Terms of Reference for the Rutherford Foundation Fellowships and Scholarships
The Royal Society Te Apārangi-Rutherford Foundation (the Foundation) was established as a Charitable Trust in 2008 with the aim of building human capability in science and technology by providing support for excellent New Zealand early career researchers. The Foundation offered scholarships and fellowships, which carried the hallmark of excellence enabling strong connections to New Zealand to be maintained, thereby increasing the benefits to New Zealand that accrue from the investment in these recipients. The Trust was wound up in 2018 when the management of the Foundation’s funding opportunities was transferred to the Royal Society Te Apārangi (the Society).
The objectives of the Rutherford Foundation Fellowships and Scholarships are to support the education and development of promising excellent early career researchers with the potential to excel in a research environment. The funding opportunities support early career researchers who demonstrate a passion for research, science and technology, and have a strong sense of the purpose and benefits of research to New Zealand. Receipt of a Rutherford Foundation award is expected to have a significant value in the future career development of the supported Scholars and Fellows and help them to establish a foundation on which to embark on an independent research career.
At least five prestigious New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowships of two years in length will be awarded on a competitive basis annually, for research based in a New Zealand host institution. In addition, and supported by a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cambridge Commonwealth International and European Trust (CCEIT), up to two Cambridge Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarships of three years in length can be awarded each year unless otherwise agreed to between CCEIT and the Society.
The award criteria must ensure successful proposals are consistent with the background and objectives of the Fellowships stated above. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Society will determine eligibility and selection criteria, and may adjust these from time to time to increase the scheme’s effectiveness. The Society will publish these criteria annually at the start of each funding round. The award criteria will be based on the following eligibility and selection criteria:
For the purpose of the Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship, applicants must be
The Society will appoint a selection panel, chaired by the President of the Royal Society, or their nominee, to oversee the selection process. The chair of the panel will work with the Society’s nominated manager to determine the best process to be used. Advice shall be sought from the selection panel as to the allocation of funds to successful awardees. This advice shall normally be accepted by the Society. In the event of non-acceptance of advice from the selection panel, the Society will notify MBIE in writing and then enter into a dispute resolution process as per clause 17 of the Umbrella Agreement.
Fellowships and Scholarships are awarded on a full-time basis (1 FTE), unless otherwise agreed to by the Society.
The Rutherford Foundation New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowship will award a minimum contribution of $75,000 per annum towards the researcher’s salary and $10,000 (GST excl.) per annum in research-related expenses.
The Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship will award a living allowance (maintenance) of approximately £13,900 per annum (subject to adjustments being made by the CCEIT), for up to a maximum of three years. For the three years a successful applicant is enrolled for study towards
their PhD at the University of Cambridge, their course and college fees will be paid. Expenses for living allowance and fees are expected to be shared equally between the Society and the CCEIT. In addition, awardees are eligible for one non-transferable return airfare between the United Kingdom and New Zealand per annum, which is covered by the Society.
The Royal Society will report to MBIE on the Rutherford Foundation Fellowships and Scholarships in accordance with the Funding Agreement. The reporting will include:
An evaluation framework will also be developed by the Royal Society in consultation with MBIE. The Royal Society will provide evidence to MBIE that the Programme: