• Background, MBIE Review & Future Strategy

    Ageing Well is one of 11 National Science Challenges that were allocated funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for ten years (NZ$ 34.9M; 2015-2024). The funding has been separated into two parts: Phase One from 2014-2019 and Phase Two from 2019-2024. Phase Two funding was allocated in June 2019, following the satisfactory completion of an MBIE-initiated review.

    As part of the review process, we submitted our Future Strategy document to MBIE on 2nd July 2018. Our Future Strategy maps out where we plan to take our research over the next five years. The document also served as the cornerstone of a presentation we made to an MBIE-appointed Independent Review Panel in August, at which we made a very strong case for another five years of investment. In November 2018 Ageing Well was notified that the Independent Review Panel’s recommendation to MBIE, and the Science Board recommendation was that the Ageing Well National Science Challenge should be funded for Phase Two.

    For Phase Two, Ageing Well proposes to build upon our previously gazetted research themes through two Focus Areas: Health and Well-being in Ageing and Ageing and Māori (Figure 1 below). These areas were identified after extensive consultation that underscored the strong view that the original Gazette themes are too compartmentalised to facilitate the next phase of multidisciplinary, cross-institutional collaborations. Our future research will strive to take a more integrated approach to completing our Challenge Objective.

    Our blueprint for Ageing Research (2019-24): Selecting Focus Areas

    Focus Areas were identified after stakeholder engagement and detailed discussion and consideration by the Directorate, Strategic Advisory Group, and Governance Group, on the basis that they can:

    • Thematically integrate multiple pieces of research
    • Align with the overall Challenge Objective for Ageing Well
    • Provide significant and transformative outcomes within funding and timeline constraints
    • Build upon existing research capacity and capability in New Zealand
    • Build from current and aligned research and are informed by analysis of gaps
    • Provide potential to deliver equity and/or reduce inequality for Māori and Pacific peoples, including delivering on Vision Mātauranga
    • Engage with important stakeholders, to partner with the Challenge in translation and implementation of research outcomes.

    Research Priorities and Themes


    Figure 1: Ageing Well Focus Areas for 2019-2024: Two Focus Areas will be supported by specific Strategic Investment Initiatives.

    Research Priorities have been defined for each Focus Area based on consultation feedback. These Research Priorities will be used to direct Ageing Well’s funding within each Focus Area.

    In addition, Ageing Well’s investment will be expected to address cross cutting themes.

    Cross-Cutting Themes

    Integrating the Focus Areas, the Strategy includes four cross-cutting themes:

    • Equitable outcomes for diverse communities (Required)
    • Delivering on Vision Mātauranga (Required)
    • Considering intergenerational relationships (To Be Considered)
    • Taking a lifecourse approach (To Be Considered)


    Figure 2: Cross-cutting themes provide integration across research activities.

  • In November 2018, Ageing Well announced our successful refunding by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) through to 2024. Ageing Well was awarded $20.3 million to continue our work, specifically focusing on two research areas: Health and Well-being in Ageing and Ageing and Māori. In 2019, Ageing Well allocated $10 million to fund research in the two research areas. $5 million in funding was awarded to the Ageing Well through Eating, Sleeping, Socialising and Mobility Programme (AWESSoM) project and $5 million was allocated to the Ageing and Māori focus area. Two projects were successfully funded in this focus area: Tai Kaumātuatanga Older Māori Wellbeing and Participation: Present and Future Focus project and the Kaumātua Mana Motuhake Pōi: Enhancing Wellbeing, Social Connectedness and Cultural Identity project.

    Strategic Investment Initiatives Ageing Well National Science Challenge recognises the limits to the resource it can direct, and that there is value in working alongside other research funders and consortia, that aligns with our vision and mission. To that end, we expect to collaborate and co-fund research with:

    • The other ‘health and well-being’ Challenges (A Better Start National Science Challenge and Healthier Lives National Science Challenge)
    • Brain Research New Zealand (Centre of Research Excellence)
    • Building Better Homes Towns and Cities National Science Challenge

    Ageing Well funded 8 Emergent Opportunities projects in 2019. The Emergent Opportunities grants were established to provide funding for unexpected research ideas that have been identified from Phase one projects, with the expectation that such work could lead to either stand-alone results and impact that are different and new to the Phase one project. Each project award is up to a maximum of $200,000 for a period of 12 months.

    Please come back for information and subscribe to our newsletter for future funding notices. 

  • There are currently no funding opportunities with Ageing Well National Science Challenge. 

    Please check back later for updates and subscribe to our newsletter for future funding notices. 

  • What will be funded in this Round?

    • Outcome focus. The research plan will articulate how transformation will be achieved, in relation to the Focus Area outcome statement, and provide a meaningful performance evaluation framework that will be used to provide evidence of progress towards achieving the outcome.
    • Innovation. Research plans will show innovative, high quality, and potentially transformative research. There is space for high risk/high return work.
    • Coordination and Coherence. The research programme will have strong coordination, with a coherent plan for research delivery.
    • Leadership. Plans will require a recognised leader who will have overall responsibility for the programme, including coordination of activities between collaborators and delivery of the research plan.
    • Best team. Requisite experience and expertise to deliver the planned research programme. The team will be multi-disciplinary and must be multi-organisational, include stakeholders and/or end users and have national reach.
    • Research workforce development. Research programmes will support the acquisition of relevant research skills, including for those working in community settings, when relevant.
    • Outcome equity. The research plan will propose solutions that deliver equitable outcomes for groups, including Māori and Pacific peoples, or make major contributions to addressing existing inequalities.
    • Engagement. Work closely and sustainably with stakeholders and end-users, to influence research direction and drive implementation. Includes expectation of significant co-creation of research plans and partnership in research delivery.
    • Involvement of Māori. At all levels, including stakeholder interactions, research leadership, planning and delivery, and knowledge transfer.

    How will I find out about the key dates for funding opportunities in 2019-24?

    Please keep a close watch on our media releases, newsletter, and website. We will be updating our social media on regular basis with all the latest information.

    What is your funding appeals process?

    With each funding round we release a specific appeals process with accurate timelines to lodge your appeal. Here is an example of the appeals process document used in a previous funding round.

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