Diverse range of research recognised in Marsden Fund awards

2 November 2017

Dr Charles Lee
Dr Charles Lee.

The University of Waikato has secured $3.6 million in grants from the 2017 round of the Marsden Fund.

The four main projects involve research into genomic variations, indigenous texts, refugees in early education, and tribal geographies.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Bruce Clarkson says it is good to see grants going to up-and-coming researchers, who are moving into a hugely productive part of their academic careers.  He says there is also diversity from education through to science, and strong representation of indigenous research across faculties.

The 2017 Marsden fund grants for University of Waikato researchers are:

  • In Science, Dr Charles Lee has been given $925,000 to further his work on genomic variations in different species of bacteria in a range of different ecological populations.
  • In Education, Associate Professor Linda Mitchell has received $845,000 to look at the experiences of refugee families in early education.
  • In Māori and Indigenous studies, Associate Professor Alice Te Punga Somerville is looking at indigenous texts from 1900-1975, earning a grant of $642, 000.
  • In Geography and Environmental Planning, Dr Naomi Simmonds has been awarded $300,000 for Taku ara rā, ko Tūrongo rāua ko Māhinaarangi: (re)tracing the journeys of our ancestors to restore tribal geographies.

Two projects in conjunction with other universities have also been recognised:

  • Ms Donna Campbell is working with Dr Catherine Smith from the University of Otago and weaver and author Mrs Ranui Ngarimu, on an $845,000 study of Te Rā, the last remaining Māori sail.
  • Professor Maryanne Garry, working with Associate Professor Rachel Zajac from the University of Otago, has been given $695,000 to examine traumatic memory.

The Marsden Fund supports excellence in leading edge research in New Zealand, and is managed by the Royal Society Te Apārangi on behalf of the government.