A Better Start E Tipu e Rea, the New Zealand government’s National Science Challenge, is investing $1 million in Pasifika-led child health research working with Pasifika communities.

It is seeking to fund innovative research aimed at delivering practical, evidence-based solutions specifically in the areas of healthy weight, successful learning and mental health and resilience.  Applications must have a focus on enhancing the wellbeing of Pasifika children and young people, their families and communities. 

The funding round opens on July 19, 2021, and registrations of interest close on Wednesday August 11, 2021. The closing date for full applications is October 6, 2021 and the successful projects will be announced in December. 

“A Better Start is committed to funding research to generate knowledge and understanding that can be applied to improve the health and education outcomes of Pasifika children and young people,” says A Better Start Director Professor Wayne Cutfield. 

An expert Pasifika advisory group has been involved in the planning of the Pasifika Research Fund, including Associate Professor Collin Tukuitonga (Associate Dean, Pacific at the University of Auckland), Dr Riz Firestone (Associate Dean, Pasifika at the Centre for Public Health Research at Massey University) and Dr Mele Taumoepeau (Senior Lecturer in the Psychology Department at the University of Otago).

Proposals for the Pasifika fund must have active involvement of Pasifika people as researchers, advisors, stakeholders and participants. Pasifika health research design, methods and approaches should be evident in the application, and be responsive to the changing Pasifika contexts, underpinned by Pasifika cultural values and beliefs, and conducted in accordance with Pasifika ethical standards, values and aspirations.

A total funding pool of $1 million is available for allocation. The full amount may be awarded to one exception proposal, or two projects of up to $500,000 (excluding GST). The projects will be up to two years in duration, to be completed by 30 June 2024. 

This funding will be contestable, with all applications scored and ranked according to the agreed assessment criteria by an external assessing panel of experts.

To apply for A Better Start’s Pasifika Research Fund, and to find out more information, please go to our Grants & Funding page. 

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