The Education and Science Select Committee has reported concern about the potential fall in funding for postgraduate fellowships since 2006, and asked the Minister if there are any plans to increase funding in this area.
The minister, Steven Joyce said he could not agree or disagree with the alleged 40 percent reduction in funding figure, as it was anecdotal, and he lacked consistent data. Steven Joyce was reporting to the select committee as part of its report on 2012/13 Budget Estimates for Vote Science and Innovation
However, Steven Joyce indicated that he has instructed officials to investigate what postgraduate fellowship funding occurs in a broader range of various science and innovation budgets.
He told the select committee that science and innovation funding can be piecemeal, so ensuring that all funds are tracked requires care. Science and innovation funding, including postgraduate fellowship funding, falls across several portfolios.
The Minister said he believed that it was important to understand the issue before attempting to solve it, and that this work is under way at present. He agreed with the committee that an increase in postdoctoral fellowships would be desirable to ensure that New Zealand is achieving its science and innovation goals.