Waikato indigenous education expert appointed to prestigious Marsden Fund Council

11 January 2011

Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith

Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith: One of three new appointees to the Marsden Fund Council.

A leading international authority on Māori and indigenous education is one of three new appointees to the 11-member Marsden Fund Council, which oversees New Zealand’s premier fund for basic research.

Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori at the University of Waikato, has been named convenor of the Social Sciences panel for a three-year term.

Of Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou descent, she brings to the Council 26 years experience in the fields of Māori, educational and health research.

Professor Smith said she was honoured to be appointed to the Marsden Fund Council. “Most researchers see the Marsden Fund as the pinnacle of achievement for receiving funding for purely academic research,” she said.

“As a researcher myself, I have been both successful and unsuccessful in applying for Marsden funding. With the limited funds available, we can only fund a limited number of all the innovative research proposals that are put forward, so it’s a great challenge and responsibility to be heading the Social Sciences panel.”

Professor Smith is known internationally for her work on indigenous research and particularly for her book “Decolonising Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples”.

She has extensive experience in building Māori and indigenous research capacity, and has helped establish and lead three research institutes -- two at the University of Auckland including Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga, and the new Te Kotahi Institute for Innovation, Wellbeing and Inspiration (IWI) to be launched this year at the University of Waikato.

She is also well known for her work supporting Māori doctoral students and career academics.

Professor Smith serves on the Health Research Council and is Chair of the Māori Health Research Committee. She has recently completed a three-year term as President of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education.

Also named to the Marsden Fund Council were Professor Kurt Krause of the University of Otago (convenor of the Biomedical Sciences panel) and Professor David Williams of the University of Auckland (convenor of the Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry panel).

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