You are here

Research grants

EQC Biennial Research Funding Programme

Every two years, EQC’s Biennial Grants programme invites experienced and emerging researchers to submit proposals for public good research (available for public use).

We invite research applications that are relevant to the scope of EQC’s role as defined by the Earthquake Commission Act 1993 and EQC’s Research Investment Priorities Statement.

Applications for the next round of Biennial Grants will open from 1 June 2021

University Research Programme

EQC has provided funding to tertiary institutions across New Zealand since the 1990s. This funding has helped support capability in natural disaster and risk reduction research. From 1 July 2020, EQC has been funding eight three-year research programmes which align with EQC’s Resilience Strategy and its research priorities.

Applying for the Biennial Grants Programme 2022 

EQC’s Biennial Grants programme invites experienced and emerging researchers to submit proposals for public good research from 1 June 2021.

More on applying

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) promotes and supports research in disaster risk reduction in New Zealand. Every two years, EQC awards research funding to experienced and emerging researchers through a contestable grant programme for public good research - the EQC Biennial Grants Programme.

Applications for the Biennial Grants will open on 1 June.  We invite research applications that are relevant and aligned to EQC’s Research Investment Priorities Statement. The statement will be updated and available on our website in late April. The priorities identified in the statement will support the delivery of EQC’s Resilience Strategy.

The application process for this round will be simplified:

  • Stage 1 will require submitting a short 300-word pitch, stating the objectives, outcomes and benefits of the proposed project, and an estimate of total funding required.
  • Successful applications from Stage 1 will be invited to submit a proposal
  • Proposals will be assessed by a panel but will not go through a review process unless the panel requires additional expert opinion.

Projects ranging from $50,000-$70,000 are preferred, with a maximum of $100,000. This is an increase from previous years.

Funding of successful proposals will be available from January 2022.

Further information and application guidelines will be available on our website from 1 June 2021.


Late April 2021

EQC’s Research Investment Priorities Statement 2021 published

1st June

Applications open - guidelines available on EQC website

18 June (by midnight)

Stage 1 applications due to EQC

14 July

Applicants notified of results of Stage 1 and next steps if applicable. The panel assessing proposals will be announced.

16 August

Stage 2 proposals due to EQC

Mid October

Assessment Panel meets to select and recommend proposals for funding

Late October

Results announced

EQC reserves the right to adjust key dates if required.

Dollar symbol icon

Biennial Grants 2020 winners

Grants were awarded to 16 projects covering a wide range of topics for the 2020 Biennial Grant round. The next round of Biennial Grants will be for 2022. Applications will open in 2021.

More on 2020 winners

2020 Biennial Grant projects



A fuzzy approach to understanding multi-fault earthquakes

Dr Tim Stahl—University of Canterbury

Application of AI to advance structural performance and resiliency quantification

Dr Max Stephens—University of Auckland

Community led low-cost micro-seismic (MS) sensor network applications for Earthquake Early Warning (EEW)

Dr Raj Prasanna—Massey University

Determining ability for ground improvement to improve seismic foundation performance through full scale field testing

Dr Lucas Hogan—University of Auckland

Frictional strength and stability of greywacke fault zones

Dr Carolyn Boulton—Victoria University of Wellington

Geodetic and hydrological controls on seismic velocity changes after large earthquakes

Professor Martha Savage—Victoria University of Wellington

High resolution basement mapping beneath Wellington City based on gravity anomaly and borehole data

Professor Tim Stern—Victoria University of Wellington

Improved constraint on past Hikurangi subduction earthquake rupture dimensions using a locally derived marine reservoir correction

Dr Kate Clark—GNS Science

Paleoseismology of the newly discovered Te Puninga Fault, Hauraki Plains

Dr Pilar Villamor—GNS Science

Physics-based ground motion modelling for the urban Wellington region: Basin-edge effects and implications for seismic design

Professor Brendon Bradley—University of Canterbury

Seismic performance of multi-storey cross- laminated timber shear wall structures with high- capacity anchoring systems

Dr Minghao Li—University of Canterbury

Seismic strengthening of reinforced concrete walls in existing buildings with fibre-reinforced polymer materials

Dr Enrique Del Rey Castillo—University of Auckland

Towards near-real-time volcano monitoring with next-generation ambient noise techniques

Dr Chris van Houtte—GNS Science

Towards real-time probabilistic ash deposition forecasting for New Zealand

Dr Yannik Behr—GNS Science

Understanding organisations’ perceptions of obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 in relation to seismic hazards

Dr Tracy Hatton—Resilient Organisations

Understanding the seismic performance of structural insulated panels for use in New Zealand

Dr David Carradine—BRANZ



University Research Programmes 2020 - 2023

EQC has provided funding to eight tertiary institutions across New Zealand to support capability in natural disaster and risk reduction research.

More on 2020 winners


Programme Director

Engineering for Stronger Homes and Better Land in Aotearoa New Zealand

Prof Liam Wotherspoon—University of Auckland

Programme in Earthquake Seismology and Tectonic Geodesy

Prof John Townend—Victoria University of Wellington

The Economics of Financial Natural Hazards Risks and Changing Insurance Markets

Prof Ilan Noy, Chair in Economics of Diaster—Victoria University of Wellington

Mātauranga Māori Disaster Risk Reduction Research Centre

A/Prof Christine Kenney, Associate Professor of Disaster Research—Massey University

Assessment and Mitigation of Liquefaction Hazards

Prof Misko Cubrinovski—University of Canterbury

Building Resilience through Earthquake and Landslide Multi-Hazard Research in New Zealand

Dr Tim Stahl—University of Canterbury

Next-Generation Seismic Hazard Analysis for New Zealand

Prof Brendon Bradley, Professor of Earthquake Engineering—University of Canterbury

Understanding and Managing Seismic Risk in Low Seismic Hazard Zones

Prof Mark Stirling, Chair of Earthquake Science—University of Otago


Page last updated: