Venture Taranaki is helping turn your questions into research action with the PSP Curious Minds Taranaki programme.

The PSP Curious Minds Taranaki programme provides funding, support, and expertise to community groups looking to undertake locally relevant research. 

The PSP Curious Minds Taranaki programme is a New Zealand Government initiative overseen by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Education, and the Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor. The programme is co-ordinated locally by Venture Taranaki in partnership with Taranaki Regional Council.

What is the Participatory Science Platform?

The Participatory Science Platform (PSP) is a world-first initiative that aims to engage communities of all kinds in research projects that are locally relevant and have robust science/technology outputs with quality learning outcomes.

All New Zealanders should feel encouraged and equipped to deal with the challenges and opportunities presented by science and technology, and be capable of participating in the debates involving science. We also need an environment that helps New Zealanders to use our natural curiosity to interrogate, decide on and make the most of new developments and technologies.

Participatory Science goes beyond the idea of scientists’ crowd-sourcing their data, and builds a true partnership between the scientists or technologists and the broader community.

Through PSP Curious Minds Taranaki, we fund projects that:

  • Are collaborative research projects that have scientific or technological value, pedagogical rigour (quality teaching and learning) and resonate with the community.

  • Engage students, kura, schools, businesses, Māori collectives and organisations, and community-based organisations with science and technology professionals.

  • Offer researchers opportunities to become involved in locally relevant lines of enquiry, where high-quality. scientific or technological outputs can be created through harnessing the local knowledge and contribution of citizens.
  • Offer inspiring and relevant learning and development opportunities for science and technology teachers and students.
  • Engage learners and participants beyond the school/kura community to reach parents, whānau and wider communities.

What are we looking for?

The Curious Minds PSP funds collaborative research projects that offer community groups the opportunity to actively take part and lead the direction of science and technology investigations. Applications are judged on their alignment to the core assessment criteria which are evenly weighted:

  • Community relevance and participation - will involve community members, be locally relevant, and at least in part be driven by community-based champions.

  • Scientific partnership and value - tackling a substantive scientific question in active partnership with a scientist(s).

  • Pedagogical rigour - offering enduring educational value and two-way learning for those involved.

Curious Minds Taranaki is a participatory science platform that provides funding, support and expertise to community groups looking to explore ideas and carry out investigations. 

What types of funding are available?

Project Funding

Community groups can apply for up to $20,000 excl. GST. Project funding can be used to undertake your research project, including data collection and analysis, as well as implementation and sharing of new knowledge in the community.

Seed Funding

Community groups can apply for up to $1000 excl. GST of seed funding. The purpose of seed funding is to support groups to develop their applications. Specifically seed funding is to be used to allow community groups to access expertise that is otherwise unavailable to them.

What can the funding be used for?

PSP Curious Minds Taranaki funding can be used to part-fund science professionals and community groups/ schools/ businesses/ Māori collectives and organisations to plan together and progress the research project including the research question(s), data collection methods, engagement plan, data analysis plan and knowledge translation strategy for the project (for example travel, meetings, and liaison costs).

In addition, eligible costs also include research tools or consumables related to taking a project forward that would not otherwise be accessible to community partners.

Funding can be used to enhance an existing or ongoing research project (which has local relevance and support) with a community collaboration element.

View current projects and case studies

Projects are underway around the Maunga. Find out more about current projects, and see case studies from previous years.

See projects

Who can apply?

Either the community or science sector based partner in the research project collaboration may apply for funding so long as the eligibility criteria are met. Any type of community group is able to apply - these may include students, schools, kura, community-based organisations, businesses or Māori organisations and collectives. 

Do you have a great idea for a community based science and/or technology research project in Taranaki? Funding for 2021 has closed, but we still want to hear from you.

  • Peter Boyd
Register your idea