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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New grants criteria and application process

We are now accepting applications for Getting Started, Fellowship, Career and Project Grants following our pause in October and November. However, as there is limited funding, a new waitlist process is in place along with new criteria for the rest of the financial year. Please take a look at our specific grant page for the most current criteria and application process. 

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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:

  • Incorporated in New Zealand and registered under the Companies Act 1993.
  • A New Zealand registered Limited Partnership.
  • 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
  • Not have another active Career or Fellowship student grant in place. In other words, if you have a student on board now, funded by either a Fellowship or Career Grant, you can’t apply for another of either. However, if that student grant finishes, then you are able to join the waitlist to apply. Note: This does not relate to Student Experience Grants as we have completed the application and approval round for this financial year. Those with current or upcoming Student Experience Grants can still join the waitlist to apply for Fellowship or Career Grants.
  • 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?

Following another popular year, waitlists are now in place for Getting Started, Project, Fellowship and Career Grants. 

All grants will be processed via a new waitlist process: 

  1. Businesses wanting to apply for Getting Started, Career, Fellowship or Project Grants will need to fill out a waitlist form. Please check the eligibility criteria carefully to ensure you are eligible to apply. 
  2. You will be contacted by a customer manager to confirm you are eligible to apply for the grant and are undertaking eligible R&D activities. 
  3. Invitations to formally apply from the waitlist will be sent out in monthly batches (approx mid-month).
  4. Once invited to apply, you will have 2 weeks to submit the full grant application. We strongly encourage you to start getting the required information together ahead of the waitlist process. A sample application form containing details of what information will be required to apply to the waitlist can be found [here]. Applications not submitted in full within the 2-week period will be automatically closed and the funds will be reallocated back to the waitlist pool.

Join the waitlist to 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

File Career Grant - Application Guidelines and Template

PDF icon Career Grant - Funding Agreement

PDF icon Career Grant - Information for Students

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Further information

Answers to frequently asked questions about Career Grants can be found at Student Grant FAQs.

For more information, contact us.

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 December 2021