Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1121

Dr Tim Banks shares how his study of the stars has come full circle

Nearly a quarter of a century after Tim Banks was awarded the RHT Bates Postgraduate Scholarship for his astronomical research, a paper has been printed on his research that was supported by the award. He now works from America with a research team who is based in Istanbul.

Tim reflects on his research journey, the connections he's made along the way and the opportunities that have arisen since being awarded the scholarship by the Society.

Learn more

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Review of New Zealand's environmental research funding and prioritisation
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton FRSNZ, is urging the Government to reconsider the way it funds environmental research in New Zealand.
High intensity training and the brain: David Moreau 
Cognitive neuroscientist Dr David Moreau, recent winner of the Society's Te Kōpūnui ECR Excellence Award for Social Sciences, spoke to Kim Hill CRSNZ about how high intensity exercise can benefit the brain. 
@RNZ Saturday Morning 
Seven years after pest control, native birds thrive
A new meta analysis of New Zealand mainland ecosanctuaries​ has found that about seven years of pest control is needed before factors start to swing in favour of endemic birds.
Will Harvie @Stuff
ESR team's crucial COVID-19 work garners top award
Scientists whose crucial behind-the-scenes work has kept New Zealand on top of COVID-19 have been recognised with Science New Zealand's Supreme Award.
@NZ Herald
Kiwi kids slide further in maths and science
Kiwi kids have slipped again in the latest international survey of maths and science. New Zealand students' scores have dropped sharply in both subjects in Year 9, the first year of high school - with the lowest score for algebra.
Simon Collins @NZ Herald
2021 Judith Binney Fellowships and Writing Awards announced
Five recipients will receive support for their research and writing that explores and expands understandings of New Zealand history.

One of the recipients is the 2020 Tahunui-a-Rangi award winner David Tipene-Leach (Ngāti Kahungunu/Ngāti Kere, Ngāti Manuhiri).
@Judith Binney Trust

Ngā take o te wā Events

12 December, Martinborough
Astrophotography/dark sky observing
This is an opportunity to observe the Milky Way and learn more about the night sky. Using telescopes, there will be a night sky tour designed for beginners. There will also be expert lessons available for those wanting to photograph the night sky. Email the Wellington Astronomical Society to register for this event.
16 December, Wellington
2020 Powering Potential presentation
Nau mai haere mai, come along and listen to what the rangatahi rangatira researchers of tomorrow have to say on the major issues of today! This gathering brings together tauira to collaborate and communicate research solutions for important issues. Mentored by Rutherford Discovery Fellows, tauira are given only two days to compile their findings into a presentation.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Apply for the 2021 Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Young Scientists Awards

Since 1989 MAB has been supporting young researchers each year with awards of up to US$5,000 in support of their research on ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity. Through these awards, MAB is investing in a new generation of scientists worldwide.

Please note that priority in the 2021 round will be given to projects carried out in biosphere reserves.

Applicants need to seek endorsement by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO by emailing

Closing date: 15 January 2021
Organisation: UNESCO 
Call for 'Decade Actions' for UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

A call for ‘Decade Actions’ - in the form of programmes, projects and other activities - has now been released in order to help meet the vision of sustainable oceans. 

Programmes or contributions that will enhance the sustainability of ocean science, including infrastructure or individual or institutional capacity, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic are now welcome.

Closing date: 15 January 2021 
Organisation: International Science Council
Expressions of interest for Conservation Boards

Conservation boards are independent bodies that empower local communities and iwi to contribute to the management of conservation areas.

Expressions of interest are being sought from suitably qualified people who would like to be nominated by the Society to be appointed as member of one of the 15 conservation boards across Aotearoa. There are 46 public vacancies and the conservation boards cover a defined area and comprise up to 12 members.

Closing date: 22 January 2021 
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Science Journalism Fund 2021 round now open

The Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund will offer up to $15,000 for projects relating to the following themes:
  • Taonga under threat ($10,000)
  • Natural hazards don’t have to be disastrous ($5,000)
Media professionals working for online, television, radio, newspapers and magazines, including freelancers for all of the above, are welcome to apply. Stories will be expected to be published or aired by 1 July 2021.

Closing date: 25 January 2021
Organisation: Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund
Nominations for potential 2021 Marsden Fund Panellists

There are ten discipline-based assessment panels who make funding recommendations to the Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden Marsden Fund Council. The panels are made up of expert researchers in their field and are appointed by Royal Society Te Apārangi (after being recommended by the Fund Council).

If individuals wish to signal their availability to serve on a Marsden Fund Panel in 2021 or beyond, they should email Dr Rachel Averill at the Society with their contact details, affiliation, a clear preference for which panel they would be suitable for, and ideally a link to their institutional webpage. 

Closing date: 31 January 2021
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Apply to become an Editor-in-Chief for a biochemistry and biotechnology journal

A new Editor-in-Chief  is being sought out the for the Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry journal.

In this role, the Editor will consider papers for publication based on their novelty and impact as well as their contribution to the advancement of medical biotechnology and industrial biotechnology.

Closing date: 31 May 2021 
Organisation: International Union of Biotechnology and Molecular Biochemistry

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
Royal Society Te Apārangi
11 Turnbull Street, Thorndon,
Wellington 6011
Aotearoa New Zealand.

Contact us
+64 4 472 7421 

Follow us         
Copyright © Royal Society Te Apārangi