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2021 Otago funding round opens


The funding round for the 2021 Otago Participatory Science Platform (PSP) is now open.

Where are the kākā and are they safe? Can school students test their own eyesight to spot vision difficulties? How can communities work together to improve their local stream health?

All schools, community groups, marae and rūnaka that have community questions like these, or questions about other research needs, are encouraged to apply for funding from the Otago PSP.

“Otago PSP is all about grass-roots driven research, so that the questions being answered are ones that the community really cares about,” says Dr. Claire Concannon, the Otago PSP coordinator.

“Say you are concerned about how your region will be affected by climate change, or want to investigate mātauraka Māori around mahika kai. We can help pair an interested community group such as a school, volunteer group or rūnaka with a scientist or science team, and together they can tackle the challenge.”

Groups can apply for up to $20,000 to help answer their research question. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 10 March 2021.

People are also encouraged to get in touch at any time throughout the year, even if they only have a preliminary idea, as they can access Seed Funding (up to $2000) to help develop this idea into a ‘project ready’ plan.

Since starting in 2015 the Otago Participatory Science Platform has funded 44 full projects and 22 seed projects across the Otago region. Otago hosts one of three region-specific funding programmes within the Participatory Science Platform, with the other two based in Taranaki and South Auckland. The timing of this funding round does not apply to the other two regions.

The Participatory Science Platform is an initiative under A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara, the Government’s strategic plan to encourage all New Zealanders to get engaged with science and technology.

For more information, visit the Science into Action (Otago PSP) website or email Dr Claire Concannon, Otago PSP coordinator:

Scientists and locals collaborating around a table

Participatory Science Platform

Supports collaborative projects that bring together communities and scientists or technologists on research investigating a locally-important question or problem.

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