Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Request for proposals

The Request for Proposals provides an opportunity for researchers at the University of Auckland and colleagues to seed projects and support students that enhance the aims of the GMCNE.

Projects will be selected on the criteria specified below. The Expert Advisory Panel will also be looking to identify and foster the connection between projects that lead to thematic research to expanded funding opportunities for research and application.

The GMCNE funds provide you with an opportunity to think about doing research you would not normally have a chance to do.  It is an opportunity to extend and link your research to foster a wider capacity and capability in finding solutions to environmental problems.

Research funds

Research funds enable GMCNE investigators to take advantage of exciting new ideas that require interdisciplinary research to support solutions to environmental challenges, while simultaneously building links across the GMCNE’s network, especially between institutions.

Through the George Mason Scholars initiative there is also the opportunity to build capacity in solution focused interdisciplinary environmental research. Workshops or think-tanks offer the opportunity to bring together researchers from within New Zealand and overseas to shed new light on vexing environmental problems or unaddressed directions.

The GMCNE will help to identify new solutions and to draw public attention to the role of the GMCNE, academe and interdisciplinary science in contributing solutions to restoration, conservation and sustainability challenges in our natural environment.

The underlying theme for all proposals should align with supporting Environmental Restoration – Conservation – Sustainability.   Areas of Research may include but not be exclusive to:

  • Environmental Change (developing techniques for monitoring, forecasting and analysing change and environmental future scenario development)
  • Hilltops-Ocean (restoration, ecosystem services, flows and implications for integrative management, cumulative effects)
  • Resilience (tipping points and bottlenecks to restoration)
  • Socio-ecological systems (citizen science, governance-science-society, psychology, education, investment, new economies)
  • Emerging technologies for the environment (Green Chemistry, sampling technologies, monitoring and mapping, models)
  • Plastic pollution: ecological effects, particle transport, breakdown, environmental and engineering solutions
  • The principles of Vision Mātauranga particularly Taiao, achieving Environmental Sustainability through iwi and hapū relationships with land and sea

Assessment criteria

All projects should be strategically aligned with the vision and aims of the GMCNE, although there is flexibility to cover outstanding new opportunities.

Opportunities to link projects within the GMCNE and into broader research and societal networks are encouraged. All working expenses provided for collaborative projects should be aligned with available support and post-graduate students, thereby enhancing the training environment for post-graduate students across the University and other institutions.

Research projects will be assessed by the GMCNE Expert Advisory Group, and international/independent reviewers as appropriate.  The assessment of proposals will focus on the following:

  • Projects must relate to the conservation, restoration and sustainability themes of the GMCNE
  • Knowledge development; rigor and merit
  • Research must have the potential to demonstrate impact and accelerate change
  • Evidence of interdisciplinary research (projects demonstrating involvement of researchers in more than one discipline)
  • Evidence of building connections and synergies
  • Evidence of potential pathway to expansion of research

Overall, the GMCNE Expert Advisory Group will prioritise projects where it is clear how the project advances the GMCNE, and lead to potential connections across the GMCNE and broader research and community networks that enhance the potential to attract further research support.  A key factor the GMCNE will consider in determining the potential value of the proposed collaboration is whether it is likely to establish innovative research that supports the vision, aims, & purpose of the GMCNE.


Projects available

The GMCNE will consider applications for one or a combination of funding types, based on the merit of the proposal . Successful projects will be funded from 1 July 2017 and run for the appropriate time period from this date.

Project type Potential number available in 2017

Seed projects

(up to $10,000 to cover research expenses for one year (including travel, equipment etc. but not salary or buyout)


PhD Scholarships

($27,000 stipend pa for 3 years plus fees as per UoA scholarship)


MSc fees scholarship



Postdoctoral fellowships

(Salary for 2 years)



(Up to $25, 000 for one year)


Please Note:

  • For student supervision, the primary supervisor must be a UoA investigator.  If a primary supervisor is listed as the primary on more than one MSc or PhD scholarship application, in this round, then only one application will be funded. If more than one application is considered by the Expert Advisory Group as fundable, then the Director will consult with the investigator to determine which application should be awarded funding. New and existing students (i.e. new or in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd year of study) are all eligible.
  • Projects can be submitted with or without a named student or PDF. If a suitable student or PDF is not named and the project is approved, a timeframe within which a suitable student should be identified will be indicated in the approval letter, usually a period of six months.
  • The GMCNE is committed to ensuring representation of the Maori and Pacific Island communities amongst its trainees. Applications for support of students from these groups are encouraged.
  • Any unallocated funding from this round will be made available again in the next round in 2018.
  • Once funded, researchers should expect to provide reports to the GMCNE Centre to meet requirements of the Governance group; support media and other outreach; contribute to and build networks to expand funding and activities of the GMCNE.


Key Dates for 2017

Request for proposals issued 19th of May 2017
Request for proposals closing date 19th of June 2017
Evaluation 22th June – 7th of July 2017
Clarification/confirmation of proposals 1st – 7th of July 2017
Evaluation Ends 9th of July 2017
Approvals and sign off 22nd of July 2017
Start date confirmed 1st of August 2017

Application form

Request for proposal form
(15.1 kB, MSWORD)

Please send your application form to gmcne@auckland.ac.nz


Please contact us if you have any queries: gmcne@auckland.ac.nz

Timing of future programme rounds

The next round expected June 2018. In the event that a project cannot be fully funded, partial funding may be offered, or the project may be held over for consideration in subsequent rounds.

Conditions of award:

These awards are to support the development of a cross-disciplinary/cross-faculty research project.  Applicants must declare any support for this project from any other source.

  • Applications are to be submitted, via email, to gmcne@auckland.ac.nz
  • If allocated funds, the project must be activated within 3 months of allocation in the Research Funding Module and fully spent by 1 year after the start of the project. Requests for extensions will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Should your project be funded, the GMCNE Research co-ordinator will contact you to arrange a funding agreement for the research.

Applicants will be notified as to whether or not they have been successful within one month of submitting the application.

Grants will be paid directly to the student through the relevant department.  

 * Note on the definition of interdisciplinary research

For the purposes of funding projects must involve two principal and/or associate investigators who come from demonstrably different disciplines.