Innovative child health research fund launches

A multi-million dollar funding pool to foster research that delivers tangible benefits to New Zealand children and their families has launched.

A Better Start, one of the country’s 11 National Science Challenges, and Cure Kids, New Zealand’s largest national child health research charity, have joined forces to create a $2.8 million pool to fund child health research to find better ways to reduce childhood obesity, improve early literacy, reduce adolescent mental health problems and explore early diagnosis and behavioural management of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Researchers can submit proposals for up to $350,000 for research. Proposals will go through a robust peer review process with successful proposals announced in July. To submit proposal/s, please see related documents below.

A Better Start National Science Challenge Director Professor Wayne Cutfield of the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland said, “The earlier we tackle a child’s health problems, the greater the benefit to the child throughout its life, and to the country. Healthier children become productive contributors to society. This new fund aims to cast a wide net to identify practical, evidence-based solutions to make a measurable difference for our children.”

Cure Kids CEO, France Benge, welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the A Better Start National Science Challenge, saying, ‘”These are important challenges facing our young people, and we’re looking forward to seeing the real impact this funding round will have on our children.”

Professor Cutfield said the partnership with Cure Kids not only created a greater funding pool but was an opportunity for both organisations to share and develop experience and expertise.

A Better Start National Science Challenge fosters collaborative research that can help to address three key child health issues.

• one in three New Zealand children are overweight or obese
• one in three children are not meeting the National Standard for reading in their first year at school
• one in three young people will have had a significant mental health problem by the age of 18

The contestable funding round seeks proposals that will complement the A Better Start National Science Challenge strategic research programmes already underway.

Please download the following documents and submit proposal/s to

For general inquiries:
Ryan Chandler
Cure Kids

For media inquiries:
Cure Kids

Gilbert Wong
A Better Start National Science Challenge
021 917942