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Marsden Fund Council Chair

Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
Job Category:
Boards and Governance
Job Type:
Ongoing - Part Time
Posted Date:
Closing Date:
File Attachment:
Marsden Expression of Interest Form 2017 - Chair.docx (Word, 24KB)
Academic Qualifications

Marsden Position Description for Chair.doc (Word, 117KB)
Job Description

Employer Website:

Job Description

MBIE is inviting nominations for the role of Chair of the Marsden Fund Council (the Council).

The Marsden Fund invests in excellent, investigator-led research aimed at generating new knowledge, with long-term benefit to New Zealand. It supports excellent research projects that advance and expand the knowledge base and contributes to the development of people with advanced skills in New Zealand.

The Marsden Fund is overseen by the Council of eminent researchers who are appointed by the Minister of Science and Innovation.

The Council is responsible for the strategic direction of the fund.  Specifically the Council oversees:

  • The design and implementation of fund decision making arrangements, ensuring they are best practice
  • Funding decisions  on the NZD $64million disbursed annually to around 100 grants from over 1000 applications.

The Council is supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand which provides executive support and secretariat services.

Nominations are sought for candidates who can contribute to a broadening of the expertise and experience available to the Council. The successful candidate will lead the Council, encourage continual improvement and ensure best practice in the design of fund settings. 

The term for Chair is for up to three years. The Chair needs to be available from December 2017.

The Terms of Reference for the Marsden Fund Council can be found here:



The Chair's fees are set at NZD $20,000 per annum.


Nominations and Expressions of Interest

Individuals may self-nominate.  Expressions of interest and nominations should be submitted no later than 5pm 22 September 2017. Any queries should be directed to

Please provide each nomination on the application form provided. Further details, including CVs, will be sought at a later stage. 

Candidates for the role of Chair will also be considered for appointment to the Council as Members.


Person Specification - Chair

The Chair will be expected to:

  • lead  the work of the Council, to ensure that the Fund is managed in a way that maximizes the long term benefit to New Zealand;
  • ensure that the Marsden Council functions effectively, setting and managing its agenda and promoting open debate and collegial decision-making;
  • take the lead in identifying the development needs of Council members;
  • ensure that the Council takes steps to  continually enhance the effectiveness of fund settings;
  • maintain good working relationships with stakeholders, funding partners, MBIE, the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Health Research Council;
  • be available for at least 30 working days per year including at least three Council meetings and attending up to twenty assessment panel meetings throughout the year;
  • be able to travel to Wellington for meetings;
  • represent the Fund at national and international research forums; and
  • maintain linkages with international research funding processes to ensure that Marsden Fund processes are best practice.




  • Higher Research Degree (e.g. PhD/MD)




  • Demonstrated understanding of the role of governance and relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated leadership within the research and scholarship sector(s)
  • Experience chairing an assessment committee/panel for research funding
  • Demonstrated understanding of the design and implementation of research funding mechanisms including in an international context.
  • Demonstrated ability to form relationships across agencies.




  • Commitment and aspiration to develop the Marsden Fund in a manner consistent with the findings of the recent Assessment of the Marsden Fund and within the confines of the Marsden Fund governance and financial structure
  • Practical strategic planning ability
  • Be information-oriented with the capacity to objectively listen and question with good judgment
  • Have the necessary communication skills to chair meetings
  • Experience of international funding bodies
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Experience at dealing with the media
  • Understands compliance issues such as health and safety legislation, privacy, financial reporting, etc
  • An understanding of professional standards and ethics in research.




  • Strong leadership, interpersonal and organisational skills
  • Wide professional networks
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and an experienced spokesperson
  • Be able to commit the necessary time to this role
  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic and driven
  • Comfortable dealing with ambiguity, complex issues and direction setting.

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