Seven Te Pūnaha Matatini investigators were awarded Marsden-funding this week across a broad range of research projects, from investigating Māori social systems to integrative models of species evolution.

Professor Thegn Ladefoged and Dr Dion O’Neal from the University of Auckland, and Associate Professor Marcus Frean from Victoria University Wellington will study the development of Māori social systems over time. The investigators will combine their skills in archaeology and network science – a prime example of the ability of New Zealand’s Centres of Research Excellence to connect researchers from across disciplines to tackle exciting projects. Read more>

Professor Alexei Drummond and Dr David Welch from the University of Auckland’s Department of Computer Science have received Marsden-funding to research genomes, phenotypes and fossils and integrative models of species evolution.

Dr Steffen Lippert from the University of Auckland’s Business School will be leading a project titled: “Beyond the Jury Paradox: Collective Decision-Making without Common Priors.”

Dr Daniel Hikuroa, an earth systems scientist from the University of Auckland, will be an associate investigator on a project titled “Melt inclusions as a ‘window’ through the crust: What drives the most productive region of silicic volcanism on Earth?”

Marsden Funds are highly competitive grants distributed over three years, paying for salaries, students and postdoctoral positions, institutional overheads and research consumables. The grants are managed by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the government.

In 2015, Te Pūnaha Matatini Principal Investigator Adam Jaffe from Motu Economic Research and Public Policy worked with the Royal Society of New Zealand to evaluate and identify opportunities to improve their decision-making processes around funding.

Adam demonstrated that receiving Marsden funding leads to higher productivity and impacts in terms of papers published and citations received. Adam and his team also found there is no reason to expect diminishing returns if Marsden funding were increased.

Read the Motu working paper on the findings or Te Pūnaha Matatini Director Shaun Hendy’s blog.