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Research grants

The Heart Foundation is New Zealand's leading independent funder of heart research. With the generous support of our donors, we've invested more than $85 million into heart research since 1968.

With your help, we can continue to fund and support world class research.

Back in 1968, a dedicated group of cardiologists and business people founded the Heart Foundation, with a clear vision to foster heart-related education and research in New Zealand.

Their dream was to improve the heart health of every Kiwi. Since then the Heart Foundation has invested more than $85 million into ground-breaking heart research, and over this time, there has been a drastic reduction in the number of deaths from heart disease.

However, cardiovascular disease is still the number one cause of death in New Zealand and many of these deaths are premature and preventable. That's why research remains so important.

"We have a long and proud record of research investment, which has improved the heart health of all New Zealanders for more than 50 years, but we still have much more work to do," says Heart Foundation Medical Director, Dr Gerry Devlin.

"Heart disease is New Zealand's single biggest killer. With our ongoing commitment to supporting research, we can keep saving lives and improve the quality of life for the 170,000 New Zealanders living with heart disease."

In this article

Our research history

The Heart Foundation has been able to invest $85 million into groundbreaking research projects and cardiology training since 1970.

Read our research history


About our grants

The Heart Foundation Scientific Advisory Group offers project grants, fellowships and scholarships in the following areas each year. 

Foundation100 Fellowship

The Foundation100 Fellowships have been created to fund the next generation of heart health leaders focusing on innovative endeavours. Tenable in New Zealand for up to three years, the Foundation100 Fellowship is funded by Heart Foundation alumni with a united mission to support future leaders and change-makers. It is a powerful movement of philanthropic alumni with a shared passion for making a profound difference in cardiovascular research and training by funding innovative fellowships that will enhance the heart health prospects of all New Zealanders.

Grants-In-Aid

The purpose of these grants is to fund a wide variety of research-related activities supporting the Heart Foundation's aims. A Grant-in-aid is an award for a particular purpose designed to further the aims of the Heart Foundation but not within the categories of a Project Grant or one of the other grants previously described. Examples of Grants-in-aid include a grant to support the publication of a book or production of educational resources, or the purchase of research equipment. Awards will also be considered for research training and career development through attendance at short courses and the like outside New Zealand.

Māori Fellowship

This fellowship is intended to support the development of Māori health research capacity and capability. It is open to applications from graduates in health science, both clinical and non-clinical. Applicants are expected to be engaged in research work relevant to improving cardiovascular health for Māori. Applicants should describe the potential benefit of their research for such improvement and the relevant support available. Studying towards a higher degree would be expected if appropriate. Applicants should also describe their iwi affiliation. Applicants will be interviewed by a panel representing the Scientific Advisory Group of the Heart Foundation. This fellowship is tenable in New Zealand for up to three years.

Nurse Practitioner Training Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease

The Heart Foundation Nurse Practitioner Training Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease is intended to support nurses registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand, to complete an approved clinical master's degree programme for the nurse practitioner scope of practice in the field of cardiovascular disease. Awards for this Fellowship have a value of $20,000 NZ per annum (stipend) paid quarterly in advance, and up to $5,000NZ plus GST, for university fees.

Overseas Training and Research Fellowship

These are intended to support medical graduates who propose to engage in further clinical training and research in cardiovascular disease. They usually are tenable for one year only. Overseas Training & Research Fellowships may be extended for a second year in exceptional circumstances. Still, it is expected that Fellows will attempt to obtain funding for further training or research from the institution where they are based.

Postgraduate Scholarship

These scholarships are intended to provide personal support for selected graduate students of New Zealand universities whose proposed research programme for a higher degree will further the aims of the Heart Foundation. They are designed to attract well-qualified New Zealand graduates into cardiovascular research. Successful scholars are expected to be enrolled for a degree at the doctoral level, usually the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The Heart Foundation Postgraduate Scholarships are tenable only in New Zealand and generally within a faculty of medicine at a New Zealand university. The Scholarships are typically awarded for three years and must be taken up within 12 months of the award.

Project Grants

Project Grants provide short-term support for a single individual or small group working on a clearly defined research project. The usual term for a Project Grant is one or two years with a maximum of three years. The Scientific Advisory Group has determined that the average award for a project grant will be $100,000 - $150,000, and only under exceptional circumstances will the award exceed $200,000.

Research Fellowship

These are designed to support graduates who propose to engage in full-time research related to the aims of the Heart Foundation. Research Fellowships are available for medical and non-medical graduates who will typically be at a post-doctoral level. They are tenable in New Zealand for up to three years in duration.

Senior Fellowship

These are intended to support trained New Zealand cardiologists or scientists working in the cardiovascular field as established and independent investigators, pending the availability of appointments in universities, hospitals and health services or similar institutions in New Zealand. Senior Fellows will be expected to work primarily in cardiovascular and clinical research. Senior Fellowships will be tenable only in New Zealand for a maximum total duration of three years. Candidates must possess an appropriate postgraduate degree or diploma.

Small Project Grants

The purpose of these grants is to fund a wide variety of research-related activities supporting the Heart Foundation's aims. The research projects are expected to cover a wide variety of areas related to the purposes of the Heart Foundation. They could be a small research project or a small part of a broader research project. These could include needs assessments, systematic literature reviews (such as a Cochrane review), case series, analyses of existing data sets, pilot projects, policy research and programme evaluations. While programme audits should ordinarily be budgeted for as part of the programme, some audit projects could be considered if they are to be published. The primary purpose of these grants is to support emerging investigators, including (but not limited to) registrars, post-doctoral students, general practitioners and public health practitioners. Investigators, however, need to ensure that they have strong academic support for their research. Studies requiring ethics approval should state whether this has been obtained or is being applied.

Summer Studentships

Summer Studentships are offered annually through the Medical Schools at the University of Auckland and the University of Otago. The Studentships will cover projects related to cardiovascular research and have a value of $6,750 each. The Heart Foundation expects a report from all the studentships upon completion. Administration of these studentships will be through the appropriate channels of each Medical School. Other conditions about the studentships can be obtained through each Medical School. Please contact your Medical School to apply.

Travel Grant

The purpose of these grants is to fund a wide variety of research-related activities supporting the Heart Foundation's aims. The Heart Foundation awards Travel Grants to enable medical or non-medical workers to travel in New Zealand or overseas to attend conferences. These awards are not intended to relieve the Applicant's employing body of its obligation to assist with the travel costs of its employees undertaking continuing education. The award does not necessarily cover all costs. Awards shall not usually exceed $3,500 except for exceptional circumstances. Travel to take up a position overseas, such as a post-doctoral position, is not usually covered. The Heart Foundation broadly supports travel to relevant international conferences and symposia and locally would welcome applications for presentations at CSANZ meetings in Australia and New Zealand. Retrospective funding of travel will not be considered. For short-term study overseas, refer to Grants-in-aid elsewhere in this section.

Pacific Research Fellowship

This fellowship is intended to support the development of Pacific health research capacity and capability. It is open to application from Pacific graduates in health or social sciences, both clinical and non-clinical. Applicants are expected to be engaged in research on improving heart health for Pacific people in Aotearoa. Applicants should describe the potential benefit of their study for Pacific health improvement and the appropriate support available. Applicants should also describe their involvement with Pacific communities, commitment to Pacific health equity, and how this fellowship would support their career development. This fellowship is tenable in New Zealand for up to 3 years. A sub-committee of the Scientific Advisory Group of the Heart Foundation will interview applicants.


The Heart Foundation Scientific Advisory Group

Research grants are awarded by the Heart Foundation Scientific Advisory Group. There are normally 12 members of the Heart Foundation Scientific Advisory Group. The collective expertise of the group covers a wide range from basic sciences, clinical medicine and cardiology to public health. The Chief Executive of the Heart Foundation is an ex-officio member of the Scientific Advisory Group as is the Medical Director. Members of the Scientific Advisory Group are appointed for three-year terms, renewable once. The Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Group, Medical Director and Chief Executive are members of the Board.

 

Associate Professor Gerry Devlin
Medical Director of the Heart Foundation
Cardiologist at Gisborne Hospital
Dr Corina Grey
Public Health Physician
Auckland District Health Board
  
Professor Rob Doughty
Chair in Heart Health
Department of Medicine
The University of Auckland
Associate Professor Rachael McLean
Senior Lecturer Public Health
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
The University of Otago, Dunedin
  
Dr Ben Hudson
Department of General Practice
University of Otago, Christchurch
Associate Professor Regis Lamberts
Department of Physiology
The University of Otago, Dunedin
  
Dr Anna Pilbrow
The Omics Laboratory
Christchurch Heart Institute
The University of Otago, Christchurch
Associate Professor Mark Webster
Senior Cardiologist
Green Lane Cardiovascular Service
Auckland City Hospital
  
Associate Professor Ian LeGrice
Department of Physiology
The University of Auckland
Dr Anna Rolleston
The Centre for Health Tauranga
The University of Auckland
  
Professor Richard Troughton
Christchurch Heart Institute of Medicine
The University of Otago, Christchurch
 

Research grant opportunities 2022

Through the generosity of our amazing supporters who have provided donations and financial support, we are pleased to release the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand research grants opportunities for 2022.

View 2022 grant opportunities


Ethical research

We are committed to our purpose to stop all people in New Zealand from dying prematurely of heart disease and enable people with heart disease to live full lives by funding research to prevent, treat and cure heart and circulatory diseases.

As part of this life-saving work, we fund research that uses a range of methods, including laboratory or benchtop work, computer models and simulations, and human participants. Where these methods are not satisfactory or feasible, some of the research we fund involves animals to address specific and significant questions.

Funding animal research is something we take very seriously and is only supported when alternatives are not available to help researchers make life-changing discoveries in the fight against heart disease.

Any research we fund involving human participants or animals must conform to relevant legislation and be approved and monitored by a properly established ethics committee.

In New Zealand, the use of animals in research, testing and teaching is strictly controlled by the Animal Welfare Act 1999. Every researcher using animals in New Zealand must follow an approved code of ethical conduct and comply with legislation.

The ethical principles of animal research (the 3Rs) promote efforts to replace animals as subjects for research as much as possible, reduce the number of animals used in research, and refine techniques used in any research to ensure welfare standards are as high as possible. Applicants to the Heart Foundation for research grants understand the need to use alternatives to live animals wherever possible.

We acknowledge the signatories to the Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching in New Zealand, which include all the research institutions that host Heart Foundation-funded researchers and projects, for the commitment to better inform people about the facts about the use of animals in research or teaching.

Over the past 50 years, we’ve seen a 75% reduction in the rate of death caused by heart disease in New Zealand. We’re making good progress, but heart disease is still the single biggest killer of men and women. Funding heart research is essential if we’re to continue making the discoveries that will improve and save the lives of the many people living with heart and circulatory diseases in New Zealand and around the world.


Grants awarded

Heart Foundation research grants are awarded in July and November of each year. Click on the links below to view pdfs of the grants awarded.

View grants awarded in August 2022

View grants awarded in August 2021

View grants awarded in July 2020

View grants awarded in July 2019

View grants awarded in November 2018

View grants awarded in July 2018

View grants awarded in November 2017

View grants awarded in July 2017

View grants awarded in July 2016

View grants awarded in November 2016


Visit the Research Grants portal

The Heart Foundation manages all research funding applications, grant awards and grant reporting processes, through our Heart Foundation research grants system (portal). Click on the button below to submit an application through this portal.

 

Research Grants portal