Unlocking Curious Minds fund
The Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund supports innovative projects that will excite and engage New Zealanders, particularly young people (aged 18 years and under), who have fewer opportunities to be involved with science and technology.
The objective of the fund is to support projects that use innovative and/or best-practice approaches to provide New Zealanders with more opportunities to learn about and engage with science and technology by:
- funding education and community outreach initiatives that focus on science and technology
- broadening participants’ ability to engage with science and technology
- promoting the relevance of science and technology in their lives, and
- supporting them to engage in societal debate about science and technology issues facing the country.
The fund offers two levels of grant: up to $30,000 for local projects, and up to $150,000 for regional or national projects. Applications can be made by individuals and/or organisations depending on the type of grants.
Funding is allocated to successful applicants through a contestable funding process.
2017 Investment Round
$2 million from the 2017 Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund has been awarded to 41 projects aimed at engaging young people in science. Funded projects will be led by a wide variety of organisations including primary schools, tertiary education organisations, Crown Research Institutes, museums, trusts, and companies.
List of successful projects [PDF 236 KB]
Read the call for proposals [PDF 721 KB]
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
Previously funded projects
In total almost 100 projects have been funded 53 in 2015 and 44 in 2016. The projects include sustainable housing design for Year 10 students in Christchurch, using visual arts and music to engage kids in climate change science, and providing youth with opportunities to experience STEM careers in Dunedin.
Read more about the funded projects in 2015 and 2016:
Read about a few of the projects on our stories page:
- Why are weeds bad?
- Shining a Māori light on moths
- How can sharks help us keep our teeth clean?
- Tsunami demo smashes learning barriers
- How is the Kaipara's health changing?
- Can hairdryers help solve a big problem?
- How do you get bots to bop?
- Fire, ice and... poo?!
- How can you make your own Minecraft?
- Can we make Mars our Plan(et) B?
- Finding the wild side of urban life
- How to float over big balloon hurdles
- Can you find your way without a compass?
- Where do whitebait fritters come from?
How does it fit into 'A Nation of Curious Minds'?
Unlocking Curious Minds is an initiative under the Government’s national strategic plan for Science in Society, A Nation of Curious Minds - He Whenua Hihiri I Te Mahara , launched in July 2014.
The strategic plan was developed in response to the National Science Challenges Panel’s leadership challenge to improve the understanding, skills and adoption of science and technology in New Zealand.