Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1103

Applications are now open for the 2020 Aotearoa New Zealand Prime Minister's Science Prizes

Kia hiwa rā emerging scientists, ākonga students, kaiako teachers, science communicators and science leaders! Entries for the 2020 round of the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes are now open. With a combined value of $1,000,000, these prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the future. Applications close at 5pm on 9 October 2020.

Learn more

New special issue of agricultural research journal

Guest edited by Associate Professor Jim Moir, this special issue of the New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research entitled 'Advances in Plant Sciences' features a collection of papers which bring new science to the discipline of grassland plants. Papers cover topics including field comparisons of clover cultivars, herbicide resistance in New Zealand, plant pests and plant breeding.


Online course to teach children about COVID-19

Matt Boucher, Deputy Principal at Thorndon School in Wellington, participated in our Science Teaching Leadership Programme in 2017. Fast forward to this year when the coronavirus pandemic hit Aotearoa, Matt spent the school holidays putting together a MOOC (massive open online course) for children called 'Microscopic beasts and how to fight them'. In the course, students become citizen scientists to learn about the microscopic world, cells, microbes and disease.

The Science Teaching Leadership Programme provides opportunities for primary schools, secondary science departments and their nominated teachers to enhance the teaching of science within school hapori communities. Applications for 2021 placements on the programme on now open!


New issue of marine and freshwater journal

A new issue of the New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research has been published. Article topics include ocean waming, trophic index level of New Zealand lakes and the species composition of the whitebait fishery. 


Last call for papers for Kaikōura earthquake special issue

This special issue of the New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics invites submissions with a primary focus on the 7.8 magnitude Kaikōura earthquake in 2016. The issue will centre around understanding the earthquake and the consequences for earth processes and society. Submissions close 7 August 2020. 


He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

New study reveals under-representation of Māori and Pasifika scientists in universities and CRIs
A new article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand shares research led by Dr Tara McAllister which reveals Māori and Pasifika scientists are "severely under-represented" in New Zealand universities and Crown Research Organisations.
An interview with Royal Society Te Apārangi President-Elect, Dr Brent Clothier
In this video interview, Dr Brent Clothier FRSNZ of Plant & Food Research discusses the shortage of scientists in soil science and how to overcome that.
@Sarah's Country
The career cost of COVID-19 to female researchers
Early data on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on scientific-publishing output suggest that female researchers, particularly those at early-career stages, are being the hardest hit.
Virginia Gewin @Nature
Thousands set to ‘explore’ Sir Ed’s hut in Antarctica
Scott Base’s oldest building, a hut built by Sir Edmund Hillary's team, is about to open its doors to the public – virtually.
@Antarctica Heritage Trust
New book on the geological development of Aotearoa New Zealand
Malcolm Laird and John Bradshaw FRSNZ have just released a new book which explores New Zealand's geological development over the last 100 million years, from Gondwana to the Ice Age.
@University of Canterbury
Science in Emergencies, Part 1 - COVID-19
In this two-part programme as part of the Science & documentary series, the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet Gerrard FRSNZ and colleagues discuss the role of science in the strategic decisions the government had to make about COVID-19. 
@Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor
Climate change made 2018's big glacier melt 10 times more likely
Kiwi scientists have just drawn one of the first direct links between climate change and glacier melt, with a new study suggesting that warming made a recent hit on our icy wonders 10 times more likely.
Jamie Morton @NZ Herald
Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia launches new website
The new website, PESA Agora, is an Open Access meeting place for people interested in the intersections of philosophy, education and culture in our contemporary world.
@Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia

Ngā take o te wā Events

7 August, Wanaka

Wellbeing policy: past, present, future

Professor Arthur Grimes will review antecedents of the Government's "wellbeing approach to policy", stretching back to the englightenment (and before). He will then examine two modern approaches to wellbeing policy based on the concepts of subjective wellbeing and on capabilities.
10-14 August, Online

Maths Week

Established by the New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers (NZAMT), Maths Week is an annual event that aims to make maths hands-on and engaging for students. It is availible free online to teachers, parents and students. 
11 August, Wellington

Climate change—what's next for New Zealand?

Professor James Renwick and New Zealand’s Minister for Climate Change Hon James Shaw will discuss what is currently being done in our country to combat climate change, what more we can do in the future, and how COVID-19 may have changed things.
12 August, Wellington

Reflecting on the value of social media as a history-research tool

In this talk, historian Ryan Bodman will explore the value of social media as a 21st century history-research tool. Over the past five years, Ryan has been researching and writing Rugby League: A New Zealand History, a social and cultural history of the football code in New Zealand.
11 August, Nelson

The interplay of mechanical properties and stress in uplift and dynamic landscapes

As part of the Hochstetter lecture tour, Phaedra Upton of GNS Science will give a talk on recent developments in modelling tectonics and surface processes. She will focus on collisional settings such as New Zealand’s Southern Alps, SE Alaska and the Himalayan mountains where rapid uplift combines with vigorous climate regimes to create dynamic landscapes.
20 August, Wellington

Ideas exchange on Global Citizenship Education

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is holding a free ideas exchange on Global Citizenship Education (GCED), which will also be livestreamed through Facebook. GCED is about empowering people to face and resolve local and global challenges, and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure world. 

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau - forestry scholarships

Te Uru Rākau is offering eight forestry scholarships for students who begin study in the 2021 academic year. These scholarships aim to increase the number and diversity of people studying forestry, particularly Māori and women.

Organisation: Ministry for Primary Industries 
Closing date: 15 August

Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) - Postdoctoral Fellowship

The HFSP fellowship program supports proposals for frontier, potentially transformative research in the life sciences. The fellowships encourage early career scientists to broaden their research skills by moving into new areas of study while working in a new country. Two different fellowship programs are available:

  • Long-Term Fellowships are for applicants who will broaden their expertise by proposing a project in the life sciences which is significantly different from their previous PhD or postdoctoral work.
  • Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships are for applicants with a PhD from outside the life sciences.
Closing date: The next fellowship initiation deadline will be 13 August 2020 with a submission deadline on 27 August 2020
Organisation: Human Frontier Science Program
Apply for a leadership position with the Southern Ocean Observing System Regional Working Group

SOOS is calling for nominations for the regional working group Weddell Sea and Dronning Maud Land (WS-DML).The working group strives to increase the quality of the science output and strengthen the awareness of the relevance of research in the WS-DML sector of the Southern Ocean through international projects contributing to SOOS.

Researchers in the fields of biology, biogeochemistry and sea ice are particularly encouraged to apply.

Deadline for applications: 15 September 2020
Organisation: Southern Ocean Observing System Regional Working Group

Applications open for Hands-On at Otago 2021
Hands-On at Otago is a residential week during which students get to experience University of Otago student life – living in a residential college, undertaking detailed studies and learning from some of the foremost researchers in the country. Applications are open to students entering year 12 or 13 in 2021.

Closing Date: 25 September 2020
Organisation: University of Otago
Enter the Austrian Academy of Sciences essay competition
Submit a written essay for a chance to win a cash prize by answering the following question: What can science achieve during pandemics? The competition is open to both individuals and groups for essays in German, English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. 

Closing date: 31 December 2020
Organisation: The Austrian Academy of Science 

Mō Te Apārangi | About us

Royal Society Te Apārangi supports New Zealanders to explore, discover and share knowledge. Our varied programmes provide support and opportunities for researchers, teachers and school students, together with those who are simply curious about the world. To learn more visit
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