Science Journalism Fund – 2021 round now open

The Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund will offer up to $15,000 of funding for projects on native plants under threat and resilience to natural disasters.

Grants up to $5,000 are available to fund reporting linked to the themes below, with preference given to projects that would otherwise be unlikely to attract resourcing.

Media professionals working for online, television, radio, newspapers and magazines, including freelancers for all of the above, are welcome to apply.

Stories will be expected to be published or aired by 1 July 2021.

With the expectation that international travel will likely remain limited during this period, and domestic travel may be curtailed in the event of further COVID-19 lockdowns, any applicants proposing travel as part of their budget must provide details on contingency plans or alternative approaches should travel be limited.

Funding is available under the following themes.

Taonga under threat: $10,000

Some of Aotearoa’s most precious trees are under threat from kauri dieback and myrtle rust. We invite proposals for projects that will explore the human dimensions of taonga such as kauri, pōhutukawa, mānuka and other species at risk from these pathogens: the value and meaning of these trees, how a range of communities (including tangata whenua, NGOs, and scientists) are working to protect them, and hope for the future.

We particularly encourage applications from Māori media.

Funded by Ngā Rākau Taketake – a Bioheritage National Science Challenge programme aimed at restoring and protecting connections between Māori and other New Zealanders with kauri and myrtaceae trees.

Natural hazards don’t have to be disastrous: $5,000

Living in New Zealand, natural hazards come with the territory – but that doesn’t mean disasters have to. Instead, disasters are linked to decisions about where people live and work, the buildings they are in, and the infrastructure that connects them. We welcome projects related to insurance, business, science, economic and property looking at how New Zealand’s resilience to natural hazards is being shaped (or not).

Funded by EQC. EQC is on a mission to reduce the impact of natural disaster on people and property.

Applications will close Monday 25 January – Click here to apply

Since the fund’s launch in 2017, nearly $100,000 has been distributed to fund over 35 projects covering topics from sea level rise to data privacy, robots in healthcare and gene editing.

In 2020, the fund ran a special round focused on quickly funding COVID-19-related projects.

You can read more about completed projects here. Some funded projects from the previous round are still underway.

About the Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund

The Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund is the first independent journalism fund dedicated to furthering coverage of the science-related issues that impact New Zealanders. The fund was set up by Rebecca Priestley, winner of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Science Communicator’s Prize, in association with the Science Media Centre, to support journalism that highlights the science that underpins, or informs, major issues facing our society.

Any organisations wanting to support the fund, please contact: