COVID Relief Fund


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption for AMRF funded researchers - To date the 2020 and 2021 lock downs have lasted for 89 days and 100 days respectively, at an Alert Level higher than 2; and have significantly impacted research in many ways.

One particular group of researchers who have been severely impacted by these lockdowns are those whose salaries are largely covered by Donor funded research grants, so called “contestable funding” of which AMRF is a major source of funding.

All AMRF project and personal career development grants (fellowships and doctoral scholarships) include a large salary or stipend component which often provides the majority, or even all of the recipient’s salary or stipend.

In addition to financial concerns, lockdown delays have led to uncertainties about the success of grant holder projects, their ability to derive quality outputs from that research, and concerns about securing follow on funding or new competitive research positions.

As an immediate response, AMRF have, during 2020-2021, provided COVID-19-related no cost-time only extensions for many of our grant holders. Although gratefully received, for staff whose salaries rely on the grant funding as outlined above, time-only extensions often provide little or no help. They have the time to complete the research, but they no longer have salary funding to continue that research.

In response to the need to support the salaries or stipends of researchers and clinicians to enable our grant holders to complete these impacted research projects, the AMRF is launching a $1.3million emergency Covid-19 Relief Fund to provide three or six month salary/stipend packages to all eligible AMRF-funded researchers.


The purpose of the AMRF COVID-19 Relief Fund is to:

* Provide immediate support for AMRF-funded researchers whose grants have been impacted by the New Zealand and extended Auckland and Northland lockdowns.

* Provide salary or stipend support to ensure the successful completion of AMRF-funded research projects



Salary or stipend support only. The maximum amount per grant is dependent on the budgeted salary/stipend component in the awarded grant (taking into account any approved variations that have altered this), and whether the grant has been affected by one or both of the 2020 and 2021 major lockdowns (at an alert level of higher than 2, or red traffic light under the Covid-19 Protection Framework) resulting in the requirement for three or six months salary/stipend support.


Applicants will be invited to apply by the Research Programme Manager. They must be a principal investigator of an active AMRF grant (including fellowships and scholarships in 2020 and/or 2021. (Grant holders who were already into a no cost-time only extension period that was granted prior to the first 2020 lockdown are ineligible).

Important dates

* 12 January 2022: Invitations to apply will be emailed to eligible grant holders \*

* 1 March 2022: Applications close

* 31 March 2022: Results

\* If you believe you are eligible for this relief fund and are not contacted directly on 12 January 2022, please get in touch with the Research Programme Manager, Dr Hannah Gibbons and we will discuss your eligibility.


* Where salary or stipend support (and other affected components of the grant) can be sought from the host institution, it is an expectation of the AMRF that the costs are applied for, and shared, where possible.

* Ensure that you have already been granted, or have applied for, a variation of contract to extend the timeframe of the grant to cover the new three or six month salary costed period.

* You must only use the approved funding for the purposes for which the relief funding is provided.

* You are required to ensure ethics approval covers any additional time required to cover this new salaried period.

* Standard AMRF grant reporting must be adhered to.

Application process

* An email invitation will be sent from the Research Programme Manager to the principal investigator. The email will identify whether the AMRF believe that you are eligible for one or two of the three month salary support packages depending on whether your grant was active during either or both of the Auckland lockdowns.

* Complete the AMRF portal application form _COVID-19 Relief Fund_. Clicking submit on the form will send it to your research office for their approval before it comes through to the AMRF.

* The AMRF will assess the application and determine whether the PI has provided sufficient evidence for the specified funds to be awarded.

* Applicants will be notified by 31 March 2022 at the very latest.

Our contact details


POSTAL ADDRESSResearch Programme Manager

Auckland Medical Research Foundation

P O Box 110139

Auckland Hospital

Auckland 1148

TELEPHONE+64 9 923 1701
COURIERThird Floor, 81 Grafton Road
Auckland 1010

If you can't find the information you need, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page to send an inquiry to the Auckland Medical Research Foundation.

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