This year's recipients of the Marsden Fund will share a record $66 million in grants to carry out their research.
Funding has been awarded to 111 projects from universities and Crown Research Institutes, most of it for three years.
Marsden Fast-Start grants, specifically for researchers early in their careers, were given to 36 of the projects.
The research topics vary from ocean acidification, learning methods and infertility to studes of the cult of celebrity, the Maori way of death, how alpine stick insects cope with the cold, and the structure of a four-leaf clover.
The Marsden Fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand which received 934 applications for the internationally recognised research funding.