Climate change research boost

Published: Tue 5 Nov 2019 10:31 AM
Hon Megan Woods
Minister of Research, Science and InnovationPĀNUI PĀPĀHO
5 November 2019
Should we plan for drought or deluge and how is CO2 released from the ocean’s floor? Several climate change projects were given a boost in the latest Marsden Fund investment of $83.6 million, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods said today.
“Climate change is long-term challenge that requires out-of-the-box thinking and that’s why the Government has made more progress in two years than the last Government did in nine.
“Science and research have been critical in the progression of our Zero Carbon Bill that returns to parliament today, as well as giving New Zealanders more choice on electric cars, and drives our work alongside businesses to reduce emissions.
“We welcome today’s investment that tackles head-on both climate change and our goal of running the country exclusively on renewable electricity by 2050.
The Marsden Fund has invested in projects including: • How CO2 releases from the ocean floor • How rainfall patterns changed in the Pacific during the Glacial Period • Whether airborne microplastics play a role in climate change • Three programmes of work to increase solar panel technologies “Supporting New Zealand’s top researchers to find new and innovative solutions to tough problems is key to creating a strong future for New Zealand.
“The knowledge and solutions that will be created because of this research will put us in good stead towards creating a productive, sustainable and inclusive New Zealand. I congratulate all of the recipients announced today,” Megan Woods said.
The Marsden Fund Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden is New Zealand’s most prestigious fund that supports excellent research across science, mathematics, engineering, social science and the humanities. A total of 125 new projects were awarded this year.
Notes to editor Projects aimed at addressing climate change • Geologic champagne: What controls sudden release of CO2 at glacial terminations on the Chatham Rise? (The University of Auckland) - $952,000 • Drought or Deluge? How did Rainfall in the Tropical South Pacific Respond to Sudden Climate Change During the Glacial Period? (Victoria University of Wellington) - $960,000 • Could airborne microplastics play a role in climate change? (University of Canterbury) - $300,000 Projects aimed at renewable energy issues • Molecular wiring of graphene with organic films (University of Canterbury) - $960,000 • Photon multiplying light harvesting antenna systems for luminescent solar concentrators (Victoria University of Wellington) - $278,499 • Can enhanced exciton diffusion propel organic photovoltaic cells beyond the bulk heterojunction? (Victoria University of Wellington) – $891,197 The Marsden Fund • The Marsden Fund is New Zealand’s premier fund for investigator-led research. Since 1995, it has supported excellence in research across science and the humanities.
• The Marsden Fund is administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Proposals are evaluated by independent assessment panels and the final recommendations for funding are made by the Marsden Fund Council, which is chaired by Professor David Bilkey.
• The different funding categories include: • Fast-Start proposals – targeted at early career researchers. It is designed to establish independent research and create research momentum for these individuals. Up to $100,000 p.a. for programmes lasting up to 3 years.
• Standard proposals – larger grants open to established researchers as well as emerging researchers. Up to $240,000 -$320,000 per year (varies by discipline).
• Marsden Fund Council Awards – a larger award category specifically for interdisciplinary proposals. Awards of up to $1 million per year for up to 3 years. The 2019 round saw the first successful awards for this category.
2019 funding round • $83.671m (excl. GST) over 3 years • 125 successful proposals: o 74 Standard proposals o 49 Fast-Start proposals o 2 Marsden Fund Council Awards Further information including the full results and researcher contact details for media comment are on the Royal Society Te Apārangi’s website.

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