New Zealand Aid Programme Awards for Postgraduate Field Research

Closing date:
Value of Award: Please see "Additional Information".
No. of awards: The number of awards available in any year will be determined by MFAT.
Tenure: • The field research supported by an award must be carried out in the year following the year of application. • The award must support research taking place over a minimum period of four weeks.    

Field Research Awards

Application Form


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), is making available Postgraduate Field Research Awards (the Awards) to assist Masters and Doctoral students meet a proportion of their travel expenses and associated costs in carrying out field research in developing countries.  

The goal of the Awards is to support research by New Zealand students on development issues of relevance to the New Zealand Aid Programme and to foster capacity (development field knowledge and research skills) of future New Zealand development professionals.    Objectives: • Assist New Zealand postgraduate students to conduct field research on development issues. • Foster body of knowledge and future pool of New Zealand expertise on topics of interest to countries and sectors in which New Zealand delivers aid. • Build student capacity for conducting development research, applying practical development field knowledge, and delivering targeted research products for use in policy and practice. • Build awareness of the approach, focus and objectives of the New Zealand Aid Programme. • Generate critical analysis, research findings and knowledge of potential use to the New Zealand Aid Programme, developing country partners and other development organisations.

Selection criteria:

  • To be eligible to apply for an award applicants must: • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident; and • be undertaking the research as part of a New Zealand based Master’s degree or Doctorate; and • be undertaking the research in a developing country (or multiple countries)  listed in the Eligible Research Locations and Themes document. • be undertaking the research for a minimum period of four weeks in the year following the year of application. • have received (or will receive prior to commencement) university ethics approval to conduct the research. • have received (or will receive prior to commencement) approval to conduct research from the appropriate government authorities of the country in which research will be conducted.   Postgraduate students are not eligible to apply for an award if they have previously received an award for the same research under the same degree programme in an earlier year. However if an applicant has previously received an award but is applying for separate research under a separate degree programme then these applications are eligible. Open to other eligible research locations and themes that line up with MFAT's Strategic Plan 2015-2019. Further details on the awards including the application form can be found on the Field Research Awards page  

General Information:

How do students apply?
Submit your completed application to    
Field Research Awards
Application Form

Decision makers
The selection committee is requested, where possible, to ensure that more than 70% of the selected research is within the Pacific region. The Selection Committee will usually consist of: • two members nominated by MFAT. • two academic members with expertise in Development Studies or related fields.   The Selection Committee will consider eligible applications at a meeting which will be held as soon as possible after the closing date. Applicants will be advised of the results of the committee decisions as soon as possible after the meeting. If in the opinion of the Selection Committee there are no applications of sufficient merit then no awards will be made. The decisions of the Selection Committee are final and no correspondence will be entered into concerning those decisions.  

How and when do students learn of the decision?
Award payments will be made in two instalments into the award holder’s New Zealand bank account.   • The first instalment will be 75% of the value of the award. • This instalment will be available after the award holder has formally accepted the terms and conditions of the award and has delivered proof of country and ethics approvals. It will be paid as soon as possible after all required documentation has been delivered to MFAT.   The second instalment will be the remaining 25% of the value of the award. This instalment will be paid after the field research has been completed and is subject to: • delivery of a completed Policy Brief that fully complies with the template provided. • delivery of a completed Questionnaire (see the Policy Brief template). • delivery of written confirmation from the award holder’s supervisor that the research has been conducted according to the Research Proposal. • delivery of written confirmation from the award holder that the funds have been used according to the research budget.   It is the award holder’s responsibility to arrange for this information to be delivered to MFAT within 6 months of completing field research.

What conditions are attached to acceptance of this award?
As a condition of acceptance award holders will be asked to commit to the following obligations:   • to not change without prior approval from the chair of the DevNet Steering Committee:    - the start and end dates of the field research.    - the country in which the field research will be conducted.    - the overall subject matter and objectives of the field research. • to allow their name and photograph and a description of their field research activities and results to be posted on the MFAT web site. • to provide a Policy Brief for use by MFAT, on completion of the period of field research. • to return a completed Questionnaire. • to deliver an electronic copy (preferably PDF) of their completed postgraduate thesis to MFAT. • to accept invitations from MFAT to make presentations to appropriate audiences on the aims, experiences and results of their field research. • to behave professionally and considerately while conducting research and to avoid any course of action or conduct which would reflect adversely on New Zealand. Power to Vary   MFAT may at any time vary or revoke any rules or regulations relating to this Award programme, consistent with the general purposes of the Award.

Additional information
The value of an award is: • up to NZ$4,000 for research as part of a Master’s programme • up to NZ$6,000 for research as part of a Doctoral programme.   Costs covered by an award: • international and national flights (cheapest available economy fares) • travel and health insurance • domestic travel such as bus, ferry, taxi and train (cheapest available, safe and practical means) • daily allowance of $40 (to contribute towards food and accommodation costs) Award holders may hold other awards, scholarships and prizes but must be able to demonstrate that the total amount of other funding received towards their field research costs is less than the total budgeted cost of their field research. The New Zealand Aid Programme Award will only fund the remaining field costs, up to the total Field Research Budget.

Who else has information about this award?
This Award programme is administered by MFAT.   Any questions regarding requirements for applications should be directed to one of the following DevNet steering committee members: Kelly Dombroski                              Regina Scheyvens                     John Overton                          

For guidelines, application forms and more information about this award contact:

Benjamin de Geest
Development Officer Development Strategy & Effectiveness Division
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

195 Lambton Quay Private Bag 18901
New Zealand

Phone: +64 4 439 7113


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