A guide to applicants for Postdoctoral Fellowships

The following screenshots can also be downloaded as PDF files for reference:

* [files/FEE-20210308.pdf,Expression of interest form]

* [files/FEL-20210308.pdf,Full application form]

 

Expression of interest form

uri/../images/FEE-20210308.png

 

Full application form

uri/../images/FEL-20210308.png

 

The above screenshots can also be downloaded as PDF files for reference:

* [files/FEE-20210308.pdf,Expression of interest form]

* [files/FEL-20210308.pdf,Full application form]

*Please read these notes carefully before completing your application*

 

 

Objective

The Auckland Medical Research Foundation’s (AMRF) vision is to improve the health and quality of life for all New Zealanders. We aim to achieve this by providing genuine advances in health, science and medicine through funding the highest quality medical research of all kinds.

 

 

Funding area

The AMRF’s research funding area is limited to all recognised tertiary institutions and district health boards (DHBs) in the greater Auckland and Northland region of New Zealand. The principal investigator/grant holder must be affiliated with a host institution within this area, and the majority of work should be undertaken within this area, but co-applicants can come from, and part of the research can be performed, outside our catchment area - either nationally or internationally.

 

 

How to apply

Use the on-line application form provided, after first creating an account. The application must be created and submitted from the applicant's portal account.

 

 

Purpose of the grant

The Fellowship is for the support of outstanding graduates who have recently completed a degree at doctorate level and who propose to pursue a career in biomedical, clinical or population health research. This fellowship is a personal award, and once awarded, is non-transferable to another person.

 

 

Value of grant

* Salary will be the equivalent to the appropriate level of the non-medical Lecturer/Research Fellow scale at your host institution

* $5,000 working expenses per annum

* $5,000 travel grant

* $4,000 relocation expenses (if required)

 

 

Tenure of grant

Maximum tenure is 2 years.

 

 

Number of grants awarded

The AMRF offers one Postdoctoral Fellowship award each year, but may consider more depending on the available funds and quality of applications.

 

 

Eligibilty

* To apply you must be a New Zealand resident, permanent resident or citizen. Applications from non-New Zealand residents or citizens will not be accepted.
 

* You must hold a doctoral degree of not more than five years standing (at annual decision date which for 2021 is 26 October 2021), irrespective of the University from which your PhD was conferred. Career breaks will be taken into account.
 

* As an early career development award, the AMRF values the PI’s/mentor’s support of the recipient and their research project and their commitment to helping them develop their career as an independent researcher. Therefore, a PI/mentor of a group may only support one application for an AMRF Postdoctoral Fellowship submitted to the granting round.
 

* The AMRF only accepts one re-submission of a previously unsuccessful Postdoctoral Fellowship application. It is an expectation that the applicant addresses all concerns raised by the referees and medical committee in their re-submission. An applicant who has been unsuccessful twice can submit further proposals in their chosen field of research, but it will need to be based on a new or substantially revised hypothesis.
 

* The start date of the Fellowship must be after the award date (decision date) of that round. Please check the grant rounds dates on the How to Apply page on our website.

 

Application process

From 2021, The Postdoctoral Fellowship will now involve a three-stage application process:

Stage 1

Submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI). Applicants submit an EOI which is then reviewed by the AMRF fellowship medical committee.

Stage 2

Top ranked EOI applicants will be invited to submit a full application for the second stage of the process. The proposed research in the EOI must be substantially the same as that in the full application. These applications will be sent out for peer review and reviewed by the AMRF fellowship medical committee.

Stage 3

Top ranked full applicants will be invited to an interview.

 

*The guidelines below apply to both the EOI and the full proposal stage unless otherwise stated. *

 

Writing guidelines

* Applications should be written and submitted by the applicant personally.
 

* *Readability*: When you write your application, please remember that your research proposal will be reviewed by both discipline-specific referees and also by members of the Medical Committee with a broad range of experience in health research. Please structure your proposal in a clear and succinct way and if possible seek feedback from a colleague outside your immediate research area.
 

* *Equity*: The AMRF supports research that contributes to health equity. The Ministry of Health defines health equity as "In Aotearoa New Zealand, people have differences in health that are not only avoidable but unfair and unjust. Equity recognises different people with different levels of advantage require different approaches and resources to get equitable health outcomes." The AMRF requires that all researchers, regardless of research stage or discipline, should consider and address how their research will contribute to health equity in the short and long-term.
 

* *Research impact*: The AMRF encourages applicants to consider and realise all potential ways in which their grant proposal can add value to New Zealand, beyond its academic merits. This is called research impact. The Health Research Council defines impact as “The direct and indirect influence of excellent research on individuals, communities or society as a whole, including improvements to health and equity, and other social, economic, cultural or environmental benefits for Aotearoa New Zealand.” The AMRF requires that all researchers, regardless of research stage or discipline, should address research impact in their application.
 

* *Animal experimentation*: If the research involves the use of laboratory animals, the AMRF strongly recommends that you familiarise yourself with the ARRIVE guidelines (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments). Not all the guidelines may be relevant to your project, but you can use them to ensure that you plan your experiments carefully and include all the relevant information in your application(s) crucial to the peer review process at the application stage, as well as providing all the experimental details, results and analysis required for publications that arise from the work.
 

* *Sex as a biological variable*:  The AMRF supports the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s expectation that scientists will account for the possible role of sex as a biological variable (SABV) in vertebrate animal and human studies (or any material originating from animals or humans, e.g. organs, cells, tissues). The AMRF recommends that you familiarise yourself with the SABV policy. Strong justification from the scientific literature, preliminary data, or other relevant considerations must be provided for applications proposing to study only one sex. Additional useful information can be found within the Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) guidelines, which are a comprehensive set of guidelines for reporting of sex and gender information in study design, data analyses, results and interpretation of findings. Not all the guidelines may be relevant to your project, but you can use them to ensure that you plan your experimental design carefully and include all the relevant information in your application(s) crucial to the peer review process at the application stage, as well as providing all the experimental details, results and analysis required for publications that arise from the work.
 

* *Clinical trials*: If the research involves a clinical trial, the AMRF strongly recommends that you familiarise yourself with the SPIRIT 2013 Statement (Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials). Not all the guidelines may be relevant to your project, but you can use them to ensure that you plan your trial carefully and include all the relevant information in your application(s) crucial to the peer review process at the application stage, as well as providing all the trial details, results and analysis required for publications that arise from the work.
 

* *CV*: Please use the standard New Zealand MSI Curriculum Vitae template. This can be download from the link within the application form. You should complete only Parts 1 and 2a, include no more than five pages in total, and list references only from the last five years.
 

* *Letter of support*: Applications must include a letter of support from your PI/Mentor providing clear evidence of their support of you and your career. For the full proposal, you should also include in this letter, (or another letter from your Head of Department/School hosting the research), written confirmation stating that if successful, you will be offered a contract for the duration of the new grant and that additional working expenses and facilities essential to the research project will be supplied.

 

 

Budget guidelines (full proposal only)

* *Salary*: The salary component is the equivalent to the appropriate level of the non-medical Lecturer/Research Fellow scale at your host institution. It is essential to quote the correct salary rate and grading. Applicants must accommodate salary increases within their budget and should adjust their salary to include anticipated increases due to the annual rate of inflation (we recommend a minimum of 3 p.a., but please check with your host institution for the correct value). The AMRF will not cover unbudgeted salary increases.
 

* *ACC Levy*: Please ensure you set the correct ACC levy for your host institution.
 

* *Kiwisaver/Superannuation*: Please include or leave empty Kiwisaver/superannuation as appropriate.
 

* *Working expenses*: The AMRF provides up to $5,000 p.a. for working expenses for every year of Fellowship awarded. These working expenses can be used to support research costs associated with your project. In the budget ‘Justification’ section of the application form, clearly identify what you plan to use your working expenses for and provide strong justification for requesting them. List individual items where necessary or group them within a heading. The AMRF will consider funding *:

* _If you want to cover an item that is not included in the list above, please contact the Research Programme Manager on 923 1701 to discuss the suitability._

Note

The AMRF reserves the right not to award the full value of the working expenses if they deem the use is not well justified or that the ‘expense’ comes under another component of the Fellowship.

 

 

General

* Following a robust peer review process, the Medical Committee will shortlist candidates to be invited to attend an interview (in person or via video conferencing if outside of Auckland). All applicants will be notified of the interview date shortly after the application closing date. Applicants will then be notified of the outcome of this shortlisting process by mid-October.
 

* The Fellow will be recognised as an employee of the host institution which will administer the Fellowship.
 

* Other forms of awards may not be held in conjunction with the AMRF’s Fellowship nor may Fellows undertake additional remunerated employment without the consent of the AMRF.

 

 

The AMRF will not fund

* The AMRF will not fund any element of overhead recovery, including salary buyout.
 

* The AMRF does not fund costs of rental accommodation, heating, lighting and what might be termed the usual office facilities and accessories.
 

* The AMRF does not fund major items of equipment costing more than $5,000.

 

 

Assessment

Fellowships are personal awards, and so the emphasis is on the applicant and their potential to develop a research career rather than on the research project itself. However, applicants should note that these wards are highly competitive and that all criteria will be considered.

Therefore, the AMRF will use a weighted scoring system to assess our postdoctoral fellowship applications.

CriteriaDescriptionPoints Score
ApplicantThe academic record, research experience relative to opportunity, research potential and career plan of the applicant.750
Supervisory and Research EnvironmentThe quality of the supervisory and research environment; track record of supervisor(s) and collaborators.710
Rationale, Design and MethodsPotential to advance knowledge in the field; aims and hypotheses are presented; and originality of the approach. Study design; appropriateness of the research methods.730
Significance and impactAdvancement of knowledge; Contribution to improvements in health, outcomes and equity in New Zealand.710

 

Regulatory approval

* Experimentation or questionnaires involving human subjects requires approval from an HRC accredited ethics committee. Experimentation with animals requires approval from a registered animal ethics committee. Either attach the approval(s) to the application, or indicate that approval is being sought.
 

* All appropriate regulatory approvals must be in place before the grant can be activated.
 

* If the project involves a clinical trial, please indicate if the trail is registered and with which clinical trial registry. Please also provide details of your data safety monitoring committee if applicable.
 

* Applications will not be considered unless the Applicant Agreement is completed.

 

 

Publicity declaration

The AMRF is supported by private donations and therefore has an obligation through the news media, and its own newsletters to members and supporters, to report research that it supports. By becoming a recipient of an AMRF grant, you automatically agree to the mention of your name to media and stakeholders.

The AMRF raises awareness of its aims with the general public, by inviting AMRF funded researchers to discuss their research with local interest groups (Rotary, U3A etc). By becoming a recipient of an AMRF grant, you automatically agree to be included on a list of available guest speakers.

 

 

Submission procedure

Log into the AMRF Portal at funding.medicalresearch.org.nz and create a new application. Ensure all the required details are entered and all necessary documents have been attached.

Clicking ‘Submit’ on your application form sends it to your host institution. They will then complete their requirements, before officially submitting it to the AMRF. Your host institution compliance process takes time so please adhere to internal deadlines to ensure your application reaches the AMRF by 5 pm on the closing date.

Please refer to the Application process help page for details of what happens to your submitted application.

Additional information can be found in the grant proposal templates:

* [files/FEL-EoI-ResearchProposalTemplate-20210304.docx,Expression of Interest (stage one) template]

* [files/FEL-Full-ResearchProposalTemplate-20210304.docx,Full application (stage two) template]

 

Our contact details

EMAIL ADDRESS[mailto:amrf@medicalresearch.org.nz,amrf@medicalresearch.org.nz]

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
Grafton
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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