8 Sep 2011

Science scholarship scheme to be reviewed

9:04 pm on 8 September 2011

The Ministry of Science and Innovation is bringing forward a review of a new post-doctoral scholarship scheme following criticism from more than 500 researchers.

The scientists say the funding regime has been changed to favour established scientists over those who have just got their PhDs.

Ten researchers have been awarded more than $8 million in funding over five years.

The scientists' concerns are outlined in an open letter to people including Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp and the Prime Minister's chief science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman.

In particular, they focus their criticism on new Rutherford Discovery Fellowships introduced last year.

The Ministry of Science and Innovation says it was due to review the scheme by December next year. It will now bring the review forward but is not specifiying when it will happen.

Labour's science spokesperson David Shearer says the post doctoral fellowships provided an opportunity for talented young scientists to remain in New Zealand do further study.

Mr Shearer says reinstating them would be a priority for a Labour-led government.