Thursday 12 March 2015 10:05pm
Psychology's Professor David Bilkey has been appointed to the Marsden Fund Council.
Otago Psychology Professor David Bilkey is honoured to have been appointed to the prestigious Marsden Fund Council, tasked with making tough decisions about the allocation of research funding.
The Marsden Fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Professor Bilkey has been appointed to its 11-member Council for three years from 1 March.
“I am delighted to be able to assist with what is probably the most important research funding round that we have,” Professor Bilkey says. “It is vitally important for the well-being of research in this country, particularly for basic and researcher-driven ‘blue sky’ research, that funding is allocated to the best research, and that this allocation process is both rigorous and fair.”
"... when it comes to deciding between these applications the panels and Council must be both thorough and forward-thinking in their deliberations. "
Professor Bilkey’s own research area is systems neuroscience, with a particular focus on the role of the temporal cortex regions of the brain in memory and learning processes.
He says he understands the enormous amount of intellectual and emotional effort researchers put into their applications.
“Unfortunately funding is limited and so the final success rate is relatively low. Therefore, when it comes to deciding between these applications the panels and Council must be both thorough and forward-thinking in their deliberations. For example, it is important that we decide carefully which fast-start applications, which are aimed at emerging researchers, are best supported, as these are an excellent way of encouraging our new and emerging research talent.”
Each member of the Council leads a panel in their academic field, and Professor Bilkey will convene the Economics and Human and Behavioural Sciences panel.
“I have had previous experience on a Marsden panel and I am hoping that this prior experience, in conjunction and my own work as a researcher in a discipline that is wide-ranging, covering basic cellular mechanisms through to behaviour, will allow me to provide a broad perspective on the research we review.”
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the Marsden Fund with $56m invested in 101 new projects.