University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships

Are you considering pursuing a PhD at the University of Auckland in New Zealand? One major factor that often determines whether prospective students can embark on doctoral studies is financing. The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships can help with that.

Pursuing doctoral research is a big investment, requiring 3-4 years of full-time commitment. Without adequate funding, the costs of tuition, living expenses, research materials, conferences, etc. can make it impossible to undertake a PhD program.

The good news is, the University of Auckland offers a wide range of scholarships and funding options to support domestic and international doctoral candidates.

This post breaks down everything you need to know about University of Auckland PhD scholarships.

Overview of Costs for Doctoral Study at the University of Auckland

To set the stage, it’s important to understand the typical costs involved in pursuing a 3-4 year full-time PhD at the University of Auckland. This will allow you to determine how much scholarship funding you require.

The main costs include:

Tuition Fees

For domestic PhD students, the annual tuition fee is approximately NZ$6,500. For international students, it is around NZ$38,000.

Over 3-4 years, this results in a total tuition cost of NZ$19,500 to NZ$60,000 or more.

Living Expenses

As a PhD student, you’ll need to cover your living costs in Auckland for 3-4 years. This includes accommodation, food, transport, healthcare, entertainment, etc.

Living expenses for a single PhD student generally range from NZ$20,000 to NZ$25,000 per year.

For a 3-year PhD, you’ll require around NZ$60,000 to NZ$75,000 in living expenses.

Research Expenses

Depending on your field of research, you may need funding to cover research materials, lab equipment, data collection tools, conference travel, publication fees, etc.

Research expenses vary greatly, but plan for NZ$5,000 to $20,000 over the course of your PhD.

Total Estimated Cost

Without funding, the estimated total cost for a 3-year doctoral degree at the University of Auckland is:

  • Domestic students: NZ$84,500 to NZ$114,500
  • International students: NZ$125,000 to NZ$155,000

Scholarships are essential to make pursuing a PhD attainable for most students.

Next, let’s look at the main types of doctoral scholarships offered by the University of Auckland.

Types of University of Auckland PhD Scholarships

University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships

The University of Auckland provides scholarship funding for PhD candidates through two primary sources:

1. University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships

The University offers a number of competitive doctoral scholarships open to both domestic and international applicants in any field of research. These cover part or all your PhD tuition fees and provide a tax-free stipend contribution towards living costs.

Key doctoral scholarships offered by the University include:

  • University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship – Covers up to 3 years of full PhD fees and a NZ$25,000 annual stipend.
  • University of Auckland Māori Doctoral Scholarship – Supports outstanding Māori doctoral candidates with 3 years of full fees, a NZ$25,000 stipend, and a one-off NZ$5,000 research allowance.
  • University of Auckland Pacific Doctoral Scholarship – Provides 3 years of full fees, a NZ$25,000 annual stipend, and NZ$5,000 research allowance for exceptional Pacific PhD students.
  • Lady Isaac Scholarship – Aimed at women in Science, Engineering or Architecture. Covers fees plus a NZ$5,000 – $20,000 annual stipend.
  • Louise Filder Scholarship – Supports outstanding female PhD candidates in Science or Engineering, covering fees and NZ$5,000 – $20,000 stipend.

There are also numerous other specialized University of Auckland scholarships available in certain disciplines such as health sciences, education, arts, and more.

2. Faculty and Department Scholarships

Specific University faculties and departments also offer PhD scholarships funded by external donors and industry partners. These are available for students undertaking research in certain subject areas.

Examples include:

  • Faculty of Engineering Dean’s PhD Scholarship
  • Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences PhD Scholarship
  • PhD Scholarship in Chemistry
  • Liggins Institute Doctoral Scholarship in Molecular Medicine
  • and more

Scholarship amounts and benefits provided by faculty and departmental scholarships vary.

University of Auckland PhD Scholarship Eligibility

To qualify for most University of Auckland doctoral scholarships, you must:

  • Have an unconditional offer of place for a PhD program at the University of Auckland
  • Display academic excellence, based on your grades, awards, publications, etc.
  • Provide academic references attesting to your scholarly abilities
  • Meet additional criteria outlined for specific scholarships

For example, to qualify for the Māori Doctoral Scholarship you must show whakapapa links to a NZ Māori iwi or hapū.

Some scholarships specify that you must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. Others are open to domestic and international PhD applicants.

Be sure to check the specific eligibility requirements in the details of each scholarship.

How to Apply for University of Auckland PhD Scholarships

Most students apply for University of Auckland doctoral scholarships at the same time as submitting their PhD program application. However, some scholarships accept applications up until you officially enroll.

Here are the key steps to apply:

1. Submit Your PhD Program Application

First, apply for admission into your desired doctoral program at the University of Auckland.

You’ll need to provide all required documents including academic transcripts, test scores (if applicable), CV, research proposal, etc.

2. Fill Out the Scholarship Application Form

Once you’ve applied for PhD admission, you can download and complete the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship Application Form.

This single form allows you to apply for all eligible University doctoral scholarships. Make sure to clearly indicate which specific scholarships you want to be considered for.

Attach all required supporting documentation outlined in the application form.

3. Submit Your Scholarship Application

Send your completed doctoral scholarship application and supporting docs via email to the University’s Scholarships Office before the deadline.

They will assess your eligibility for available PhD scholarships.

4. Check Your Application Status

You will receive notification about the outcome of your scholarship application via email. This usually occurs within 6-10 weeks after submission.

If awarded a scholarship, you will need to formally accept it within the specified timeframe.

Make sure to notify the Scholarships Office immediately if you have a major change in circumstances that could impact your scholarship eligibility.

Applying for doctoral admission and scholarships simultaneously streamlines the process. But remember, your PhD acceptance is not contingent on winning a scholarship.

Key Dates and Deadlines for University of Auckland PhD Scholarships

To maximize your chances of securing funding, pay close attention to the scholarship application timelines:

  • Semester One PhD Start: Submit your program application and scholarship application between August and December of the previous year.
  • Semester Two PhD Start: Apply between March and June of the same year.

Many doctoral scholarships need you to begin in Semester One. Some have deadlines as early as August-September the year prior.

However, a limited number of scholarships are also available for Semester Two intakes, with deadlines in May-June.

Specific deadline dates vary year to year. Always check the University of Auckland Scholarships website for the most up-to-date information.

If you miss the main scholarship deadline for your intended PhD start date, keep an eye out for any supplementary rounds. You may still have a chance at late scholarships.

Crafting a Strong University of Auckland PhD Scholarship Application

With doctoral scholarships being highly competitive, follow these tips to create the best application possible:

Academic Excellence

Your grades, awards, publications, test scores etc. make up a major part of your scholarship application. Stellar academic credentials are key.

Highlight any First Class Honours awards, merits, distinctions, prizes, top GPA/grades, and academic publications if possible.

Well-Written Research Proposal

For research-based scholarships, your PhD proposal is crucial. Craft a compelling proposal highlighting your research aims, significance, design, methodology, and expected outcomes.

Seek feedback from your potential supervisor to strengthen your proposal.

Strong References

Secure recommendations from professors or experts familiar with your academic and research capabilities. Ask them to emphasize your scholarly qualities and potential for doctoral success.

Demonstrate Motivation

Convey genuine passion and preparation for your intended PhD research in your personal statement. Explain how a scholarship will enable you to fully dedicate yourself to becoming an expert in your field.

Address Selection Criteria

Tailor your application to directly address the selection criteria outlined for each scholarship. This proves you are an excellent match.

Proofread Carefully

Carefully proofread all components of your scholarship application before submitting. Avoid typos and grammar errors. Ask others to review as well.

By following these strategies and applying early, you can submit the most compelling, polished University of Auckland PhD scholarship application possible.

Other Funding Options for University of Auckland PhD Students

If you don’t succeed in winning a University scholarship, don’t lose hope! Here are some alternative funding options to explore:

  • External Scholarships: Apply for PhD scholarships offered by the New Zealand government, private foundations, nonprofits, and industry organizations. Useful databases include Scholarships NZ and Education NZ.
  • Teaching or Research Assistantships: The University may offer you paid part-time work as a teaching assistant, tutor, lab technician or research assistant. This provides a supplemental income and valuable experience.
  • Student Loans and Allowances: New Zealand students can access loans/allowances to help cover PhD costs through StudyLink. International students may also qualify for loans.
  • Department Funding: Speak to your department about potential funding support for research costs, conference travel, etc.
  • Self-Funding: If financially viable, using your own savings or family assistance is an option. Having a part-time job can help supplement this.
  • Crowdfunding: Platforms like UniFunding allow students to crowdfund their education costs.

With determination, you can piece together funding from multiple sources to make your University of Auckland PhD achievable. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Scholarships Office or your department for advice on potential funding options.


Pursuing a PhD is a highly rewarding path that requires extensive financial support. Thankfully, the University of Auckland offers a wide range of doctoral scholarships and funding to empower exceptional students like you to carry out world-class research.

Now that you know all about the University’s PhD scholarships – from available funding types and application tips to alternative funding options – you have all the information needed to secure support for your doctoral aspirations.

Remember to apply for scholarships extra early and craft an outstanding application. With dedication and the right funding approach, you can absolutely achieve your goal of obtaining a life-changing doctoral education from the esteemed University of Auckland.

Frequently Asked Questions About University of Auckland PhD Scholarships

Here are answers to some common questions about University of Auckland doctoral funding:

Do I need to have PhD admission before I can apply for scholarships?

In most cases, yes. You typically must have an unconditional offer of place for a University of Auckland doctoral program before scholarships can be awarded.

However, a few exceptions allow you to apply while your PhD application is still under assessment.

When do I receive the scholarship money if awarded?

Scholarship payments are synchronized with standard enrollment dates and PhD timelines.

For example, the annual stipend is normally paid in even installments at the start of each semester over 3 years. Tuition funding begins once you are officially enrolled.

Can I hold another scholarship along with a University of Auckland PhD scholarship?

Maybe. You can typically receive funding from multiple sources. However, the total value may not exceed your maximum estimated costs of study. Check scholarship conditions for any restrictions.

Do I need to reapply for scholarships in subsequent years of my PhD?

Typically not, as long as you maintain excellent progress and meet any obligations to retain your funding.

However, confirm with the Scholarships Office whether multi-year scholarships require any progress reviews.

Are PhD scholarships taxed?

Most doctoral funding including stipends and allowances are non-taxable in New Zealand. But partial tuition and some expenses may be considered taxable income. Check with your department if unsure.

What happens if I finish my PhD early or need an extension?

Your scholarship end date is adjusted accordingly. Inform your department and the Scholarships Office about any change in your expected completion timeline.

If you have any other questions about the University of Auckland’s doctoral scholarships, contact their Scholarships Office or speak to your department. They are best equipped to advise you.

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