpages(external link)

Contact us

For proposal queries, email

For technical IMS portal queries, email or call 0800 693 778 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

You can also subscribe to our Alert e-newsletter:

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Last updated: 09 October 2023