Potential sources of research funding in New Zealand

Government organisations

Organisation Type of funding available Contact details for further enquiries

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Science and Innovation Group is one of the three major government-funded purchasers of research.

Tobacco control research is most likely to qualify for funding from the HRC (seebelow). However, researchers may also wish to check the research portfolios operated by FRST.



Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC)

The HRC is the major government-funded purchaser of health research.

The different types of assistance available are:

  • Partnership Initiatives
  • Research Contracts
  • Career Development Opportunities
  • Seeding Grants and Grants-in-Aid.
The Marsden Fund The Marsden Fund supports qualifying research in any field. http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/programmes/funds/marsden/

Pacific Development and Conservation Trust (administered by the Department of Internal Affairs)

The Trust provides support for projects that promote sustainable development in the South Pacific, while conserving the natural environment and cultural heritage of its peoples.


Social Policy Evaluation and Research Committee (SPEaR)

SPEaR oversees the government's purchase of social policy research to ensure that spending is aligned with the government’s social policy priorities.

SPEaR provides funding under the categories:

  • Social Policy Postgraduate Scholarships
  • Social Policy Research Awards
  • Research Methods Workshops
  • Visiting Research Fellowships
Other government agencies

Government agencies may purchase research on an ad hoc basis, particularly in relation to their own work projects.

Agencies that may consider funding tobacco-control related research include: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kokiri, Ministry of Education.

Contact individual agencies


Non-government sources for research funding

Organisation Type of funding available Contact details for further enquiries

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand

The Foundation funds research to help the future of New Zealand lungs.


Cancer Society of New Zealand

The Cancer Society funds cancer research and also awards scholarships to allow students to undertake advanced research in the field of cancer.

Child Cancer Foundation The Foundation has funds available for research into the causes of childhood cancer.


Genesis Oncology Trust

The Trust invites applications for grants to support New Zealand-based initiatives that will lead to improvements in the prevention, detection, diagnosis or treatment of cancer, or improvements and the palliative care of cancer patients.


Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust

The Trust provides funds for grants-in-aid to support health-related research. A limited number of scholarships are also funded, to encourage training in research methodology.

Heart Foundation

The Foundation funds project grants and grants-in-aid, training fellowships to enable researchers to further their studies overseas, research fellowships and postgraduate scholarships which provide an opportunity for people to carry out research in New Zealand.



Auckland Medical Research Foundation

Funds a range of project grants, scholarships and fellowships in the area of medical research.


Waikato Medical Research Foundation

Funds or part funds medical research in the Waikato region. www.wmrf.org.nz

Wellington Medical Research Foundation

Funds projects related to cardiovascular disease, diabetic diseases kidney research. www.wmrf.co.nz
Canterbury Community Trust

The Trust distributes funds for charitable, cultural, philanthropic and recreational benefits in the Canterbury region. Funding sectors include a hospital and medical related grants sector.


Canterbury Medical Research Foundation

Funds medical research in the Canterbury region. www.cmrf.org.nz

Otago Medical Research Foundation

Funds medical research and scholarships in the Otago region. http://hsframework36.otago.ac.nz 

Research funding for Māori researchers

Organisation Type of funding available Contact details for further enquiries

Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC)

Māori Health Research Career Development Awards. These aim to foster the Māori health research workforce in New Zealand.



Seeding Grants: Up to $5,000 is available to develop and pilot Māori health research proposals. The cost of consulting with particular communities to develop a research project may be covered. Maximum duration is one year.


Grants-in-Aid: Up to $5,000 is available for dissemination of research results, including health research hui and publications.


HRC and the Ministry of Health

Through the Māori Health Joint Venture the HRC and the Ministry of Health seek to establish a flagship portfolio of collaborative research that will:

  • Contribute to the development of Māori research capacity
  • Underpin key policy decisions
  • Have the potential to contribute significantly to Māori health outcomes.



Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga (Māori Centre of Research Excellence)

Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga operates a research programme that identifies, selects and funds research projects that demonstrate excellence in support of research themes, including healthy communities in healthy environments. Projects are funded through contestable research rounds, which are open to researchers from qualifying research organisations anywhere in New Zealand.


Research funding for Pacific Peoples researchers

Organisation Type of funding available Contact details for further enquiries

Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC)

Seeding Grants: Up to $5,000 is provided towards the development of a Pacific health research proposal for the annual HRC contestable funding round. Maximum duration is one year. Seeding funding can be used to undertake consultation with community representatives, or researchers, to pilot specific aspects of the research design or for individuals/groups with no other source of research funding to write a proposal.


The HRC funds and administers a variety of awards and scholarships to build the Pacific health provider workforce.