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.

We are currently experiencing a high level of demand for our R&D Grants and advice, and our processing may take a little longer than usual. Please bear with us as we work to support this demand


Applications for 2020/21 R&D Experience Grants closed on 30 September 2020.

In the meantime, you can contact us at info@callaghaninnovation if you would like to talk about other R&D support options including R&D Fellowship GrantsR&D Career Grants, and Project Grants

Back to top

How can the grant help me?

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.

Back to top

How does it work?

Your business will receive funding of $8,460 (plus GST) for 400 hours of full-time work upon proof of your payment to the student. Public holiday and statutory holidays are included within this funding.

Back to top

Who can apply?

For businesses

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

  • 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 $21.15 an hour. 

Public holiday 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.

Back to top

How do I apply?

For Business 

Applications are now open until 30 September. 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 from August. Students may find internships through:

Back to top

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.  

For more detail about these organisations, see our guide on PDF icon Where to Find A Student.

Back to top

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

Back to top

Is there a limit to the grants funding?

There is a limit on the total amount of funding available for these grants. We anticipate this will be approximately the same amount of funding as we gave out last year.

R&D Experience Grants have been one of our most successful and popular initiatives. Applications are open between 17 August to 30 September 2020. We expect to see strong demand and these grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis for businesses that meet the criteria.

Back to top

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.

Updated: 2 December 2020