Researcher initiated proposals

We award the majority of our funding through our annual contestable funding round to research ideas that come from researchers themselves.

A competitive process ensures that high quality and relevant research is supported across four research investment streams, which include biomedical, clinical, public health, health services, Māori health and Pacific health research sectors. We don't fund research that is not relevant to health outcomes or which is primarily operational or management focused.

Current funding

2021 Projects
Project funding is available for individuals or small research teams to address well-defined health research questions. Researchers should aim to make a significant improvement in, or develop knowledge that contributes to, health outcomes. Up to $1.2 million is available over three years for each successful proposal.

Recent funding

2020 Consolidator Grants
These grants are available to provide research funds to support mid-career researchers who have made progress towards being a principal investigator in health research and who have previously held an HRC Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship (“Hercus Fellowship”) or similar fellowship from another funder. Each award is limited to a maximum of $600,000 for two years.

2020 COVID-19 and Emerging Infectious Diseases Grant
These grants are available to strengthen New Zealand's response and research capacity to emerging infectious disease threats. Research proposals must demonstrate a clear line of sight to why the research is relevant to the current coronavirus disease, COVID-19, threat.

2020 Health Delivery Research Activation Grant 1
The Health Delivery Research Activation Grants provides support to enable established or prospective researchers and/or research providers to establish health delivery research evidence needs or research opportunities before applying for further health delivery funding. Up to $30,000 is available over a maximum term of 12 months.

2020 Health Delivery Research Activation Grant 2
The Health Delivery Research Activation Grants provides support to enable established or prospective researchers and/or research providers to establish health delivery research evidence needs or research opportunities before applying for further health delivery funding. Up to $30,000 is available over a maximum term of 12 months.

2020 Health Delivery Research Project Grant
The Health Delivery Research Project Grant provides support for health delivery research of varying values and durations. The research must be connected to health delivery at a practice, policy or system-level. At a minimum, this requires having Named Investigators based in healthcare delivery settings with involvement to shape the research need, undertake the research, and identify translational potential. The HRC expects to fund a range of grant values and durations up to a maximum term of 5 years and a maximum value of $1.4 million.

2020 Health Delivery Research Career Development Award
The Health Delivery Research Career Development Award is a career development opportunity with a funded placement in a health delivery research team or health sector setting. It is designed as an alternative pathway into health delivery research aimed at attracting more people with relevant skills into this discipline. The award is available to fund salary and salary associated costs of the applicant over a maximum term of 12 months.

2020 Health Sector Research Collaboration Grant
The Health Sector Research Collaboration Grant is a negotiated funding opportunity focused on upskilling and empowering health care or health service delivery organisations to engage in health delivery research in health delivery settings and ensuring that this research adequately responds to health sector, patient and community needs. The Health Sector Collaboration Grant pilot seeks to test this new way of procuring health delivery research with District Health Boards (DHBs).

2021 Explorer Grants
Researchers from any health discipline are invited to apply for one of the HRC’s Explorer Grants. Proposals must describe the transformative, innovative or exploratory aspects of the proposal and how it challenges conventional understanding in the field. Explorer Grants are worth $150,000 (research working expenses only) for a term of up to 24 months.

2021 Programmes
Programmes provide support for the long-term development of a health research field by a group of established investigators with an outstanding track record of achievement. They should have a strategic, long-term vision that will contribute to significantly improving health outcomes for New Zealanders. Up to $5 million is available over five years.

2021 Feasibility Studies
Feasibility Studies support research up to a maximum of $250,000 for two years in the fields of population health, clinical, Māori and Pacific health research. They are intended to be for situations where there is already strong evidence to justify a full study, but where critical practical information is needed first to make the potential full study feasible.

2021 Emerging Researcher First Grants
These grants support emerging researchers who are seeking to establish independent careers in health research. Up to a maximum of $250,000 for three years is available.