Early Career Researcher

In the 2021 Kaupapa kākano Seed project funding round, the main priority is to support Early Career Researchers (ECRs). On this page you will find the ‘ECR criteria’ for a detailed description of what SfTI considers an ECR.

SfTI considers ECR and emerging researchers to be synonymous. An ECR/emerging researcher has spent no more than seven (7) years full-time equivalent in an active research role after completing their highest research degree.

If the ECR is the primary-caregiver then the eligibility period may be increased by 2 years per dependent child born in the period (e.g. two dependent children born in the 7 years post highest degree could extend the eligible period to 11 years).  If the ECR has had part-time employment as a researcher or significant periods of sickness leave, then the contribution to the 7 years full-time equivalent is pro-rata.

Any ECR who is unsure whether they meet the eligibility criteria (e.g. has worked in non-research role post highest degree) or is claiming extension to the eligibility period due to a dependent child, part-time research employment or sickness leave should confirm their eligibility prior to submitting their proposal by emailing SfTIChallenge@callaghaninnovation.govt.nz.

To be eligible for the ECR priority, ALL the researchers in the team must be ECRs noting that a postgraduate student undertaking a research degree is an ECR irrespective of age by default.

A team of ECRs may have a senior researcher as an unfunded (zero FTE) mentor. Mentors play a role in advising the ECR on various aspects of project management, career guidance and professional development but they should not have a scholarly input into the proposed research (if they do, they should be listed as researchers instead). Mentors should ideally be based at the ECRs organisation.