Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith has congratulated the 60 New Zealand graduate students, academics, artists and professionals honoured as Fulbright grantees at a ceremony at Parliament today.
“Fulbright New Zealand provides opportunities for promising graduate students to complete a post- graduate degree at an American university in areas targeted to support growth and innovation in New Zealand”, says Mr Goldsmith.
The grantees are awarded up to US$31,000 each year, towards one year of study or research in the United States.
“The Fulbright programme is important in contributing to the on-going New Zealand – United States bilateral relationship, and this link between our two countries is stronger than ever,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“It’s more than six decades since the Fulbright programme between our two countries was established and in that time hundreds of New Zealanders and Americans have studied, researched and taught in each other’s country, making substantial contributions in their fields.
“Out of the 60 outstanding grantees, thirteen have received a Science and Innovation Graduate Award which are aimed to support New Zealand’s economic, social, environmental and cultural needs, and to build international science connections.
“The United States is one of New Zealand’s top science and technology partners, accounting for approximately 25 per cent of all New Zealand’s international science connections. The Science and Innovation Graduate Award is designed to support the continued growth of this mutually beneficial relationship,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The Science and Innovation Graduate Award recipients are:Andrew Pauling from Dunedin will research the impact of Antarctic ice sheet collapse on the global climate at the University of Washington in Seattle, towards a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences. Angus Chapman from Wellington will complete a PhD in Psychology, specialising in cognitive neuroscience, at the University of California, San Diego. Lottie Boardman from Christchurch will complete a Master of Environmental Management degree at Yale University in New Haven. David Robinson from Hamilton will complete a Master of Science in Robotic Systems Development, at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu from Ruatoria will complete a PhD specialising in plant pathology at Penn State University. Hazelle Tomlin from Christchurch will complete a Master of Environmental Science specialising in Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting at Colorado State University. Jeremy Lee-Hand from Dunedin will complete a PhD in Physics specialising in Condensed Matter at Stoney Brook University in New York. Kate Turner from Dunedin will complete a PhD in Geophysics specialising in sea ice geophysics within a collaborative research environment of scientific and indigenous knowledge at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Paige Thomas from Auckland will research the impact of skill training on motor neuron disease at Columbia University in New York, towards a PhD in Speech and Language Sciences at the University of Canterbury. Rahul Gandhi from Auckland will complete a Masters in Public Health focused on Global Health, from Harvard University in Cambridge. Rebecca Bonnevie from Wellington will complete a Master in Laws specialising in information privacy, cyber security, and law and the internet at Columbia University in New York. Richard Hunter from Christchurch will complete a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, specialising in space vehicle design and optimisation, at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Sarah Nelson from Christchurch will complete a PhD in economics, specialising in renewable energies and the environment, at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The Science and Innovation Graduate Awards are offered in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
For more information about this year’s Fulbright grantees see the 2017 Fulbright New Zealand Grantees Booklet, here.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has today announced 11 appointments to the governing councils of eight tertiary education institutions (TEIs), including two leadership positions.
“I welcome the important broad range skills and experience that these appointees will bring to the leadership of their institutions,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“I also want to recognise and thank the outgoing members for the valuable service, commitment, and contribution they have made to tertiary education. In particular, I want to acknowledge the valuable leadership provided by Hon Roger Sowry, outgoing Chair of the WelTec Whitireia combined council.”
The appointments of council members are:University of Canterbury: the appointments of Ms Rosemary Banks and Mr Steven Wakefield as members. Lincoln University: the appointment of Ms Janice Fredric as a member. University of Waikato: the appointment of Mr Graeme Milne as a member. Manukau Institute of Technology: the appointment of Mr Uluomatootua (Ulu) Aiono as a member. Tai Poutini Polytechnic: the appointment of Ms Raelyn Lourie as Deputy Chair. Unitec Institute of Technology: the appointment of Mr John McConnell and Ms Elena Trout as members. Waikato Institute of Technology: the appointment of Ms Margaret Devlin and Mr Niwa Nuri as members. WelTec Whitireia Combined Council: the appointment of Mr Greg Campbell as a member and as Chair.
The Government is committing $4.46 million for three new New Zealand-Australia research projects that will support high-quality research in areas delivering wide-ranging benefits to New Zealand, Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith says.
“New Zealand’s collaboration with Australia in science and innovation is both extensive and constructive. These new partnerships will achieve greater impact and provide better outcomes for both countries than either New Zealand or Australia could accomplish alone,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The funding of these partnerships through the Catalyst Fund, which supports international research partnerships and scientific cooperation, reinforces the Government’s support for collaboration across the Tasman through the New Zealand – Australia Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement, signed in February 2017.
The successful projects are:New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research in collaboration with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries will undertake research on key New Zealand plant species’ susceptibility to Myrtle Rust. The University of Auckland in collaboration with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will investigate links between genes, environment, molecular physiology and health through early- and mid-life to improve the health of our children. Massey University in collaboration with CSIRO will explore turning metal-organic frameworks into disruptive technologies and applications including new catalysts for eliminating nitrous oxide greenhouse gas emissions.
“These projects reflect the fact that Australia and New Zealand face many of the same issues and opportunities that can be addressed through high-quality complementary research,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“In particular, the research into Myrtle Rust will be important for our ongoing efforts to control the spread of the disease, and manage its impacts on native species such as Manuka, with its importance to the honey industry.
“International partnerships are fundamental for New Zealand’s science and innovation system as they bring new knowledge, ideas, people, technology and investment into our system.
“These new partnerships will contribute to the unique research and innovation we generate here in New Zealand, which is valued by our international partners and provides opportunities for our biosecurity, health, and environment,” says Mr Goldsmith.
Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman and Minister of Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith have welcomed this year’s annual funding round of Health Research Council grants with a number focusing on Maori and Pacific health.
“The 54 project grants announced today cover a wide range of topics and will provide invaluable information to help improve health outcomes for New Zealanders,” says Dr Coleman.
“An emphasis on Pacific health sees seven studies receive grants that will improve Pacific health outcomes in New Zealand with three of these from the dedicated Pacific Islands Families study.
“These Pacific grants cover research into cultural resiliency and vulnerability in mental health, sleep and well-being among Pacific children, and respiratory health, and the impact of hearing loss on Pacific youth.
“In addition to these, seven grants have been awarded to studies which focus on Maori health outcomes. These include research looking at ways to improve early access to lung cancer diagnosis, reducing hospital admissions for Maori children and support for young Maori mothers.
“Understanding how one of the world’s most problematic superbugs survives antibiotic treatment during infection is the topic of another study which will help address the growing challenge of antimicrobial resistance.”
“Projects must address well defined research questions with the aim of making significant improvements in or developing knowledge contributing to health outcomes,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“The HRC supports research that leads to improved health outcomes and more effective delivery of healthcare for New Zealanders, and research that brings economic gains for New Zealand.
“We want to maximise the opportunities in this area. Commercial health research is also a great opportunity to grow our high value exports.
“The annual amount available for health research through the Health Research Council (HRC) was increased by 56 per cent over four years in Budget 2016, going from $77 million in 2015/16 to $120 million in 2019/20.
“This investment shows our commitment to ensuring that health research remains a strength for New Zealand.”
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith have tonight launched the Primary Sector Science Roadmap at the National Fieldays.
Mr Guy says science will be a key driver in lifting overall primary sector exports to the target of $64 billion by 2025.
“From climate change, to changing consumer preferences, to a greater emphasis on issues like traceability and provenance, science and technology have an important role to play in ensuring our primary industries remain globally competitive,” says Mr Guy.
“This Roadmap will inform research conducted by New Zealand science and technology teams and organisations, along with their international partners.
“It provides a shared view across the primary sector on the science and technology needs for the sector – and where science investment needs to be focused. This document will guide the primary sector’s science direction for the next 10 to 20 years.
“I’d like to thank the many industry leaders, research organisations and individual scientists for all their valuable input into this document,” says Mr Guy.
“The creation of the Primary Sector Science Roadmap supports the Government’s overall strategy for the science system,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“The National Statement of Science Investment 2015-2025 sets out a vision for a highly dynamic science system that enriches New Zealand through excellent research that creates impact. The Government invested an estimated $428 million in primary sector research in 2016, while the industry carried out R&D worth $266 million.
“The Roadmap recognises the important role that the primary sector plays in our economy, and ensures the government, industry, and researchers are working collaboratively to achieve the best results for New Zealand through high quality science,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The Roadmap is aligned with the Conservation and Environment Science Roadmap and will be a guiding document for the strategic directions of the National Science Challenges.
Link to Roadmap – https://mpigovtnz.cwp.govt.nz/document-vault/18383
A new wellbeing strategy for international students will help to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a safe and welcoming study destination, says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith.
The International Student Wellbeing Strategy was launched today during a visit to the Ara Institute of Canterbury.
“International education is our fourth largest export industry and provides jobs for more than 30,000 New Zealanders. It is vital students have a high quality experience while studying in New Zealand.
“The Government backs the international education export industry and the thousands of Kiwis employed in it. Our approach is to work with the industry to steadily improve outcomes, rather than threatening large parts of it,” says Mr Goldsmith.
In addition to the strengthened pastoral responsibilities of education providers introduced in 2016, Education New Zealand now has a dedicated staff member whose focus is on delivery of a high quality experience for international students.
“The new wellbeing strategy builds on this progress, setting out focus areas that international students have told us make the biggest difference to their study experience,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“Access to accurate information is particularly important for international students, so Education New Zealand is building an online information hub that will bring together information about life and study in New Zealand.”
In addition $750,000 per year is being made available for new initiatives that align with the strategy and strengthen international student wellbeing.
“This strategy reinforces our commitment to the wellbeing of our international students, to ensure they feel welcomed and acknowledge their contribution to New Zealand.”
A draft International Education Strategy for New Zealand, which sets out the Government’s vision for international education, will be released for consultation later this month.
The International Student Wellbeing Strategy can be found HERE.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced the recipients of the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) funding round.
202 New Zealand students from universities and institutes of technology have been selected to travel to top institutions throughout Asia as part of the second 2016/17 scholarship round.
Individual recipients and groups of up to 20 students will carry out a wide variety of student exchanges, undergraduate or postgraduate study, research or internships.
“The recipients of these scholarships will be ambassadors for New Zealand as they head overseas and form global connections that will last a lifetime,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“Since it was set up in 2013, the PMSA has enabled more than 1,100 New Zealand students to experience an international education in Asian countries.
“Building new connections and networks, developing a deeper understanding of language and culture, and gaining an international perspective in their area of expertise are just some of the benefits for these students.”
The recipients will study in 10 countries throughout Asia, with China, Japan and Singapore the top three destinations in this funding round.
Study programmes for the 59 individual students include a one-semester exchange at National University of Singapore, an internship at the Hong Kong office of a global law firm, a Master of International Studies at Seoul National University in Korea, and two years’ postdoctoral research at the Institute of Robotics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.
A further 143 students were awarded a scholarship as part of 12 group applications.
Annual funding for the PMSA increased to $3 million in 2016/17, and is due to increase to $3.5 million in 2018/19, reflecting New Zealand’s growing education connections with Asia and the high calibre of applicants. The total value of the scholarships awarded this round is $1.6 million.
Applications for the first 2017/18 PMSA will open on 16 June 2017, and will close on 30 September 2017.
Further information, including a full list of the scholarship recipients, is available HERE.
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith and Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell today announced $3.9 million for 32 projects from the 2017 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund.
“The Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund focuses on the development of skilled people and organisations conducting research aligned with the four themes of the Vision Mātauranga policy; indigenous innovation, environmental sustainability, health and social well-being, and exploring indigenous knowledge,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“The Government recognises that Māori success is New Zealand’s success. Unlocking the science and innovation potential of Māori knowledge, resources and people will have significant economic, social and environmental benefits for New Zealand.
“The investment in 32 new programmes is substantial and recognises the value of Māori participation in science and innovation," says Mr Goldsmith.
This is the fifth round for the Fund, which was established in 2013. In earlier rounds 81 programmes have been funded.
“The Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund aims to strengthen capability, capacity, skills and networks between Māori and the science and innovation system,” Mr Flavell says.
“Iwi play an increasingly active role in New Zealand’s economy and in the management of natural resources. The programmes funded in the 2017 round will grow Māori research skills and further develop important links between Māori and research organisations,” says Mr Flavell.
Programmes funded in this round include:
- Development of an environmental risk assessment framework that can be used to discern if mahinga kai (wild food) at specific sites is safe for human consumption. This project will involve Environmental Science and Research staff working with Ngāi Tahu communities throughout the South Island.
- A partnership between Ngāti Whare and Scion to build capability in indigenous podocarp propagation and technologies in central North Island.
- Ngāti Rangiwewehi identifying ‘kaitiaki’ flow regimes for Awahou Stream near Rotorua. This is a new water management concept for spring-fed catchments which will be developed by the iwi working with GNS Science.
More information on Vision Mātauranga and this year’s successful recipients can be found HERE.
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced an investment of $31.7 million to upgrade New Zealand’s supercomputing capabilities.
“The existing supercomputers are at the end of their operating lives and energy intensive by today’s standards. The new supercomputers will deliver up to 10 times the computing capability and more than four times the storage capacity of their predecessors,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The computing research service is designed and provided by the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI), a collaboration between NIWA, Landcare and the Universities of Auckland and Otago.
“Computational needs of the science community are growing exponentially and from a range of key areas from natural hazards and climate science, through to computational chemistry, astronomy, and biomedical research,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“There are also a number of key government science initiatives that require computational support including the National Science Challenges, Centres of Research Excellence and the genomics platform.”
New Zealand currently has two supercomputers available to the research community, FitzRoy, based at NIWA’s Greta Point, Wellington site, and Pan, based at the University of Auckland.
They will be superseded by three supercomputers, with replacements for Fitzroy and Pan at NIWA in Wellington, and a smaller back up computer for NIWA housed at the University of Auckland’s Tamaki Data Centre.
“This new investment will significantly enhance New Zealand’s ability to meet the growing demands of the scientific research community and help them to tackle some of the issues crucial to our country’s future prosperity,” says Mr Goldsmith.
Installation for the new supercomputers begins in August and they are expected to be operational around February 2018. More information can be found HERE.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the news that five of New Zealand’s eight universities have improved their ranking in the annual Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.
First published in 2005, the QS ranking examines universities across areas such as reputation, teaching, research and internationalisation to determine an overall ranking for over 900 universities.
“These results are positive news for our world class tertiary education system, with all eight of our universities ranked in the top 450 for the second year running,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“This reflects the steady progress we are constantly making to raise the quality of our universities, and the investments into high-quality research by the government.”
Five of the eight New Zealand universities improved their ranking from last year, two remained unchanged, and one dropped a single place. All eight New Zealand universities remain ranked inside the top 450.
In 2018, the rankings for the New Zealand universities were:University of Auckland (82=), down 1 place from last year University of Otago (151), up 18 places on last year University of Canterbury (214), unchanged from last year Victoria University of Wellington (219), up 9 places from last year University of Waikato (292), up 32 places from last year Massey University (316=), up 24 places from last year Lincoln University (319=) up 24 places from last year, and Auckland University of Technology (441-450), unchanged from last year.
“The Government is committed to investing in quality tertiary education, with a $132.1 million investment in tertiary education through Budget 2017, including an additional $52.5 million for the Performance-Based Research Fund, and $69 million to increase tuition subsidy rates, helping providers to raise quality even further,” says Mr Goldsmith.