R&D grants

Guidelines and FAQs

Need some more information about our R&D grants? Download our grants guidelines and read our FAQs.

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General grants guides and FAQs

Is my business eligible for R&D funding?

In addition to meeting specific criteria for each grant, your business must be one of the following:

  • Registered under the Companies Act
  • Registered under the Limited Partnerships Act
  • A Māori incorporation or trust established under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act, a trust set up to manage assets as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, a Māori statutory body, or a business controlled by one or more of these entities.

Typically government organisations are not eligible for R&D grants. Universities, Polytechnics, Crown Research Institutes, Public health entities, Crown entities, local government as well as State owned enterprises and other companies where Government is a major shareholder are not eligible for Callaghan Innovation’s R&D grants. Please refer to the Ministerial Direction for full eligibility criteria.

How do I apply for a grant?

Phone 0800 4 CALLAGHAN (0800 422 552) to talk to us about how to apply for a grant.

What information will be made public about the grant my business receives?

Callaghan Innovation will not release any confidential information unless we are obliged to under the Official Information Act or by other laws, or to provide an answer to parliamentary questions. We will advise you of requests for information to the extent permitted by law.

Details of the businesses that receive an R&D grant from Callaghan Innovation are published on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website. The name of the business receiving the grant, the title of the project being supported, the grant type and value, and the grant start and end dates are published. Ministerial releases may also include these details.

General grants guidelines

PDF icon2015 Ministerial Direction

PDF iconR&D Grants Criteria - What has changed

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Getting Started Grants guides

Getting Started Grant application template

FileGetting Started Grant - Application template

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R&D Project Grants guides and FAQs

How do I calculate eligible R&D project costs?

As a starting point, consult the Eligible costs for Project Grants guideline to help clarify eligible and ineligible R&D project costs.

Project Grant guidelines

PDF iconGuidelines: Eligible Costs for Project Grants

PDF iconGuidelines: Project Grant Funding Agreement

Project Grant application template

FileProject Grant - Application template

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R&D Growth Grants guides and FAQs

How do I calculate R&D intensity ratio and eligible R&D expenditure for a Growth Grant?

As a starting point, consult the following Evidencing Eligible R&D and RDI for Growth Grant guideline and Growth Grant Application template. These two documents will help clarify, eligible and ineligible R&D expenditure and evidential requirements, and specify relevant accounting standards.

Growth Grant Guidelines

PDF iconGuidelines: Evidencing Eligible R&D and RDI for Growth Grants

FileApplication/Annual Review Certificate template (for chartered accountants)
Please refer to the 'Evidencing Eligible R&D and RDI for Growth Grants' guidelines above for other templates.

PDF iconGuidelines: Growth Grant Funding Agreement

Growth Grant application template

FileGrowth Grant - Application template

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R&D Career Grants guides and FAQs

Career Grant - Application template

FileCareer Grant - Application template

How do I find a PhD or Masters student that has recently graduated to work in my business?

We can help you identify a suitable student. Talk to your Callaghan Innovation account manager or your local Regional Business Partner or phone Callaghan Innovation on 0800 4 CALLAGHAN (0800 422 552).
Alternatively, you can advertise with universities directly through:

Can I apply for the grant first then look for a suitable student?

No. You must have identified a suitable student before applying for the grant.

To be eligible a business must have an ‘active R&D programme’. What does this mean?

This means that the business has:

  • a structured R&D plan and evidence of recent R&D successes
  • a minimum of five dedicated R&D staff.

How many R&D Career grants can I apply for?

You can have one Career grant at a time. Effectively this means businesses can have two Career grants each year, one after the other.

Are international students eligible for R&D Career placements?

Some international students may be eligible for an R&D Career placement provided they received their Masters or PhD from a NZ university and they have a valid visa allowing the student to work in New Zealand for the duration of the grant.

If the application for the Career grant is the basis for the student’s visa application, the visa application must be in progress with Immigration New Zealand at the time of applying for the grant with Callaghan Innovation. The grant contract will be conditional and will not commence until the relevant visa is obtained from Immigration New Zealand.

What happens if the student withdraws from the work?

If circumstances change it is very important that you advise us. We’ll consider the impact of the changes on the grant criteria and discuss these with you.

What reporting is required about the grant?

The business provides to Callaghan Innovation a progress report and a final report about the project and the student. We may require the business and student to complete a survey about the grant from time to time. The survey will help to inform the design of future R&D grants.

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R&D Fellowship Grants guides and FAQs

Fellowship Grant - Application template

FileFellowship Grant - Application template

What type of R&D project is suitable for a R&D Fellowship?

The R&D project must be approved for a university Masters or PhD qualification, and transfer new capabilities into the business which are used to develop a new product process or service.

How do I find a PhD or Masters student to work in my business?

Your best option is to identify the university academic that will supervise the student’s degree and they will find a student for you.  You can find an academic supervisor through the department which at best fits your R&D activity.  The person heading graduate research is often a good starting point.  Other options are the head of department and the Research office.

Can I apply for the grant first then look for a suitable student?

No. You must have identified a suitable student before applying for the grant.

Are international students eligible for R&D Fellowship Grants?

Some international students may be eligible for the Fellowship Grant provided Immigration New Zealand requirements are met. A valid visa allowing the student to study in New Zealand for the duration of the grant must be held.

If the PhD or Masters proposal is the basis for the student visa application, the visa application must be in progress with Immigration New Zealand at the time of applying for the grant with Callaghan Innovation. The grant contract will be conditional and will not commence until the relevant visa is obtained from Immigration New Zealand.

Are stipends taxable?

No. The stipend operates in the same way as a scholarship arrangement and is usually tax free.

If the student is GST registered, the stipend payments received by the student may be taxable and it is the student’s responsibility to manage this with IRD directly.

What expenses are covered by the travel allowance?

An allowance is a discretionary payment made to the student to cover travel and accommodation when they are required to travel a significant distance between the university and the business. The business must apply for the allowance on behalf of the student when applying for the grant as it cannot be paid once the grant has commenced.

Can the business help fund the student’s study?

The business can help the student pay for their university fees and top up their travel allowance.  University fees are not covered by the fellowship funding.

Does the student have to work fulltime at the business?

As a general rule the student should spend a minimum of 1/3 of their time at the university and the business. 

The student has two objectives; performing R&D on a significant problem for the business and getting their masters/PhD qualification from the University.  It follows then that the student should work at the business and at the university.

How should Intellectual Property be managed under the terms of the grant?

The management of Intellectual Property (IP) must be agreed between the university, business and student at the start of the project. The business should be able to have unrestricted access to the IP resulting from the research. The university should be able to continue research in the field and to teach on the topic. The student should be able to publish the research in their thesis.

Can the student be employed at the business in another job or be employed at another business?

No. The student cannot be employed by the business or the university. However, the student may work elsewhere outside of normal business hours (eg. in the hospitality industry on weekends).

If the student withdraws from the work or the work isn’t completed within the agreed timeframe, will the funding have to be paid back to Callaghan Innovation?

The student must work responsibly to meet completion requirements and if circumstances change it is very important that you advise us. We’ll consider the impact of the changes on the grant criteria and discuss these with you.

Who is the primary contact for updates about the grant and the project?

The business is the primary contact, however, the university or the student may also contact us at any time to discuss issues related to the grant and/or the project.

What reporting is required about the grant?

The business provides to Callaghan Innovation a quarterly report about the progress of the project and the student. The report must be supported with reports from the university and student. We may require the business, university and student to complete a survey about the grant from time to time. The survey will help to inform the design of future R&D grants.

Updated: 23 December 2016