Marsden funding success for Victoria researchers

Victoria University of Wellington researchers have received 25 prestigious Marsden Fund grants worth $12.1 million, the largest number ever received by the University.

The Marsden Fund supports research excellence, allowing New Zealand’s most talented researchers to explore ideas at the forefront of their disciplines. The Fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Government.

Victoria University researchers received 21.9 percent of total Marsden funding, securing 25 out of the 101 research projects funded nationwide (an increase from 21 awarded grants in 2013). The Victoria funding consists of 16 Standard grants and nine Fast-Start grants for researchers early in their careers.

Projects awarded funding range from research into security intelligence, vaccine development and sea ice to black holes, Māori legal traditions and solar cells.

In the humanities, nine projects in total were approved for Marsden Fund support with eight of those awarded to Victoria researchers (two of three Fast-Start grants and all six Standard grants) which, says Professor Deborah Willis, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, is an outstanding achievement.

“This success provides further evidence of the quality of Victoria’s established and early career researchers and of the humanities in general,” she says.

Other successful Victoria researchers include 13 staff in the Faculty of Science, two in the Faculty of Law, and one each in the Faculty of Engineering and Victoria Business School. There are also a number of researchers involved in Marsden funded projects led by other organisations.

Victoria University Provost Professor Neil Quigley says the results are confirmation of Victoria’s national leadership in a large number of fields, and of the outstanding quality of its academic staff.

Victoria University recipients of Marsden grants (distributed over three years):

Standard grants:

  • Professor Jeff Tatum (Art History, Classics and Religious Studies): Winning Elections in Ancient Rome: Ideology and Practice, $275,000
  • Professor Charlotte Macdonald (History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations): Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Settler: Garrison and Empire in the Nineteenth Century, $540,000
  • Professor Yiyan Wang (Languages and Cultures): Missing Narratives of Modern Chinese Intellectual History: Modernity and Writings on Art, 1900–1930, $495,000
  • Associate Professor Jan Jordan (Social and Cultural Studies): Rape, Silencing and Objectification: A socio-cultural analysis of barriers to rape reform, $610,000
  • Professor Richard Hill (Stout Research Centre): 'Secret World': Security Intelligence and State Surveillance in New Zealand, 1907–2007, $495,000
  • Dr Sydney Shep (Wai-te-ata Press): Personal Geographies and Global Networks: William Colenso and the Victorian Republic of Letters, $540,000
  • Associate Professor Elisabeth McDonald (Law): Rape myths as barriers to fair trial practices, $540,000
  • Dr Bridget Stocker (Chemical and Physical Sciences): Mining Mincle: how Mincle ligands can lead to more effective vaccines, $705,000
  • Associate Professor Richard Tilley (Chemical and Physical Sciences): Nanoparticle-Nanorod Frameworks, $730,000
  • Professor Tim Stern (Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences): Structure and Uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains, $790,000
  • Professor James Renwick (Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences): Swings and Roundabouts? What drives opposing trends in sea ice between the Ross and Amundsen Seas?, $800,000
  • Professor John Overton (Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences), Educating for Emigration? Searching for Appropriate Education Policy in the Pacific Islands, $710,000
  • Professor Warwick Murray (Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences): Re-placing Commodity Dependence: Alternative Sustainable and Ethical Value Chains in the Resource Periphery, $710,000
  • Professor Matt Visser (Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research): The final stages of the Hawking evaporation of black holes, $538,000
  • Dr Deirdre Brown (Psychology): Developmental reversals in children's false memories for experienced events, $585,000
  • Professor Graeme Guthrie (Economics and Finance): Investment in physical capital: The effects of competition and uncertainty, $400,000

Fast-Start recipients:

  • Dr Ciaran Moore (Engineering and Computer Science): An optical omniscope with 20/20 microvision: Imaging the near- and far-fields simultaneously, $300,000
  • Dr Geoff Troughton (Art History, Classics and Religious Studies): A Banner of Peace? Missions and Peace Activism, 1814–1850, $300,000
  • Dr April Henderson (Va'aomanu Pasifika): Kernels of Hope: Following Coconut Commodities from the Pacific to the West, $300,000
  • Dr Carwyn Jones (Law): Exploring Māori Legal Traditions, $300,000
  • Dr Jeremy Owen (Biological Sciences): Metagenome mining for new bioactive natural products within New Zealand's terrestrial and marine microbial communities, $300,000
  • Dr Eva Anton (Chemical and Physical Sciences): Strain-engineered lead-free ferroelectric thin films, $300,000
  • Dr Jonathan Halpert (Chemical and Physical Sciences): Novel organic metal halides for perovskite sensitized solar cells, $300,000
  • Dr Dimitrios Mitsotakis (Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research): Numerical solution of time-dependent multi-dimensional nonlinear dispersive wave equations with applications to costal hydrodynamics, $300,000
  • Dr James Storey (Robinson Research Institute): Putting the Heat on High-Temperature Superconductors, $300,000