Kiwi research gets $54 million boost from Marsden Fund

Could antiseptic handwash make us sicker in the long run? Do zoos make us care more about threatened species? How do babies learn how other people think?

These intriguing questions are a just a few of the problems being tackled by the recipients of this year’s round of grants from the Marsden Fund – New Zealand’s largest ‘blue skies’ research funding body. Announced this week, a total of 92 research projects have been allocated $54 million of funding in this year’s Marsden Fund grants.

The Marsden fund, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the government, is the hallmark of excellence in research.

You can read more about the funded projects on

As described on the Royal Society website: “Marsden Fund research benefits society as a whole by contributing to the development of researchers with knowledge, skills and ideas. The research is not subject to government’s socio-economic priorities, but is investigator initiated. The Fund supports research excellence in science, engineering and maths, social sciences and the humanities. ”

Marsden Fund Council chair, Professor Juliet Gerrard, says the Fund encourages New Zealand’s most talented researchers to explore their most exciting ideas.

The funding and projects have been covered widely in the New Zealand media. examples include:

NZ City News: Researchers granted $53 million
Otago Daily Times: $742,000 grant leaves vice-chancellor ‘delighted’
3 News: Researchers granted $53M
New Zealand Herald: The camera that gets you inside babies’ minds
RNZ: Artificialnoses make Marsden Fund list Researcher wins Marsden Fund grant to probe benefits of older dads
Otago Daily Times: Lecturer lands $840,000 research catch
New Zealand Herald: Marsden Fund grants millions to new research projects
Manawatu Standard: Massey University researchers gain funding boost from Marsden Fund

You can also read more in press releases from: GNS Science, University of Otago, University of Auckland, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, & Victoria University Wellington.