Funding your PhD
Funding can be an issue that makes or breaks your PhD, particularly if you’re looking at studying at an overseas university. The most important things to find out (1) the closing dates and (2) which scholarships/awards are relevant to you, in that order.
The next best thing you can do to help your application is to have a really good idea of what you want to research and, more often than not, the best way to get this is by contacting researchers in your field of interest, talking to them about potential projects and getting them to offer you a position! Scholarship application are much stronger if you have already been offered position and it also shows the evaluation board that you are organised, committed and have a realistic idea of what to expect of a PhD. Our second piece of advice is “Believe you will get every scholarship you apply for (certainly during the interviews), but plan to not get any of them”. You can lose months of precious time of you don’t have a Plan B and your funding falls through – you can always turn down funding if you have too much, but not the other way around!
We have a short list of the major funding bodies for PhDs in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and USA as well as closing dates for applications – keep a note of these, they are potentially worth thousands of dollars to you and it doesn’t pay to miss out on a scholarship just because you forgot the closing date!
New Zealand Universities
- VictoriaUniversity of Wellington – PhD applications and Scholarship applications for fully funded 3 year PhDs come in 3 rounds that close on 1st March, 1st July and 1st November each year. The stipend is ~NZD$23,500 p.a. and the scholarship includes the payment of all university fees for the 3 year period.
- University of Auckland – The dates vary based on faculty, but PhD scholarships are generally ~NZD$25,000 p.a. and the scholarship includes the payment of all university fees for the 3 year period. Some highlights include the “Materials Accelerator Scholarship”, the “Universitas 21 Joint PhD Programme Scholarships”, the “The University of Auckland Commonwealth Scholarships” and the general “The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships”. For more information, click here.
New Zealand Funding Bodies
- MacDiarmid Institute – PhD application deadlines depend on the associated university and the scholarship deadlines depends on the closing date of the specific project. These are advities through MESA and on the MacDiarmid site.
International Study Funding Bodies – for Full PhDs
There are a number of scholarships from New Zealand available for those who wish to complete a PhD at an overseas university.
- Woolf Fisher Trust – to Oxford or Cambridge University (UK). Includes full payment of university fees, a £12,000 stipend, annual return airfares between UK and New Zealand. Closing Date: 1st August the previous year.
- International Fulbright Science and Technology Awards – (USA). Includes tuition fees, a stipend, return airfares, conference and books allowances. Closing Date: 1st May
- Rutherford Foundation – Cambridge University (UK). Fully funded PhD scholarship. Closing Date: 1st August the previous year http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/programmes/funds/rutherford-foundation/phd-cambridge/about/
- Rhodes Scholarship – to Oxford University (UK). Fully funded PhD with £12,200 p.a. stipend. Closing Date: 1st August http://www.universitiesnz.ac.nz/scholarships/rhodes
- China-New Zealand Doctoral Research Scholarships (CNZDRS) (China). Fully funded PhD including airfares and CNY 2000 Yuan/month stipend. Closing Date: 1st October http://www.universitiesnz.ac.nz/scholarships/cnzdrs
- Frank Knox Memorial Fellowships – to Harvard University (US). US$24,000 plus full tuition costs. Closing Date: 1st October http://www.universitiesnz.ac.nz/scholarships/frankknox
- British Council Scholarships – varied.
Foreign University Funding
- OxfordUniversity (UK) – There are a number of scholarships available here, mostly from individual ‘Colleges’ of the University that provide you with accommodation, fees payment for 3 years a £11,000 stipend. All available scholarships listed here:http://www.ox.ac.uk/feesandfunding/fundingsearch/
- Clarendon Fund – Oxford University (UK). Full tuition and university fees plus £13,290 p.a. stipend Closing date: 8th January http://the-scholarship.info/uk-oxford-university-clarendon-fund-scholarships-for-graduate-studies.html/
- Commonwealth Scholarships – (UK). Funding for 1-3 years of a PhD. Closing Date: December of the previous year http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/scholarships-developed-cw/
- Chevening scholarships – (UK). Variable http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/scholarships/
- Gates Cambridge Scholarships – to Cambridge University (UK). Full tuition and airfares plus a £12, 750 p.a. stipend (for up to 3 years). Closing Date: 15th October (Round 1)& 1st December (Round 2) http://www.gatesscholar.org/apply/