Otago Science Into Action has funding available to support participatory science projects that are:

  • Community-driven: The research must be relevant to, and resonate with, the community.
  • Connected with scientists: Involve active participation of communities in the scientific process, making the most of their local knowledge and generating new scientific &/or technological insights.
  • Educational: Offer real learning outcomes to students and young people involved, and two-way learning between the wider community and the science partners.

Seed funding of up to $2 000 is available any time (see further details below). Full project funding calls (up to $20 000 per project) are generally open between November – March.

Download the 2020 update booklet here

Who can apply?

Either the community group or their science partners can apply for funding.

Community groups include many organisations and clusters such as: students/young people, schools, kura, local rūnaka, business, industry, and environmental or cultural-based organisations.

Groups can be a geographical community or a “community of interest” spanning several locations, but they must be Otago-based.

What can the funding be used for?

Funding can be used by the community groups and science & technology professionals to plan together and progress their research ideas.

There are two types of funding available:


Seed Funding can be used to help further develop the community group, and connect it with scientists/technologists to help shape the most appropriate research question(s) and scientific design. Each Seed Funding project can be up to $2,000 (excl. GST). Seed Funding can be applied for at any time.


Project Funding can be used to undertake the research project, including data collection and analysis, as well as the implementation and sharing of the new knowledge within the community. Project Funding proposals can be for up to $20,000 (excl. GST). Project Funding proposals are called for each year (see below).


Funding can be used to cover costs associated with travel, meetings and liaison, as well as research tools, consumables and related expenses not reasonably available to the project partners.


Funding may be used to substantially enhance an existing or ongoing research project, so long as the project meets the above mentioned criteria – i.e., has strong local relevance and support. In these instances, community partners must be fully integrated into the research project, including becoming engaged in guiding the research questions, collecting the data and disseminating the results.


The 2021 round of funding is now closed. The 2022 funding round call is due to open in November 2021. You can always register your interest to be added to the Otago PSP newsletter mailing list.

What funding is available?

Otago Science Into Action is offering two types of funding support initially:


Funding to Turn Ideas into Plans

This may be used for a range of activities such as:

Kick-starting “Communities of Interest”

Connecting with scientists

 Planning a project

How much:
Up to $2,000 (excl. GST) per ‘kick-start’

Anytime (on-demand)



Funding to Turn Plans into Actions

This funding is to undertake a participatory science project. Projects are likely to involve:

Collecting and analysing data

Translating data into insights

Knowledge sharing and implementation

Project funding provides support for tools, materials and costs not otherwise available to the project partners.

How much:
Up to $20,000 (excl. GST) per project

The 2021 funding call is now closed. The 2022 round is due to open in November 2021.

I have an idea, what is the next step?

If you have an idea or a project you would like to get off the ground,
click here to register your details, and provide a short summary of your idea or question. The Otago Science Into Action team will contact you to see how it can help.

I already have a project, what is the next step?

First register your interest to submit a project. The Otago Science Into Action team will be in touch to ensure you have all the required information.