Children and Families Research Fund

Ministry of Social Development

Relevent Country: New Zealand

Type of work: Research and Survey

Applications are now open for the Children and Families Research Fund to support research that meets New Zealand’s evidence needs and to build the number and diversity of researchers using Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) data to inform priority government policy development and decision-making.


  • At each data collection wave, age and stage appropriate information is gathered across six key developmental areas:
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Psychosocial and cognitive development
  • Education
  • Family/whānau
  • Culture and identity
  • Societal context, neighbourhood and environment.

Data has been collected at the following milestones and these data sets are currently available:

  • During pregnancy
  • Children aged nine months
  • Children aged two years
  • Children aged four-and-a-half
  • Children aged six years
  • Children aged eight years

Funding Categories

he Children and Families Research Fund has two funding categories:

  • Standard research grants will support well-defined, high quality research projects that have been developed in response to (or anticipation of) government policy questions. Proposals will demonstrate a high level of research capability, including experience or knowledge of working with longitudinal data, be developed in close collaboration with government policy professionals developed in close collaboration with government policy professionals. Standard research projects can apply for up to $125,000 the per proposal, with a maximum term of 12 months.
  • New user grants also represent high quality, policy-relevant research proposals, and are focused on increasing the diversity of GUiNZ data users and be developed in close collaboration with government policy professionals. New user projects must be led by a Principal Investigator who has not previously conducted research using GUiNZ data. They may be more focused in scope than Standard research projects (eg conducting a descriptive analysis of some GUiNZ data or a preliminary piece intended to inform later work). New user projects can apply for up to $75,000 per proposal with a maximum term of 12 months.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The Fund is open to non-government organisations, academics, and public or independent research organisations with demonstrated research capability.
  • Research proposals must constitute discrete research projects in their own right and make use of GUiNZ data.
  • Applicants must collaborate with social sector agencies to maximise the policy relevance of their proposed research. It is recommended that applicants identify policy collaborators early in the development of their proposals. Where appropriate and required by the researcher(s), the Fund administrators can assist in facilitating links with relevant agencies, if contacted early in the development of the application.
  • Applicants are entirely responsible for ensuring that their proposed research meets appropriate ethical standards of their organisation or otherwise.

Applicants will note that there is a two-stage application process:

  • a funding application to MSD (the application form attached to this pack); and, if shortlisted after this stage,
  • an external data access application to the GUiNZ Data Access Committee (DAC). This application needs to be completed by applicants who are shortlisted.  It is recommended that all applicants review this application form so that they are aware of what is required. This will assist in the completion of funding application to MSD (as they often contain overlapping content).
  • The first step in applying to the Fund is to read and complete the application form provided in this application pack. Complete the form in plain English, avoiding the use of unexplained terms and writing all acronyms and abbreviations in full on their first use.