About Us //

Structure & Funding

The Maurice Wilkins Centre is guided by top scientists and entrepreneurs and funded by the New Zealand Government.


The Maurice Wilkins Centre is led by the Directorate who take responsibility for day-to-day management decisions in the centre. The Directorate are supported by the Research Leadership Forum, a representative body for researchers from the collaborating parties, who oversee the strategic direction of the centre.

The MWC research programme is split into three themes (Cancer, Diabetes and Metabolic Health and Infectious Disease) led by the Research Theme Leadership Groups. These groups comprise of MWC principal investigators and associate investigators who are leaders in each area. 

The Centre brings together more than 230 associate investigators, 32 clinical associates and 300 affiliate investigators, based at research institutions and health providers around the country.

It is overseen by the Maurice Wilkins Centre Board, which meets three to four times a year to monitor the progress of its research programmes, outreach and education outcomes, and compliance with its funding mandate and budget. The Board also provides advice on the development of the Centre’s research and on matters of administration, external relations and international engagement.

In addition the Centre benefits from the guidance of its Scientific Advisory Board, which comprises internationally recognised scientists and bio-entrepreneurs. The Scientific Advisory Board meets biennially to review the Centre’s research programme and advise on future directions.

The Centre’s day to day operations are run by an Executive Team headquartered at its host institution, the University of Auckland.


The Maurice Wilkins Centre is one of ten New Zealand Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs). It was established with Government funding in 2002 to underpin world-class research efforts in New Zealand. CoRE funding is determined through a fully contestable process, and is allocated and monitored by the Tertiary Education Committee (TEC).

In addition to CoRE funding, Maurice Wilkins Centre investigators have a proven track record of accessing other financial resources, including through contestable funding rounds and contract research. Its network facilitates the establishment of internationally competitive teams that can access a variety of funding sources, and improves the efficiency of New Zealand biomedical research funding by strategically aligning the research programmes of its investigators.