Capacity development

A key priority for the NZAGRC is to ensure momentum towards effective agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation solutions is maintained. We invest in people, resources and events that will help to extend, accelerate and future-proof our research efforts.

Student and postdoctoral support

Increasing the pool of researchers with skills in agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation is an important objective for the NZAGRC. To achieve this, we target funding—both from within our core science programme funding and on a discretionary basis—to support high-quality students and early-career researchers.

That funding takes the form of:

  • Short-term scholarships to promising undergraduate students with the aim of encouraging them to undertake postgraduate studies
  • Well-funded Masters and PhD stipends
  • Employment of high-quality postdoctoral fellows and early-career scientists on 2 to 3-year contracts within our science projects.

Since our inception in 2009, we have supported over 80 students and early-career scientists in these ways.

You can read about some of the people we have supported here:

The NZAGRC continues to be a major funder of PhD students in agricultural sciences related to nutrition, animal and plant performance and greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand. This funding is managed through the student ‘pipeline’ initiatives run by Massey, Lincoln and Waikato universities.

Funding for international students under the LEARN/GRASS fellowship scheme (under the separate Global Research Alliance contract with MPI) has provided an international dimension to our capacity development efforts in the past.

Sponsorships and donations

We provide discretionary financial support in the form of sponsorships and donations to a range of initiatives, events and individuals that meet our capacity development criteria. Some examples include:

  • Funding the development and national rollout of a climate change resource kit for schools, facilitated by the House of Science.
  • Contributing to the Aotearoa NZ Science Journalism Fund, which enabled the development of nationally syndicated radio and print features on farming and climate change.
  • Supporting a wide range of relevant science conferences and meetings, and the attendance of such forums by individual scientists.

Investment in infrastructure

We recognise that to keep New Zealand’s agricultural greenhouse gas research capability at the forefront, regular investment in new or upgraded infrastructure is necessary. We work closely with our member research providers to ensure capital investment is coordinated, timely and transparent, and enables our most promising research programmes to progress.

Over the years, the NZAGRC has invested in everything from freezers and gas chromatography equipment to in-field equipment for measuring greenhouse gas emissions. We established the National Centre for Nitrous Oxide Measurement at Lincoln University, which tripled New Zealand’s capacity to measure nitrous oxide emissions. We also set up the New Zealand Ruminant Methane Measurement Centre, the largest purpose-built facility of its kind in the world. It houses respiration chambers for sheep and cattle, allowing continuous measurement of methane emissions under highly controlled conditions.

The NZAGRC will continue to invest in new infrastructure in 2021 and 2022 to set our science teams up for success over the next 10 years.