Doctoral scholarships

Our PhD students are at the heart of AUT’s research culture. To attract and recognise highly achieving research students and stimulate doctoral research in areas that enhance AUT’s capability, AUT offers a number of doctoral scholarships.

To qualify for a doctoral scholarship, you must have gained admission into an approved doctoral programme at AUT before applying for the scholarship.

2024 AUT doctoral scholarships you can apply for

Doctoral scholarships are awarded to applicants with an excellent academic record (normally first-class honours), strong academic references and the potential for high-quality research.

Each Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship consists of an annual stipend of $33,000, plus tuition fees and compulsory student services fee for up to three years.

Who can apply for an AUT Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship

To qualify, you must:

  • Be applying as a new doctoral candidate
  • Have an unconditional Offer of Place in the AUT doctoral programme
  • Have a GPA of 8.0 or above in your most recent qualifying programme completed at a New Zealand tertiary institution
  • Māori and domestic Pacific applicants: have a GPA of 7.5 or above from your most recent qualifying programme completed at a New Zealand tertiary institution, and be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • You must enrol into the doctoral programme within three months after being offered the scholarship

Full AUT doctoral scholarship regulations

When to apply

Applications for a Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship are accepted at any stage during the year, apart from between 1 December to 15 January.

Each AUT Doctoral Scholarship consists of an annual stipend of $33,000, plus tuition fees and compulsory student services fee for up to three years.

Who can apply for an AUT Doctoral Scholarship

  • Open to all applicants including those from countries other than New Zealand who meet the admission requirements for a doctoral programme
  • You must have received an Offer of Place for the doctoral programme at AUT

Full AUT doctoral scholarship regulations

Other scholarships you will be considered for

If you’re applying for an AUT Doctoral Scholarship you will also be considered for one of the following faculty or school funded options:

  • A full fee scholarship
  • Full fees plus an annual stipend equivalent to at least $20,000 or the minimum living cost criteria for Immigration NZ student visa, whichever is the highest

These faculty doctoral scholarships include:

When to apply

There are three closing dates to apply for an AUT Doctoral Scholarship in 2024:

  • 1 March
  • 15 July
  • 1 November

Applications open one month before the closing dates.

If you haven’t already applied for admission into the doctoral programme at AUT you must complete both steps below. If you’re a current PhD student at AUT or already have an Offer of Place to start your PhD at AUT, go directly to step 2.

1) Apply for admission into the doctoral programme at AUT

You need to have been accepted into the AUT doctoral programme to qualify for a doctoral scholarship. The admissions process may take up to two months, so you need to apply for admission to the doctoral programme at least two months prior to applying for this scholarship.

If you haven’t completed the process of applying for admission into the doctoral programme, you won’t be eligible to apply for the scholarship.

For information on how to start your application for admission to the doctoral programme email the AUT Graduate Research School at

2) Apply for a doctoral scholarship

  • Download the AUT doctoral scholarship regulations and familiarise yourself with the eligibility criteria and the conditions of acceptance
  • Apply through the AUT online scholarships application portal – you need to register and select which AUT scholarship(s) to apply for
  • Upload a two-page statement outlining your proposed research in up to 1,000 words plus references (longer documents won’t be accepted)
  • Upload a brief CV (up to three A4 pages)
  • Upload your academic transcript(s) for any tertiary study that was completed at a university other than AUT
  • Upload a copy of your conditional or unconditional Offer of Place
  • Provide details of your two academic referees and, via the scholarship application portal, ask them to submit a confidential report directly to the portal by the closing date
  • If your proposed AUT primary supervisor or head of school isn’t one of your referees, provide a letter or evidence of AUT faculty support. If your supervisor is also a referee they need to provide only one statement covering both purposes. Your application will not be provided to the panel unless you can demonstrate that the AUT faculty support your application
  • Submit your completed application via the online scholarships application portal once you have completed all the required sections. This can be done before your referees have submitted their reports

Application portal and supporting documents you may need

*You can find a thesis proposal template in the application portal or can upload the proposal document yourself.

Research at AUT

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Meet some of our doctoral scholarship recipients

Claudine Nalesu

Claudine Nalesu

Creative technologies
Doctor of Philosophy
“During the beginning of my master’s degree I learned about ‘bioleather’; a biomaterial made from drying kombucha SCOBY. For my PhD, I’m looking into the local production of this biomaterial. I knew that at AUT I’d be surrounded by academics who would understand not only my mindset, but also be able to push the research to new innovative heights.”
Tanuj Wadhi

Tanuj Wadhi

Sport and recreation
Doctor of Philosophy
“I chose AUT because of the quality of the research that was being put out by the researchers here. My PhD research focus is on using artificial intelligence and machine learning in sports, and I believe my research can help coaches and athletes better plan their training and recovery strategies to optimise athlete health and long-term performance.”
Roxane de Waegh

Roxane de Waegh

Hospitality and tourism
Doctor of Philosophy
"My PhD explores the adaptation strategies of Pacific Islands people to disruptive global change to develop a deeper understanding of how they perceive the role of global processes in supporting the social-ecological wellbeing of their community. The genuine spirit of comradery and collaboration, in addition to the dependable support, is what I’ve enjoyed most about my studies.”
Jasper Wong

Jasper Wong

Sport and recreation
Doctor of Philosophy
“Running has many health benefits, but is also associated with high injury rates. My PhD research focuses on wearable technology as a tool to monitor this injury risk. Being part of the AUT Sports Performance Research Institute of New Zealand (SPRINZ) is one of the most enjoyable aspects of being a postgraduate student at AUT for me.”
Keegan Chessum

Keegan Chessum

Doctor of Philosophy
“For my PhD research, I’m focusing on a novel food product called yacon concentrate, which has a high concentration of natural fructooligosaccharides; sugar molecules which impart sweetness but can’t be digested, making them excellent low-calorie alternative sweeteners. As yacon is relatively new to the Western market, my research will help us better understand its potential health benefits.”
Su Myat Kyaw

Su Myat Kyaw

Health science
Doctor of Philosophy
“I first came to AUT for my master’s degree to explore how to best support people during disaster situations. I’ve now returned to study a PhD focusing on the climate change challenges facing culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Auckland. I like that AUT not only offers students a great physical environment but also looks after their wellbeing.”

Contact us

Stefania Patrone
Scholarships Officer

How we assess applications

AUT uses a number of criteria when assessing scholarship applicants, including your GPA and research experience, and how your research aligns with AUT’s research priorities.


Apply to study at AUT

Before applying for a scholarship you need to have gained admission into AUT’s doctoral programme.

Applying to AUT is easy – submit your application online today.

Apply online

Support for postgraduate research students

study at AUT

As a postgraduate research student at AUT you have access to a range of support and resources, including postgraduate study spaces, events and researcher development activities.