The Health Research Council’s new Connecting for Impact Fund is designed to invest in areas of critical and significant research need. The fund is guided by our strategic priorities, including health equity, and the goals of the New Zealand Health Research Strategy and Prioritisation Framework. It replaces the HRC’s previous Partnership Programme and contributes to a strategic and proactive approach to the HRC’s investment portfolio. The HRC will have an active role to foster connections across the health research system and, where possible, it will bring together partners to leverage funds and create funding opportunities of higher value and greater benefit.
2023 Climate Change and Health and Wellbeing Initiative
For 2023, the HRC identified climate change and health and wellbeing as a priority for health research.
Initially, we met with a cross-section of experts, community organisations, and other stakeholders. From these conversations, we heard that we “cannot solve complex problems from the same worldview that created them in the first place”.1 Research funded through this initiative will need to draw on mātauranga Māori alongside other knowledge systems to respond to the complex interrelationships between climate change and health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The HRC then called for Expressions of Capability from researchers, community organisations, and other stakeholders to form a collaborative team and undertake research on climate change and health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. This initiative will prioritise research that supports achieving health equity for Māori and Pacific people.
Through this initiative, the HRC will create opportunities for new cross-disciplinary, cross-sector collaborative research teams to address climate change and health and wellbeing. This approach is designed to bring together researchers, community organisations, and other stakeholders to develop and undertake research and build knowledge networks that include communities to have a real impact on health and health equity.
Redvers, N. (2021). The determinants of planetary health. The Lancet Planetary Health, 5(3), e111–e112. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00008-5
Phase 1. Expressions of Capability (Submissions now closed)
The HRC called for Expressions of Capability from researchers, community organisations, and other stakeholders to be part of a collaborative research team. Through this process, the HRC heard about the skills, experience, and connections respondents could contribute. We also heard about the research questions related to climate change and health and wellbeing that respondents wanted to help answer.
Phase 2. Collaboration workshop
We will review the Expressions of Capability, looking for capability and connections, potential to contribute to a cross-sector collaborative team, and alignment of research directions. A group of respondents will then be invited to participate in a virtual collaboration workshop.
The collaboration workshop will support participants to build connections and explore potential research activities. Attendees must be willing to consider a range of different ideas and roles within a collaboration and be willing to work towards achieving consensus on a research direction.
Phase 3. Collaborative research team
Workshop participants will be invited to work together to form a collaborative research team. The team will need to have complementary capabilities and community connections and be aligned to a research direction.
Phase 4. Research plan and funding contract
The HRC will support the collaborative team to develop a research plan including objectives, approach, personnel and roles, organisational roles and support, timeline, key milestones, and budget.
Contracts for funding would begin in 2024, for up to three years. Research contracts with the HRC must be held by New Zealand-based organisations, but collaborators outside Aotearoa New Zealand can be funded through subcontracts.
• Expression of Capability submissions due – now closed
• Workshop invitations sent to selected researchers and stakeholders – September 2023
• Workshop(s) held (virtual) – October 2023
• Collaborative research team formed, research plan developed, and contract negotiated – from October 2023
• Research contracts begin – 2024 (up to 3 years)
If you have any questions about the Expression of Capability, please email: ConnectingforImpact@hrc.govt.nz