MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship

February 11, 2021

The Fellowship objective

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on world economy and is likely to have long-term adverse impacts on the Research, Science and Innovation workforce. In response to the reduced opportunities experienced by New Zealand early career researchers (ECRs), we are providing this one-off funding opportunity to support the retention and development of ECRs with the potential to excel in a research environment.

The Fellowship intends to support up and coming researchers to rise and establish a career in their chosen field of research. This is captured in the name of the Fellowship ‘Te whitinga mai o te rā,’ which can translate to “the rising of the sun”.

Fellowship description

30 Fellows will be selected for a two-year Fellowship to undertake research in any field (including the humanities, mātauranga and social science) at an eligible New Zealand research institution.

The MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship will be administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The final decision on the applicants who will be awarded a fellowship will be made by MBIE.

Funding available

The two year MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship will award per annum (excluding GST):

  • $75,000 towards the researcher’s salary
  • $75,000 in organisational overheads
  • $10,000 for research-related expenses.
    The total value of an MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship is $320,000 per award.


Full details of eligibility criteria will be published in the application guidelines before the Fellowship is opened to applicants in February 2021. For more information, refer to the Royal Society Te Apārangi website.

To apply for an MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship:

  • Applicants must be either New Zealand citizens, or permanent residents.
  • Applicants must have gained a PhD on or after 1 January 2017.
  • Applicants must be supported by a New Zealand-based research organisation which can demonstrate it is capable and willing to provide appropriate support and facilities that will enable the applicant to succeed in their Fellowship.
  • Applicants must not be employed in a long term research position (excluding part time positions).

Expected timelines

The Fellowship will be opened to applicants in February 2021. It is anticipated Fellows will notified of the outcome in late May or early June 2021.

More information

For more information visit the Royal Society Te Apārangi website.

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