Webinar questions and answers – Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund (VMCF) 2024 Investment Round

This page includes the questions that were asked by attendees of the VMCF 2024 Investment Round webinar on 12 September 2023.

General questions

Is the webinar for both the Connect and Placement schemes?

Yes, both the Connect and Placement schemes are covered in the webinar.

Is this an annual kaupapa? If I start working on a proposal now, could there be an opportunity to apply in 2024?

Yes, VMCF is run annually. We would highly recommend you subscribe to the MBIE emails for VMCF to keep up to date with any future announcements.

Subscribe for VMCF updates(external link) 

Does the pūtea have to go to the Māori organisation before it goes to the individual researcher?

Funding will be paid to the contracting organisation, who need to be able to receive money from MBIE. Pūtea can then be paid to the individual researcher, this could be via subcontracting agreement outlined in your proposal.

Is Vision Mātauranga strictly for research or can it be used for research and development?

The thing to keep in mind is that this is a capability fund and we're looking for how that capability is built and the vehicle by which we do it, is by asking for the recent proposal. The research proposal is the narrative and what we're looking for is how the capability is going to be built and how that's going to deliver benefit to the organisations involved, and to the science and innovation system more broadly.

Having secured connect VMCF, what will be your advice if that team wants to apply for another VMCF connect to reach a wider group? Is this BAU?

You should clearly outline the new capability that's going to be built. The narrative is around how this is going above and beyond what's already being built and the relationship that's already been built between the organisations.

Is a hapū a Māori organisation?

If the Māori organisation is the contracting organisation, then it must be a legal entity, and a hapū is not a legal entity. If you are the partner organisation (who MBIE don't contract with) then you need to meet the definition of a Māori organisation in the eligibility criteria for the fund. If the hapū uses (or wishes to use) research, science or technology related activities then they would meet the definition.

Could you provide some examples of a Māori organisation?

We recommend looking at successful past applicants, along with the success stories. 

Funded projects 

Success stories

Are there any requirements on the size of the Māori organisation?

There are no particular size requirements, but it would need to be an 'organisation' so whether it can be described as such will be fact specific.


Can individual researcher(s) be partners?

Yes, an individual researcher may be a partner. We need to see a partnership between either a research organisation/individual researcher and a Māori organisation.

Can you have more than 2 organisations involved? For example, 1 Māori organisation, 1 researcher and 1 non-Māori non-research organisation?

Yes, there can be a number of partners involved in the project, but the minimum requirement is to have 1 research organisation or individual researcher and 1 Māori organisation.

Do you strictly have to be a 'research' organisation? Or can be you an organisation that can do research?

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.

What is meant by not including full time tertiary students?

It's any full-time student, including PhD students. The reason we have this is because we aren’t an educational fund. Our fund is a research and science fund, focused on building capability. Because of the way this funding is provided we are not funding education, nor students’ stipends.

Does R&D in the educational space apply to this fund? Are there restrictions related to education, for example, Māori early childhood education (ECE)?

If the main outcome relates to the development of science capability, VMCF funding is all about building science capability, not providing educational outcomes. The reason we need to do this, is because our funding is specifically for science, and there are other sources of funding for education. Our fund is a research and science fund, focused on building capability. Because of the way this funding is provided we are not funding education, nor students’ stipends.

When you say 'majority' of work has to remain in New Zealand, could you provide a percentage indication?

We are unable to provide a percentage indication, however, if a large proportion of research is to occur outside of New Zealand, there would need to be compelling reasons for MBIE to consider the proposal.

If most 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.

If we are building the research capability through the establishment of a research centre partnering with a research group – focusing on hauora and innovation – is this fund appropriate?

If your research only addresses hauora and the main benefits to your project will be to the health system, then we are not an appropriate fund.

We suggest you consider the Nga Kanohi Kitea grants:

Māori health research(external link) — Health Research Council (HRC)

If a partner has already applied to He Tipu Ka hua, is it OK to also apply to VMCF for a similar project in case the first is not awarded?

Yes, you may still apply to VMCF for a similar project. If both were to be funded we would look to ensure deliverables for both projects are not exactly the same. 


Can you provide some examples of 'excellence'.

We recommend you take a look at the Assessment and scoring guide, which can be found at:

Assessment and scoring guide Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund 2024

Other questions

Could you elaborate a bit on what is meant by 'having the mandate?' What are assessors looking for here?

Are you the correct group who has the mandate to actually do this work? Have you spoken to the right people, and you've got support from them whether that be the key knowledge holder, whanau, organization or Māori research organisation.

For example, are there other groups within your rohe, within your Iwi that potentially have the mandate to undertake this work. It’s about understanding landscape and appropriate consultation.

Could you use the fund to create an apprenticeship? Ie, with a school leaver?

Please look at the Placement scheme where you place a named individual into the organisation to build their capability.

Are you using the current IMS system rather than the new Pītau system?

Yes, 2024 VMCF investment round applications (specifically) should be submitted in IMS and the portal is already currently open.

How will new users be accommodated with the transfer to Pītau?

Profiles associated with ‘Active’ proposals and those funded in the 2024 investment round will automatically be migrated to Pītau.

If your application is unsuccessful and have no current contracts with MBIE and are not an IMS super user (Pītau Org Admin) you will need to complete a Pītau Access Request form and recreate your profile in Pītau in order to submit future applications when a call for proposal is released.

Have MBIE got examples IP management plans for Māori organisations?

We do not have any examples of IP management plans. 

Last updated: 09 October 2023