Prime Minister’s Science Communicator Prize Winner Dr Rebecca Priestley is the brainchild behind new Science Journalism fund
A new fund to support science-related journalism projects is now taking applications.
The Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund is offering grants of between $500 and $10,000 for projects exploring science-related issues of importance to New Zealand.
The independent fund is the first of its kind in New Zealand, the brainchild of Dr Rebecca Priestley, science writer, book author and senior lecturer in Victoria University of Wellington’s Science in Society Group.
Dr Priestley won the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize earlier this year and is using some of the $100,000 in prize money to establish the fund in collaboration with the Science Media Centre.
The first round of funding has also been supported by the Deep South National Science Challenge and Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence.
Applications are open to journalists employed at New Zealand media outlets as well as freelance journalists, with preference given to projects that would otherwise be unlikely to attract resourcing in newsrooms.
“These grants are aimed at important and complex subjects that go to the heart of society’s relationship with science and technology, but which require attention away from the churn of the daily news cycle,” says Science Media Centre Director, Peter Griffin.
“It would be great if there wasn’t a need for this fund and the industry wasn’t so stretched,” says Dr Priestley.
“We need to stimulate and support science journalism. Ultimately our aim is to encourage New Zealanders to understand, discuss and ask informed questions about science.”
The first round of grants will consider applications relating to the following three themes:
- Climate change: Impacts and implications for New Zealand – funded by the Deep South National Science Challenge
- Controversial technologies: Should we even go there? – funded by Te Pūnaha Matatini
- Election 2017: where science and policy meet
Applications to the Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund close at 5pm, Monday July 31. Go to www.sciencejournalismfund.nz to apply.
The Science Media Centre is a free and independent resource for any journalist covering science-related issues. Our services for the media include:
- The Desk Guide for Covering Science
- Spotting Bad Science newsroom workshops
- Expert Database and hotline for journalists (04 499 5476)
- Science Media Exchange – embargoed science news for registered journalists
For further information contact:
Science Media Centre
021 859 365