Before you apply for a scholarship

To complete a scholarship application form to a winning standard can take you several weeks or months. This page tells you what you need to do before you apply.

On this page

Information and documents you need for your application

The Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship application form is quite long. You cannot see the application form before applications open for your country. As soon as applications for your country open, you should start planning your answers.

The Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship application form requires you to:

  • provide your name, birth date, physical address and phone number
  • provide an email address: a current email address that you use regularly
  • list your preferred courses and the education institution for your scholarship

Note: Your preferred courses must progress on from the highest qualification you have previously achieved.

  • describe how your preferred courses relate to one of our recommended study subjects for your country
  • list the qualifications you have already completed
  • list any awards or prizes you have won, or articles you have published
  • provide the details of previous jobs or work experience
  • describe how your work experience relates to your preferred courses or career.(Note: School leavers and first year undergraduate applicants do not need work experience.)
  • describe the skills and knowledge you want to gain from your preferred courses
  • describe how these skills and knowledge are important to your country’s social and economic development
  • describe a situation when you had a problem and solved it
  • describe a situation when you created a successful relationship at work or with someone in a community group
  • describe a situation when you had to work very hard to achieve your goals
  • provide convincing reasons why you want to study in New Zealand
  • describe what challenges you could find as a new scholar in New Zealand and how you would deal with these challenges.

Academic records or transcripts

With your application form, you need to provide:

  • a copy of your academic records or transcripts, showing your grades
  • the grading scale of your education institution
  • translations of these documents into English.

At this stage, your academic records don’t need to be verified by an official. Verified records are stamped and signed by a solicitor, a notary public or a Justice of the Peace. Their signature confirms that your academic record is genuine.

Applying for PhD study

Scholarship applicants may apply to undertake doctoral studies in any of the identified sectors. You must, however, be able to show that there are employment opportunities on your return that require you to undertake unsupervised post-doctoral research, or to teach at degree level. You must also be able to show how your proposed research proposal will benefit your country. PhD scholarship applicants who make it to the interview stage will need to provide evidence at the interview that they have either secured a supervisor or are in active discussions with a potential supervisor.

PhD and Master’s by Thesis applicants must describe their proposed research

If you apply for a PhD scholarship or a Master's scholarship (by thesis), on your application form you need to describe:

  • your proposed PhD or Master's research
  • your proposed approach to your research
  • For PhD applicants: the employment opportunities on your return that will require you to undertake unsupervised post-doctoral research, or to teach at degree level
  • For PhD applicants: how your proposed research proposal will benefit your country.

No need to provide these things when you apply

You don’t need to provide these things with your application form:

  • verified copies of your academic records or transcripts for completed qualifications
  • English language test scores
  • verified copies of your birth certificate, passport and government ID
  • a student visa
  • a Letter of Place from a university or education institution
  • confirmation of a PhD supervisor (PhD scholarship applicants).

No need to have a PhD supervisor when you apply

As a PhD scholarship applicant, you do not need to prove that you already have a PhD supervisor, when you apply for a Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship.

But later in the PhD process, if we select you for an interview, then you must prove that you have a PhD supervisor, or you are close to confirming a PhD supervisor.

In the interview, we will want to see emails between you and a suitable PhD supervisor, confirming that:

  • your PhD research topic is viable, and
  • they are willing to be your PhD supervisor.

For this reason, we strongly recommend that you look for and email suitable PhD supervisors as soon as possible.


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