The funding process

We use a range of funding and support programmes to invest the majority of our science and innovation funds. Each programme is supported with comprehensive documentation covering application and assessment details.

How our funding process works

Documentation issued for the funding opportunity will contain

  • full details on how to apply, how your application will be assessed, what happens if your application is successful.
  • a proposal template that provides guidance on to prepare your proposal and the information you are required to provide. 
  • how to contact us for assistance with the application process. 

We recommend you use the 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 Pītau Investment Management System Portal fields and upload your supporting documentation where directed. 

Before developing your funding proposal, consider the eligibility criteria, the assessment criteria, and the terms and conditions that will be outlined in the funding opportunity’s documentation. 

Funding applications are submitted to us and processed in the Pītau Investment Management System, a secure online portal. Instruction on how to access Pītau and enter and submit your funding application is also outlined in the funding opportunity’s documentation.

Pītau Investment Management System

If you do not have an Pītau login, you will need to request access.

Pītau Access Request Form [DOCX, 114 KB]

Details on who is responsible for making the funding decisions informed by the assessments will be contained in the funding opportunity’s documentation. Depending on the funding opportunity, this may be MBIE’s Deputy Secretary, Labour, Science and Enterprise, the General Manager of the Science System Investment and Performance Branch in the Labour, Science and Enterprise Group, MBIE, or the Science Board.

The Science Board is responsible for making independent investment decisions on funding proposals for research, science and technology and related activities that are referred to them by our chief executive. This includes funding for the National Science Challenges.

Read more about the Science Board

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

The terms and conditions of the funding opportunity’s investment contract will apply to the provision of funding agreed between us and successful applicants. By submitting a proposal, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions and those outlined in the Call for Proposals or Expressions of Interest. A sample contract will be made available on the fund’s web pages.

Sensitive Technologies – Trusted Research

Some governments target research to give their country, including their military and security agencies, an edge. They may do this through covert or illicit means. New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and wellbeing rely on the continuation of an open and collaborative research system with rich international connections. Attempts to acquire access to research and intellectual property for military and security uses inconsistent with New Zealand’s values and interests puts this at risk.

In order to manage these risks, MBIE undertakes a sensitive technologies risk assessment on those projects that are recommended for MBIE Science and Innovation funding. Higher levels of assessed risk require specific risk mitigation strategies to be put in place. These will normally form part of the funding contract conditions of a project.

Applicants are expected to be familiar with the Trusted Research Guidance for Institutions and Researchers and (for universities) the Universities New Zealand Trusted Research - Protective Security Requirements (TR-PSR) guidance. If there are any questions arising from this, consult your Research Office.

Trusted Research: Guidance for Institutions and Researchers [PDF 3.7MB](external link)

Universities New Zealand TR-PSR guidance(external link)

The information we collect in funding applications and why

The information in your proposal is used for:

You are responsible for ensuring that all parties mentioned in your proposal:

  • have confirmed their personal details and the nature and level of their involvement in the work described in the proposal is correct, and
  • are aware of our Pītau Privacy Statement that describes how this information will be used and know the process to follow should any changes to this information be required.
    See the Pītau Portal Privacy Statement

Australian New Zealand Scientific Research Classifications

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) is a set of 3 related classifications - Type of Activity (ToA), Fields of Research (FoR) and Socio-Economic Objective (SEO).

The classifications have been developed for use in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development. In New Zealand, ANZSRC is used by government, funding agencies such as the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Crown Research Institutes, universities and independent research organisations, and allows the comparison of research and development data between sectors of the economy. ANZSRC data also informs investment decisions based on portfolio balancing.

The specific fund’s Call for Proposals or Expressions of Interest and application process will guide you through entering this information.

See also

Technologies of special interest profiling

We require all research fund applicants to declare in their funding proposals any technologies of special interest that may used as part of their research methodology. This covers a range of historic and emerging technologies including:

  • Gene technologies
  • Live animal testing
  • Working with children or vulnerable adults
  • Developing algorithms which predict human behaviour or automate decision-making impacting humans e.g. Artificial intelligence
  • Human data mining
  • Industrial Fermentation
  • Nanotechnology
  • Xenotransplantation
  • Technologies that could have military or security applications

We continue to update this list as the research landscape evolves.

This declaration enables us to ensure that appropriate measures can be taken to prevent or limit any direct or indirect harm that may result as a consequence of technologies of special interest being used in our investments.

The specific fund’s Call for Proposals or Expressions of Interest and application process will guide you through entering this information.

Diversity data

We are committed to understanding and promoting diversity in science and research. 

By putting a focus on diversity we can make sure that we capture the very best ideas and talent to support the highest quality research. We believe that everyone should have a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the science system to their fullest potential.

Individuals fulfilling key roles in a funding proposal’s proposed project are required to individually register in Pītau, and then invited to enter details on their gender, ethnicity, age, and career stage. The same information is also captured for the assessor’s selected to assess funding proposals. 

The diversity data we collect is anonymised, and used to inform a pathway to equity in the science system.

For more information, see our Diversity Statement [PDF, 888 KB].

Annual reporting

Recipients of MBIE science-led funding are required to submit an annual report on the outputs and outcomes of activities undertaken/produced during the preceding 12 months.

Annual reporting enables us to evaluate contract performance and remain informed about research progress. We also use data obtained via annual reporting for policy and strategy development, marketing and our corporate accountability documents.

If applicable, Reporting Guidelines for our funds can be found in the Essential documents list on the relevant Fund's webpages.

A full list of our investment funds

In this section

Our Science Board

Our Science Board is the statutory body responsible for making independent investment decisions for the Endeavour Fund, National Science Challenges and Partnerships.

Our College of Assessors

The assessment of proposals for Endeavour 2024 funding round is performed by a considered selection of independent national and international Assessors from our virtual College of Assessors.

Pītau Investment Management System Portal

Pītau is our Investment Management System – a secure online portal that lets applicants view, edit, and submit funding applications and manage contracts. This portal also allows independent assessors to assess funding applications.

Last updated: 09 May 2023