Strategic Approach

The CET invests in educational research, initiatives, interventions and projects that address inequalities in learning outcomes and increase teacher effectiveness.

 Learning outcomes are both the social and the cognitive skills and capabilities valued in our society.

The definition of “teacher” embraces a broad range of people who impact on a student’s learning outcomes and includes:  members of the teaching profession, related professions, support staff; parents, family and whanau and the wider community.

 The two strategic priorities are:  

Building capabilities from birth to Year 13 because of the compelling evidence of the importance of early years; the influence of parents, caregivers, family and whanau as first teachers; and that early emotional connectedness and language confidence is critical to engagement in learning  

Increasing teacher effectiveness, because the evidence shows that effectiveness in teaching is the single most powerful influence on learning outcomes. 

The Trust supports initiatives that:

  • Increase evidence-based knowledge through research 
  • Foster professional collaboration
  • Actively develop effective practice
  • Increasingly use the potential of technology


The Trust supports projects that:

• Raise learners’ engagement in their learning, enhance children and young people’s capabilities, are responsive to individual aspirations and needs, and improve learning outcomes, and /or increase teacher effectiveness
• Address inequality in particular for Māori, Pasifika and student support learners in learning outcomes in New Zealand projects in which research, practice and evaluation are integrated
• Are sustainable, replicable and/or scalable and provide evidence-based findings for dissemination to our beneficiaries and other stakeholders
• Seek to work collectively and in collaboration with other funders and will support purposeful collaboration between schools and other interested stakeholders
• When considering research applications, preference will be given to academic researchers who worked alongside teachers/ educational institutions to build their research and evaluation capacity.

Stewart Germann Grant

The Stewart Germann Grant was established in recognition of the long service of former Cognition Education Trust Chair, Stewart Germann.

Each year, $15,000 is available for projects that are small-scale, local, school-based or community-based projects that provide educational opportunities to children and young people who otherwise would not have them. We use a broad definition of “educational” to include increasing children and young people’s well-being, confidence, transferable skills in a range of environments; and increased teacher understanding and capacity to engage with and motivate students and their whanau.

Generally, we are looking for projects in the range $5,000-$15,000 (max).