2022 Independent Research Organisation (IRO) Capability Fund

The IRO Capability Fund provides long-term, stable funding for independent research organisations (IROs). This fund brings together our previous disparate investments in IROs to ensure our funding delivers to Health Research Platforms specified by the Health Research Council of New Zealand. These platforms meet a strategic investment need in health research.

Through this fund, we seek to support bringing together people, facilities and knowledge that provide research and innovation capability, to contribute to improved health equity and a more equitable health research system for Aotearoa New Zealand.

In 2021, the health research platforms are:

  1. Healing through research – health, environment, and intergenerational trauma.
  2. Innovating for health equity – Māori public health research, evaluation, health services and policy research.
  3. Leading biomedical cancer, asthma, allergy and microbiome research.
  4. Improving clinical management, clinical trial translation and implementation.

The HRC will fund one IRO per platform for a maximum term of seven years per contract. The amount distributed to each contracted IRO will be determined by the HRC Council. The primary consideration in making this determination will be the IRO’s potential to contribute to Government and the HRC’s strategic objectives and priorities, particularly improving health equity.

Eligibility criteria

  1. The applicant must be an IRO invited by the HRC to respond to one of the Health Research Platforms, based on satisfactory performance in the investment area to date through existing HRC mechanisms.
  2. The IRO must have a nominated point of contact for the application process.
  3. There is a limit of one application per IRO for this grant type.
  4. The IRO must submit a Platform Plan to the HRC.

For the purpose of this Fund, an IRO is defined as:

  • not a Crown entity
  • operating as an independent legal entity and not owned, or primarily funded by a Crown Entity or a business
  • primarily undertaking research, science and technology, or related activities that are not for the development of its own products and services
  • having received Vote Science and Innovation funding of at least $0.5million per annum for more than one contestable funding round (Note: to be eligible, an Independent Research Organisation must directly receive funding through the HRC, not as a subcontracting organisation).

About the process

This is a negotiated funding process, whereby the HRC seeks to directly engage with particular research providers who have a track record of delivering impact in specific research areas. The HRC has invited IROs who fit the eligibility criteria to apply for this funding.

IROs will submit a Platform Plan for assessment. The plans will be assessed by an HRC-appointed Fund Panel, who may also work with IROs to negotiate and revise the Plans. The Fund Panel will make investment recommendations to the HRC Council.

Important dates

Platform plans are due at the HRC at the end of August. These will be assessed and negotiated during September and October 2021. The HRC expects to announce the outcomes of this funding round in early 2022.

Please note, this funding is not part of the HRC’s contestable funding opportunities. IROs that are not eligible for this funding are welcome to apply for our contestable funding rounds offered at various points of the year.

If you have a question about this funding, please contact Fiona Kenning at fkenning@hrc.govt.nz



2022 IRO Capability Fund Application Guidelines
28 Sep, 2021 10:25am - 624KB

Important dates

Full applications
2021 8am
2021 1pm

Helpful links