Research grants includes focus on Māori & Pacific health

This year's annual funding round of Health Research Council grants includes some grants which focus on Māori and Pacific health.

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman and Minister of Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith have welcomed the funding round.

Coleman says, "The 54 project grants announced today cover a wide range of topics and will provide invaluable information to help improve health outcomes for New Zealanders."

Seven grants have been awarded to studies which focus on Māori health outcomes.  He says, "These include research looking at ways to improve early access to lung cancer diagnosis, reducing hospital admissions for Māori children and support for young Māori mothers."

Seven studies on Pacific health will receive grants that will improve Pacific health outcomes in New Zealand, says Coleman, three of which are from the dedicated Pacific Islands Families study.

“These Pacific grants cover research into cultural resiliency and vulnerability in mental health, sleep and well-being among Pacific children, and respiratory health, and the impact of hearing loss on Pacific youth.

"Understanding how one of the world’s most problematic superbugs survives antibiotic treatment during infection is the topic of another study which will help address the growing challenge of antimicrobial resistance," he says.

Goldsmith says, "Projects must address well defined research questions with the aim of making significant improvements in or developing knowledge contributing to health outcomes.

"The annual amount available for health research through the Health Research Council (HRC) was increased by 56 per cent over four years in Budget 2016, going from $77 million in 2015/16 to $120 million in 2019/20."

He says, "This investment shows our commitment to ensuring that health research remains a strength for New Zealand."