The Ministry for Primary Industries has announced the funding and says the money will go towards agricultural greenhouse gas research.
New Zealand's scientists have until 27 March to submit research ideas. However, in order for their projects to be funded they will need to be collaborating with scientists from at least two other nations.
The ministry says the inter-governmental initiative is all about breaking down the barriers of climate science by getting scientists from different countries working together.
It says the challenge of growing more food, and developing more climate-resilient food systems, without growing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture requires a global strategic approach.
Twenty-one European countries, as well as New Zealand, Canada and the United States, are members of the joint science initiative.