2024 Emerging Researcher First Grants

Key changes

The HRC has recently made key changes to the Emerging Researcher First Grant. These include:

  • Last year, the HRC included a salary for the first named investigator as part of the budget for an Emerging Researcher First Grant
  • This year, the maximum budget has been increased from $250,000 to $400,000
  • The score criterion ‘Suitability of the Applicant’ has been updated to include “the applicant’s justification of how they fit the definition of emerging researcher as defined by the HRC”.

Eligibility requirements

For these grants, an emerging researcher is defined as "someone who is at the beginning of their research career in health with a clear development path and is working in a strongly supportive research environment".

Applicants are eligible if they:

  • are employed by a New Zealand host organisation and have citizenship or permanent residency status and are domiciled in New Zealand (Note: Host organisations are responsible for ensuring that Aotearoa New Zealand is the principal domicile and principal place of employment for the applicant. By submitting an application, the host is satisfied that this condition has been met). For the Rangahau Hauora Māori Emerging Researcher First Grant, the first named investigator must be of Māori descent. For the Pacific Emerging Researcher First Grant, the first named investigator must be of indigenous Pacific descent.
  • have not previously held any individual competitive research grant as a first named investigator for research expenses greater than $105,000 from any source at the time of assessment (including institutional or internal funding). Scholarship and fellowship stipends are not included, provided the expenses component of such awards does not exceed the $105,000 expenses threshold. Applicants are required to list the amount of research expenses of their previous awards in this application.
  • are no more than 6 years from attaining a postgraduate degree at the time of their application, although this period could be greater considering parental leave, caring responsibilities, career breaks, ill health, or other justified reasons. Time spent working in a career other than research is not considered a justified reason. Eligibility will be counted from the date of degree conferment, which should be confirmed in the application.
  • are developing an independent research stream.
  • are not studying for a PhD degree.

How do I apply?

Firstly, you’ll need to register your intention to submit an application for the Emerging Researcher First Grant. A registration must be completed online via HRC Gateway. Following registration, you’ll then need to submit a full application online via HRC Gateway using the relevant 2024 Emerging Researcher First Grant Application Form for the category you are applying to (provided on this page). All full applications will be scored by assessing committees who will then make funding recommendations to HRC Council.

Choosing an Emerging Researcher First Grant category

Applicants must select one of the following categories (please see the 2024 Emerging Researcher First Grant Application Guidelines for further details):

  • Rangahau Hauora Māori Emerging Researcher First Grant: Supporting Māori health research that upholds rangatiratanga and uses and advances Māori knowledge, resources, and people.
  • Pacific Emerging Researcher First Grant: Making significant improvements in, or developing knowledge contributing to, Pacific health outcomes.
  • Health Delivery Emerging Researcher First Grant: Having the potential to directly inform changes to health delivery policy, practice or systems; and demonstrating a clear connection to a healthcare need.
  • General Emerging Researcher First Grant

The same proposal cannot be submitted to different categories, as this creates avoidable duplication of both application and assessment effort.

The HRC does not provide advice on choice of category, as that decision is best made by the investigator. Applicants may change their final choice of category by creating duplicate applications and deciding on the most appropriate category before the closing date for registration.

Guidance on the Rangahau Hauora Māori and Health Delivery categories can be found here: HRC Research Investment Streams.

Māori Health Advancement

The below link provides more information and examples of how to incorporate the Māori Health Advancement (MHA) criterion into your research, together with the MHA guidelines.

Additional reading: Māori Health Advancement

Got a question?

If you've read through the documents below and the 'How to apply for HRC funding' section under 'Helpful links' and still have a question about Emerging Researcher First Grant funding, send an email to info@hrc.govt.nz and one of our team will be in touch.



2024 Emerging Researcher First Grant Application Guidelines
10 Aug, 2023 10:49am - 620KB