Student Grants

R&D Fellowship Grants

open this image in new window: R&D Fellowships Grants

Solve a challenging R&D problem in your business with PhD or Masters research.

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How can the grant help me?

The R&D Fellowship Grant is designed to provide your business with advanced research at PhD or Masters level.

Solving the problem for your business will be the project’s purpose. The research is undertaken inside your business and at the university, and is the research topic on which the PhD or Masters thesis is based.

You’ll get access to the latest thinking and knowledge through the student’s university supervisor and build on-going links between your business and the university.

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How does it work?

Your business and the university supervisor will jointly supervise the student’s research project, and the research is undertaken at both sites.

Depending on the length of time for the student to complete their qualification, qualifying businesses will receive:

PhD – maximum payments (36 months duration)

  • Stipend $75,000 (GST exempt)
  • Travel allowance $2,666 (excluding GST)
  • University host fee $13,333 (excluding GST)

Masters – maximum payments (12 months duration)

  • Stipend $20,000 (GST exempt)
  • Travel allowance $888 (excluding GST)
  • University host fee $4,444 (excluding GST)

R&D Fellowship Grant students receive a stipend and travel allowance and a fee is paid to the university to support their role in the scheme

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Who can apply?

For businesses

To apply for an R&D Fellowship 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.

To qualify, your business must also:

  • Have an active R&D programme i.e. a R&D budget and dedicated R&D staff
  • Meet due diligence requirements.

For students

To be eligible for an R&D Fellowship Grant placement, students must:

  • Be enrolled in a Masters or PhD requiring the completion of a thesis
  • Be studying science, technology, engineering, design or business at a New Zealand university or tertiary institute
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or resident or hold a relevant visa

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How do I apply?

For businesses

Talk to us and we’ll help you through the process. Phone Callaghan Innovation on 0800 4 CALLAGHAN (0800 422 552)

For students

Talk to your university career office.

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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: 2 October 2017