Student Grants

R&D Experience Grants

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

Bring smart, enthusiastic and fresh thinking into your R&D activities with support provided by tertiary students in their summer break.

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Applications expected to open in August 2022

Applications and the waitlist are now closed for 2021/22 R&D Experience Grants as current applications have reached this year's total funding limit. We expect the next round of Experience grants to be available from August 2022.

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About R&D Experience Grants

How can the grant help me?

Fresh talent can help you supercharge your Research & Development (R&D) projects. Through R&D Experience Grants, Callaghan Innovation funds tertiary-level students with relevant skills into real world R&D work experience.

The R&D Experience Grant is an internship designed as full-time work experience during the student summer break.

The student is expected to help you with an R&D project or activity.

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How does it work?

Your business will receive funding of $8,840 (plus GST) for 400 hours of full-time work upon proof of your payment to the student. Public holidays and statutory holidays are included within this funding.

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Who can apply?

For businesses

To apply for an R&D Experience Grant, your business must be an eligible business entity:

  • Incorporated in New Zealand and 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.

Businesses can apply for a maximum of 10 students. Please see our guide for student/R&D personnel ratio: PDF icon Experience Grants - Number of Grants per Business Guide

The student must be employed by the business and payslips will be required at claiming. Businesses must pay interns a minimum of $22.10 an hour. 

Public holidays and statutory holidays are supported within the funding.

For students

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

  • Be studying, or have recently completed, an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or qualification at NZQA level 7-10. If study has been completed, the closing date of your final semester should be less than 12 months ago
  • Be studying science, technology, engineering, design or business at a New Zealand tertiary education institute
  • Be legally permitted to work in New Zealand
  • Not have been previously employed at the business unless part-time or temporary
  • Not have undertaken more than two Experience Grant internships with the same business.

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How do I apply?

Applications and the waitlist are now closed for 2021/22 R&D Experience Grants as current applications have reached this year's total funding limit. Applications for 2022/2023 are expected to open in August 2022.

For Business 

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

Please also see the R&D Experience Grant guides below.

For Students

Students apply directly to businesses. Businesses will begin advertising their R&D Experience Grant internships at a date yet to be determined. Students may find internships through:

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How do I find a student?

Businesses that have been approved for an R&D Experience Grant will need to recruit eligible students. The organisations below can assist you with finding the right student for your R&D project:  

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R&D Experience Grant guides

File Experience Grant - Application Guidelines and Template

PDF icon Experience Grant - Funding Agreement Example

PDF icon Experience Grant - Number of Student Grants per Business

PDF icon Experience Grant – Student Eligibility Requirements Guidelines

PDF icon Experience Grant - Post Approval Checklist

PDF icon Experience Grant - Information for Students

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Is there a limit to the grants funding?

R&D Experience Grants have been one of our most successful and popular initiatives. However, there is a limit on the total amount of funding available for these grants and a waitlist is now in place. See above for more information. 

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Further information

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

For more information, contact your Callaghan Innovation manager or Regional Business Partner. If you do not have a Callaghan Innovation manager, phone 0800 422 552 or email

Updated: 8 April 2022