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7 May 2021

1. Nominations for the HRC's prestigious Liley, Beaven and Te Tohu Rapuora medals now open

Nominations are now open for the HRC's three annual awards that recognise health research excellence: the Liley Medal, Beaven Medal and Te Tohu Rapuora Medal.

These medals will be presented at the Royal Society Te Apārangi Research Honours Aotearoa awards, which will take place in October this year in three locations: Wellington, Hamilton and Dunedin. Nominations for all Lileythree HRC medals close on 9 June 2021.

The Liley Medal is presented to an individual or team whose recent research has produced a significant breakthrough within the health and medical fields that is internationally recognised. Find out more about this medal and how to make a nomination.

BeavenThe Beaven Medal is awarded to an individual or research team for excellence in translational health research, which has had high impact on clinical practice and patient health, engagement with community and providers of clinical health care, and a commitment to making a difference to the health outcomes and lives of patients. Find out more about this medal and how to make a nomination.
Te Tohu Rapuora
Te Tohu Rapuora Medal is awarded to an individual, research team, or community group whose work has demonstrated leadership, excellence, and contribution to advancing Māori health and/or knowledge. The award includes a medal and a cash prize of $5000. Find out more about how to make a nomination.

2. Māori expertise required on the HRC's Biomedical Research Committee

The Biomedical Research Committee (BRC), a statutory committee of the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC), is seeking to appoint a Co-opted member with Māori expertise.
We are approaching our stakeholders to ask if they are able to please put forward potential candidates who may be suitable for consideration of appointment.
This is a key position for the HRC Biomedical Research Committee, demonstrating the commitment to promote Māori health advancement and reduce health inequities in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Appointment of further Māori expertise to the committee will seek to diversify and strengthen representation of the Māori worldview within the HRC’s biomedical research portfolio.
A Co-opted member of the BRC is being sought with the following attributes:
  • Familiarity with ngā tikanga Māori and its application in research.
  • Expertise in the biomedical field of health, either as a clinical practitioner or as a biomedical health researcher.
  • Optionally or additionally, the member may have expertise with health policy where it intersects with the biomedical field.
  • The appointee will be an established researcher with a recent record of relevant high-quality research in the field.
  • Preferably, the appointee will be an internationally competitive researcher (or on that trajectory) within the basic to clinical research spectrum, with experience as a peer reviewer and/or science assessment committee member for the HRC or equivalent agencies.
We would be grateful if you could circulate this information at your institution.

Please email with potential candidates’ names by Thursday 20 May 2021

3. New Māori Health Clinical Research Training Fellowship established

We have added a new HRC Māori Health Clinical Research Training Fellowship to the suite of awards offered through our Māori Health Career Development Awards programme. The establishment of this specific Māori Health Clinical Research Training Fellowship is designed to provide another pathway for Māori health professionals seeking additional training for a career in clinical research.

The fellowship has a value of up to $260,000 over three years, with the opportunity to also apply for a tikanga allowance of up to $5000 over the tenure of the fellowship. Applications for this fellowship will open on HRC Gateway on 26 May 2021, at the same time as our other Career Development Awards (Māori, Pacific and General categories). 

4. Boost in funding for top Pacific emerging researcher fellowship

We are pleased to announce a doubling of the value and term of the HRC’s prestigious Sir Thomas Davis Te Patu Kite Rangi Ariki Health Research Fellowship. The total value of this fellowship will now be worth $600,000 over four years.

This fellowship supports emerging Pacific researchers who have demonstrated outstanding potential to develop into highly-skilled researchers and is designed to contribute towards better health outcomes for Pacific peoples, families and communities.
Applications for the 2022 Sir Thomas Davis Te Patu Kite Rangi Ariki Health Research Fellowship will open on HRC Gateway on 26 May 2021.

5. New appointments to the HRC's Pacific Health Research Committee

Dan Tautolo
Associate Professor El-Shadan (Dan) Tautolo (pictured right) was recently appointed as Chair of the HRC's Pacific Health Research Committee. Dan, who is Director of the Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study and the AUT Pacific Health Research Centre at AUT University, has served on the committee for five years and we are very grateful for his continued service.

We are also pleased to welcome Dr Donald Wilson (pictured right, below) as a newD Wilson member of the HRC's Pacific Health Research Committee. Donald is an i-Taukei (indigenous) Fijian and is the Associate Dean of Research and Director of the Fiji Institute of Pacific Health Research at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Fiji National University. His research interests include: human health effects of environmental pollution associated with industrialisation and urbanisation; nanoparticle toxicology; research methods in health; occupational exposures in the informal work sectors; climate change and human health; health security challenges in the Pacific; and childhood obesity. 

6. Recent health news

A fascinating discussion on the potential healing power of hookworms - Radio NZ (Dr Tom Mules, HRC Independent Research Organisation Fund)

Study indicates that smacking children is still commonplace in New Zealand - One News (Christchurch Health and Development Study, HRC-funded)

Leading New Zealand Indigenous studies researcher elected to prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences - Waikato University

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Report highlights exclusion of Māori and Pacific experts from science policy in New Zealand - Radio NZ

More people die in winter than summer, but climate change may see this reverse - Australian Online News Network

7. Conferences and events

Human Health Summit (virtual conference)

29 October - 1 November 2021

Theme: COVID-19: Now, before and after - A sustainable collaboration towards better human health

A unique opportunity to share case studies, technological advancements, and research discoveries with thought leaders and experts in the health ecosystem.

Abstract submissions now open. See for more information.

About Update


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Update is a fortnightly e-newsletter about the health research sector, compiled and distributed by the Health Research Council of New Zealand. Short, topical items about health research funding, policy, activities, consultations, and publications are welcome. Please contact Suzy Botica, the HRC's senior communications adviser, for more details.