27 Jul 2021

Government announces health research funding grants

12:24 pm on 27 July 2021

Health equity, vaccine hesitancy, and the difficulties of battling both cancer and diabetes are among projects benefiting from the latest round of government health research funding.

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Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

The government's Health Research Council funding management agency invests more than $126 million a year, and Health Minister Andrew Little announced funding for 45 projects this morning.

Successful applicants included research into:

  • Diabetes and cancer comorbidity
  • How New Zealand can achieve equity in health
  • Why New Zealanders may refuse or delay vaccinations
  • Boosting measles immunity in young people
  • Equitable access for Māori to lung cancer screening
  • Smoking cessation methods

The projects included 31 general grants worth $36.64m, five Rangahau Hauora Māori grants worth $5.91m, five Pacific Project grants worth $5.79m and four programme grants worth $19.99m.

Successful projects are granted about $1.2m, and up to $5m, through annual contestable funding.

Little said research was essential to address health inequities.

"If we're not actually doing the research to find out what we can anticipate, what happened in the absence of interventions and then looking at what interventions would prevent those problems getitng worse then we're not doing our job."

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