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Setting national research priorities

The Health Research Council (HRC) has a leading role in implementing New Zealand's first unified set of health research priorities.

The New Zealand Health Research Prioritisation Framework document cover

Together with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), we are bringing the vision of the New Zealand Health Research Strategy (2017-2027) to life. This includes aligning our research investment with the New Zealand Health Research Prioritisation Framework to ensure research efforts across the country are designed to address areas of highest need. 

This framework prioritises how and why health research needs to be done in New Zealand in order to drive high-level health and social outcomes, and ensure maximum impact from the government’s investment in health.  

Under the framework, researchers applying for government funding need to:

  • Address why their research is important to New Zealand
  • Consider mana tāngata and advancing Māori health
  • Meet the criteria of excellence
  • Ensure their research has the best chance of delivering impact
  • Include measures to improve health equity.

Implementing the New Zealand Health Research Strategy and Prioritisation Framework is the joint responsibility of MBIE, the Ministry of Health and the HRC. You can find both English and Te Reo Māori versions of the framework here in the HRC's Resource Library.

For background on how we came to this model, and who and what was involved, check out our blog below which began in 2018 and continued to be updated as the consultation process progressed. 


Prioritisation background - consultation process

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Issue date:

    During consultation on the process, submitters raised questions about how national health research priorities will be set, including:

    • how people can be involved in setting the priorities
    • the suggested scope and number of priority areas
    • how the HRC, MBIE and the Ministry of Health are working together 
    • how the HRC is partnering with Māori, and
    • when will the priorities be implemented and funded.

    The answers to those questions are in the document below.