Grants & Funding

Funding better futures

Multimillion dollar research funding to improve child health 

A Better Start, one of the country’s 11 National Science Challenges, and Cure Kids, New Zealand’s largest national child health research charity, have joined forces again to create a new contestable fund in child health research, beginning early 2021. The successful projects will be announced in July.

The funding round seeks proposals for high quality translational research to improve child and youth wellbeing, specifically in the areas of healthy weight, early learning and mental health and resilience.

“The earlier we tackle health problems, the greater the benefit to the child throughout their life, and to their whanau and the country,” says A Better Start Director Professor Wayne Cutfield. “A positive difference made early in children’s lives can have huge dividends later. This fund aims to identify practical, evidence-based solutions to make a measurable difference for our tamariki.”

This is the second time Cure Kids and A Better Start have collaborated to create a contestable funding round – in 2017 they funded 10 child health research projects to the tune of $2.8 million.

Cure Kids CEO Frances Benge says: “We are pleased to partner again with the government’s National Science Challenge A Better Start: E Tipu e Rea to run a second contestable joint funding round and fund high quality research that addresses some of the most important challenges facing our young people.

“We are excited about the new knowledge to be developed through these research projects and the impact they will have on improving the health of our children,” she says.

Launching the funding round in November 2020, A Better Start and Cure Kids said they were particularly interested in receiving proposals for child health research projects that have potential to make a material difference at a community level with a focus on Māori and Pasifika communities.

A total funding pool of approximately $4 million is available for allocation, with equal contributions from both partners.

Grants of up to $500,000 (excluding GST) will be available for projects up to two years duration, to be completed by 30 June 2024.

Researchers who were funded in A Better Start and Cure Kids’ first joint funding round in 2017 will be eligible, by invitation only, to apply for smaller grants of up to $250,000 over one year to extend their research projects and enable impact for children.

By working together, A Better Start and Cure Kids are fulfilling the kaupapa of each organisation to make a positive difference for our tamariki with a collaborative, interdisciplinary and cross-sector approach.

“Cure Kids has a successful history of collaborating with like-minded organisations,” says Frances Benge. “This joint-funding initiative allows us to achieve a greater impact with the funding generously give to us by our donors. This allows us to have a much greater impact on child health at a community level.”

Professor Cutfield says the partnership with Cure Kids not only creates a greater funding pool but is an opportunity for both organisations to share and develop experience and expertise.

“We want to improve the potential for all young New Zealanders to lead healthy and successful lives.”


A Better Start: E Tipu e Rea National Science Challenge

A Better Start fosters collaborative research aimed at improving methods and tools to predict, prevent and intervene so that children have a healthy weight, are successful learners and are emotionally and socially well-adjusted.

Cure Kids

Cure Kids’ focus is on enabling high-impact, New Zealand-based medical research to help save, extend and improve the lives of children diagnosed with serious life-impacting and life-limiting health conditions. Cure Kids is the largest non-government funder of child health research in NZ.

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