Student Grants

R&D Career Grants

open this image in new window: RandD Careers Grants

Add a PhD or Masters graduate to your R&D team to stimulate innovation.

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How can the grant help me?

The R&D Career Grant is an internship designed to bridge the first six months of employment-gaining work experience for recent PhD or Masters graduate students. 

The student is expected to support your business in solving an R&D problem faced in the development of a new product, process or service.

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How does it work?

Your business will receive the first six months of the student’s annual salary costs up to: 

  • $30,000 (plus GST) for a Masters graduate (based on annual salary of $60,000)
  • $35,000 (plus GST) for a PhD graduate (based on an annual salary of $70,000)

Businesses can apply for an R&D Career Grant as soon as they identify a suitable student. 

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Who can apply?

For businesses

To apply for an R&D Career 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 R&D staff
  • Meet financial due diligence requirements.

For students

To be eligible for an R&D Career Grant internship, students must:

  • Be about to complete, or have recently completed, a Masters or PhD degree in science, technology, engineering, design or business ie have submitted a thesis for marking (or completed course requirement for Taught Masters) less than 12 months ago
  • Have undertaken the study at a New Zealand tertiary institution if you are not a New Zealand citizen 
  • Be legally permitted to work in New Zealand
  • Not have been employed in the industry under a professional arrangement related to your area of study except temporary, part-time or at a tertiary organisation
  • Not have been previously employed at the business – unless this was short-term employment (eg over the summer break).

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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

Businesses will be looking for students all year round. Students can find interested businesses through:

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Career Grant guides and FAQs

Caree Grant guidelines

PDF iconGuidelines: Career Grant Funding Agreement

PDF iconGuidelines: Career Grant Information for Students

Career Grant - Application template

FileCareer Grant - Application template

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

Universities and institutes of technology can help you identify a suitable student. Contact the department that best fits your R&D activity. The head of graduate school is often a good starting point.

Alternatively, you can advertise directly through:

For more information, talk to your Callaghan Innovation account manager or your local Regional Business Partner or phone Callaghan Innovation on 0800 4 CALLAGHAN (0800 422 552).

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 recent history of R&D activities over the preceding year and an R&D plan for the upcoming year; and
  • a minimum of one R&D full time equivalent (FTE)

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

A business may receive up to three Career Grants at any one time, and a maximum of six per year, depending on the size and capability of its R&D team. Businesses apply for each student separately, ie one application per one student. Please see the Application Guidelines and Template above to see how many students you can apply for.

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 student’s involvement in the project. These reports are short and in the form of survey questions. We may require the business and student to complete a survey after the completion of the grant from time to time. The survey will help to inform the design of future R&D grants.

We have found the R&D Career Grant a great way to find specialist advanced skills that increase our capability in strategically important areas.

Barbara Webster, GM Business Development & Innovation - Scott Technology

Updated: 1 November 2017