Motu Thesis Scholarship

The Motu Thesis Scholarship is for Māori students undertaking an Honours, Masters or PhD Thesis.


Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust offers a scholarship to a student of Māori descent undertaking an Honours or Master’s thesis on an applied topic, preferably in economics or another social science, and preferably using a quantitative methodology.

Purposes of award

  • To enhance Māori research capacity and support sound public policy by encouraging students of Māori descent to conduct research relevant to public policy development.
  • To provide students with academic support from top researchers.
  • To build networks with promising researchers.
  • To build meaningful, long-term links between researchers and iwi.

Selection criteria

The Scholarship is open to university graduates of Māori descent who are or will undertake graduate study at a New Zealand university (programmes at overseas universities will also be considered).

Preference will be given based on academic performance, topic relevance (to Motu’s current research programmes) and programme of study. We also look for people with a strong interest in a research career and/or contributing to sound public policy.


One $10,000 award in total, paid quarterly in advance (or as decided by Motu).

How to apply

Please complete the application form including the referee report, and email or mail it to Motu with the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Academic transcript.

Decision makers

Motu’s Director and Senior Fellows make the final decision. The choice to award the scholarship in a given year is at the discretion of the decision makers.

How and when do students learn of the decision?

Applicants can expect to learn of the outcome of their application by the end of December 2016 (or at a time discussed with Motu).

Conditions attached to acceptance of the scholarship

These conditions are mostly for the benefit of the scholarship recipient.

The scholarship recipient will be required to devote themself full-time to their programme of study/research during the tenure of the scholarship.

Prior to the commencement of the academic year, the recipient will be expected to visit Motu’s office in Wellington to discuss their proposed research. They may be asked to give an informal seminar on some of their work or the proposed topic.

If the student is studying in New Zealand, prior to submission of the thesis the recipient will be expected to attend a session at Motu’s office to discuss their findings. If the student is studying overseas, alternative arrangements for checking in and feedback will be made. This would likely involve a teleconference before the thesis is finalised to ensure a chance for final academic assistance and comment from Motu’s senior fellows. In this case, Motu also requires that on return to New Zealand the recipient give a presentation to discuss the thesis findings.

During the tenure of the Scholarship, the recipient will be expected to stay in regular contact with a nominated Motu senior researcher and/or support staff. Motu will cover travel and any meal and accommodation costs associated with these meetings.

To Apply

To apply for the scholarship, please ensure your two referees have the reference report form, fill in the application form and send your information to:

Isabelle Sin
Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust
PO Box 24390
Wellington 6142

Applications for the scholarship close 1 December 2016.