What’s stopping you from applying for research funding through the College?

By Simone White, Senior Communications Advisor

31 October 2022

Category: College and members


Over a couple of weeks in ePulse we asked the above question to understand the barriers stopping members from applying for funding through the College’s Research and Education Committee (REC). 

We gave five options, plus a free text box, to ensure we captured as much feedback as possible. Respondents could select more than one option. The survey results identified an unmet need for GPs interested in research but were unsure how to get started: 

  1. I don’t know how to assign costs for my research project (45%) 
  2. I don’t know anything about it (39%)
  3. I don’t have time to undertake any research (33%)
  4. I don’t know how to apply (18%)
  5. I don’t have a research project in mind (15%) 

The ‘other’ free text box provided 19 responses ranging from, nearing retirement, not knowing how to find a supervisor or support, having a research project that might not be accepted, lack of confidence, not sure what the funding can be used for (intern, conference costs, travel costs etc) and comments about burnout and not having the time to undertake research right now. 

The REC spoke about these survey findings at their recent committee meeting and discussed solutions to address the feedback raised. The committee will be consulting wider with the College, Board and National Advisory Council (NAC) to explore ways to encourage and support emerging general practice researchers. One option discussed was to hold a webinar in the new year with members of REC and a successful applicant who can talk through the application process, how to assign costs, and answer your questions.  

REC funding overview 

There are three funding rounds a year when the committee calls for research applications to be submitted. 

You do not have to be a member of the College or a doctor to apply for REC funding, but the research topic does need to be relevant to general practice, rural general practice, or rural hospital medicine, so members and people working within a general practice are encouraged to apply.

Funding rounds and deadlines are advertised on the College website, in NZ Doctor, and in our weekly member newsletter, ePulse. Information on the funding rounds is also shared with external people, groups and organisations who pass on the information to their networks. 

How to apply 

All the information you need, including the application form can be found on the College website, along with the funding round dates, and links to previous research. 

Note: There are no more funding rounds for 2022, and the first funding round of 2023 will close on 15 March. 


Grants are typically between $5,000 and $20,000. Although up to $40,000 can be awarded. Individual and group applications can be submitted. Read more in the application guidelines and FAQs

Your application should reflect one (or more) of the below domains: 

  1. Advancing Māori health 
  2. Achieving health equity 
  3. Enhancing the practice of primary care through scientific discovery
  4. Meeting the needs of rural general practice and/or rural hospital medicine 

Successful applicants are encouraged to submit their final papers into the Journal of Primary Health Care and submit an abstract to the annual College conference. 

The Research and Education Committee 

  • Dr Nina Bevin – Chair, and Te Akoranga a Māui representative 
  • Dr Hemi Enright – Te Akoranga a Māui representative 
  • Dr Stephan Lombard – NAC representative 
  • Dr Sue Tutty – NAC representative 
  • Dr Andrew Morgan – Board representative 
  • Kylie McQuellin – staff representative 
  • Louise Abolins – secretariat 

To get in contact, email rec@rnzcgp.org.nz