Doctoral Scholarships

UC offers a diverse range of scholarships to support students for study towards any research doctoral degree at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury. 

postgrads at the lab

Whakamāramatanga | Key Information

The UC Doctoral Scholarship, and other related scholarships, are now considered as part of the application to enrol process. Therefore an application to study a doctoral degree programme at UC will now be regarded as an application for our Doctoral scholarships. Meeting the requirements for enrolment in a doctoral degree is one of the requirements for receiving a UC Doctoral Scholarship and preparing the application will also ensure you have provided all the required information for a scholarship application.

Along with the UC Doctoral Scholarship, applicants are also considered for all the other scholarships listed in the regulations of the UC Doctoral Scholarship. These scholarships are a mix of awards which recognise success within certain demographics (first ranked candidate, female, Māori, Pasifika/Pacific students etc.). 

The scholarships have been grouped into 3 categories to give a better understanding of what they signify. These are:

  • Core - Not co-tenable with any other Core scholarship.
  • Prestige - Co-tenable with a Core scholarship and includes additional monetary value.
  • Recognition - Co-tenable with a Core scholarship and does not include additional monetary value.

To be eligible for the Prestige and Recognition scholarships, applicants must have already been awarded a Core scholarship. Because of this, Prestige and Recognition scholarships are awarded at the end of each academic year. If an applicant is awarded a Prestige scholarship, the additional value is added on to the overall total of the scholarship i.e. a stipend of $21,000 per annum is increased to $26,000 per annum.

Core ScholarshipsPrestige ScholarshipsRecognition Scholarships
UC Doctoral Scholarship ($21,000 stipend + fees) Brownlie Scholarship ($26,000 stipend + fees)

Ngata Centenary Scholarship ($21,000 stipend + fees)

UC Doctoral Scholarship for Students with Disabilities ($21,000 stipend + fees) Roper Scholarship in Science ($26,000 stipend + fees) Canterbury Scholarship ($21,000 stipend + fees)
UC Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship ($28,000 stipend + fees) William and Ina Cartwright Scholarship ($26,000 stipend + fees)  
Doctoral Graduate Women Canterbury (Inc.) Trust Board Scholarship ($24,500 stipend only)    
UC Matariki Doctoral Scholarship ($21,000 stipend + fees)    
UC Pasifika Doctoral Scholarship ($21,000 stipend + fees)    
Rātā Foundation Scholarship ($24,500 stipend only)    
Research Cluster Scholarships     
UC Connect Doctoral Scholarship    
Food Transitions 2050 PhD Scholarship    

To start your application for enrolment (and subsequently your UC Doctoral scholarship application) please click here.

Discover other scholarships that may assist in funding your PhD below.

Please note - these scholarships are subject to funding and are reviewed each year. The UC Scholarships Office administer most of these scholarships and the tables do not reflect the departmental scholarships available (please enquire about these with your relevant department). Please search our scholarships database for all scholarships currently available.

Scholarship NameValueWho is EligibleAddtional InformationClosing Date
Brownlie Scholarship $21,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment + tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate Candidates must already be in receipt of a UC Doctoral Scholarship and have been offered admisson to doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury. The scholarship is awarded to the first-ranked candidate for the UC Doctoral Scholarship in the year of the award.

Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling)

Canterbury Scholarship $21,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment + tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate Candidates must already be in receipt of a UC Doctoral Scholarship and have been offered admisson to doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury.  Candidates must be citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand or holders of Aotearoa New Zealand residence class visas. Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling)
Doctoral Graduate Women Canterbury (Inc.) Trust Board Scholarship  $24,500 per 120 points of thesis enrolment. The recipient may elect to deduct their tuition fees from this amount. Candidates must have been offered admission to a doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury. Candidates must be citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand who identify as female. Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling)
Dr Russell Smith Memorial Scholarship $2,000 per annum Applicants must be blind or have a significant visual impairment. The scholarship is available only in even-numbered years, to undergraduate and postgraduate students who are enrolled full-time at the University of Canterbury. 31-Mar
Ngai Tahu Research Centre Doctoral Scholarship $21,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment + tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate   For a research doctoral degree programme that is facilitated by the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre. Recipients may be studying any discipline at the University, but preference will be given to applicants whose projects promote mātauranga Māori and that are linked to the mission and current research foci of the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre.    31-Oct
Ngata Centenary Doctoral Scholarship  $21,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment + tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate Candidates must already be in receipt of a UC Doctoral Scholarship and have been offered admisson to doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury and have whakapapa Māori.  The scholarship is awarded to the first-ranked candidate for the UC Doctoral Scholarship and/or a UC Matariki Doctoral Scholarship in the year of the award who has whakapapa Māori. Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling) 
Rātā Foundation Scholarship  $21,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment + tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate  Candidates must have been offered admission to a doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury and have a permanent address that is in one of the four regions of the Rātā Foundation.  For the boundaries of the four regions of the Rātā Foundation, see https://www.ratafoundation.org.nz/who-we-are  Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling) 
UC Doctoral Scholarship $21,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment + tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate  Candidates must have been offered admission to a doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury.  Candidates must have completed an appropriate qualification at a level judged to be equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree with first-class honours at University of Canterbury (equivalent to a UC GPA of at least 7.0). Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling) 
UC Doctoral Scholarship for Students with Disabilities $21,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment + tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate  Candidates must have been offered admission to a doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury and have a disability that significantly impairs their ability to study.    15-Oct
UC Matariki Doctoral Scholarship $21,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment + tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate  Candidates must have been offered admission to a doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury and have whakapapa Māori.   Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling) 
UC Pacifika Doctoral Scholarship   $21,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment + tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate Candidates must have been offered admission to a doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury and be Pasifika.   Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling) 
Helen Macmillan Brown Bursary   $2,500 (up to ten)  Female first-year undergraduate students who are residents of a hall or village that the University recognises as being affiliated with the University.   15-Aug 
HOPE Foundation Scholarship in Ageing Research: University of Canterbury   $6,000  Applicants must be enrolled, or intending to enrol, full-time or part-time at the University in a programme for a master’s or doctoral degree with research on a topic related to ageing.  Applicants must be New Zealand citizens or holders of New Zealand residence class visas. 31-Oct 
Sir William Hartley Scholarship   $20,000 per annum for 3 consecutive years  The scholarship is tenable by students engaged in study for a research doctoral degree at a European university. Preference is given to those who will be studying at the University of Cambridge, the University of London, or the University of Oxford.  Applicants must be female. 1-Nov 
Westpac Southland Scholarship   $1,000 for 2 years  Applicants must have completed at least one academic year at the University of Canterbury and whose earlier youth was spent substantially in Southland and whose parents, or guardian, are resident in Southland at the time of the award.   31-Mar 
UC Foundation Doctoral Publication Scholarship   $1,000 and $500 - check this on our database  Candidates must have been offered admission to a doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury.   Always open
Edward Gibbon Wakefield Doctoral Scholarship   The value will be determined by the level of the Scholarship’s funds, including supplementation from Christ Church, Oxford, and should be sufficient to meet at least most of the direct costs associated with one year’s study at Oxford University.  Open to University of Canterbury doctoral students in all subject areas; however, preference will be given to applicants studying a subject in the Humanities, Creative Arts, Law, Music, or Political Science.
Applicants must enrol in a doctoral programme at, or otherwise be attached to Christ Church, Oxford.
 The scholarship shall be offered to a candidate who was born in New Zealand. 1-Nov 
Chalky Carr Scholarship   $10,000  Applicants must have been affected by a cancer experience, either directly or through a close relative.  Applicants must be citizens of New Zealand or holders of New Zealand residence class visas and be intending or current full-time or part-time students in undergraduate or postgraduate degree programmes at the University. 31-Oct 
Scholarship NameValueWho is EligibleAddtional InformationClosing Date
Barbara Mito Reed Award

$1,000

The scholarship is open to graduates of the University of Canterbury enrolled, or intending to enrol, in a postgraduate programme in a field of Japanese studies at the University of Canterbury or at a university in Japan. The scholarship is open to citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand, excluding native speakers of Japanese. 31-Mar
Bickerton-Widdowson Trust Memorial Scholarship $2,000 Open to any student of the School of Fine Arts.   1-Nov
The C. Wright Mills Scholarship in Anthropology $3,750 per annum Available annually to students enrolled, or intending to enrol, full time or part time, at the University of Canterbury in a programme for an MA by thesis in Anthropology or a PhD in Anthropology. The scholarship is open to graduates of any university in New Zealand or of the University of the South Pacific. 1-Nov
Ethel Rose Overton Scholarship PhD students: Up to $30,000 ($10,000 pa)
MFA students: $7,500
BFA(Hons) and MA (Part II) students: $5,000
BA(Hons) and MA (Part I) students: $3,000
Applicants must be enrolled, or intending to enrol, at the University in a programme for one of the following degrees:
a. Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) in Art History, Art Theory, or Fine Arts
b. Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (BFA(Hons))
c. Master of Arts (MA) in Art History, Art Theory, or Fine Arts
d. Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
e. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Art History, Art Theory, or Fine Arts
Applications from previous recipients are considered and are given equal consideration with applications from those who have not held the scholarship before. 1-Nov
Farina Thompson Charitable Trust Music Scholarship $10,000 Applicants must be enrolled, or intending to enrol, full-time at the University in a degree programme with a major in Music. Applicants must be citizens of New Zealand or holders of New Zealand residence class visas. 1-Nov
Three Nations Conference Award $1,000 Māori or Pasifika students, or students who are indigenous to states or territories of Australia, whose financial circumstances would otherwise preclude them from undertaking postgraduate study in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Canterbury. a. have whakapapa Māori; and/or be Pasifika. 31-Mar
Edward Gibbon Wakefield Doctoral Scholarship   The value will be determined by the level of the Scholarship’s funds, including supplementation from Christ Church, Oxford, and should be sufficient to meet at least most of the direct costs associated with one year’s study at Oxford University.  Open to University of Canterbury doctoral students in all subject areas; however, preference will be given to applicants studying a subject in the Humanities, Creative Arts, Law, Music, or Political Science.
Applicants must enrol in a doctoral programme at, or otherwise be attached to Christ Church, Oxford.
 The scholarship shall be offered to a candidate who was born in New Zealand. 1-Nov 
Scholarship NameValueWho is EligibleAddtional InformationClosing Date
Department of Economics and Finance PhD Scholarship The current scholarship covers the fees for up to 3 years of study. Open to applicants who are enrolled full-time or part-time and engaged in study for a PhD degree in the Department of Economics and Finance at the University. All students who are enrolled in, or have received an unconditional offer for a place, in a programme for a PhD in Economics or Finance at the University and who cannot secure sufficient funding from another source (see Clause 6 of the regulations) will be awarded a scholarship

No application is necessary.

Scholarship NameValueWho is EligibleAddtional InformationClosing Date
William and Ina Cartwright Scholarship The scholarship provides financial assistance at a value of $26,000 per annum for four years +  tuition fees for the doctoral programme at the domestic rate. Candidates must have been offered admission to a doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury. The scholarship is awarded to the first-ranked candidate for the UC Doctoral Scholarship in the year of the award.

Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling)

Gertrude Ardagh Holmes Bursary Fund Students who are hindered by financial strain and who would struggle in continuing their studies. Preference shall be given to students who desire to undertake a medical course. Assistance may be continued to such students after they have proceeded to a medical or dental school in another New Zealand university..  Candidates must be citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand or holders of Aotearoa New Zealand residence class visas. 31-Mar
Scholarship NameValueWho is EligibleAddtional InformationClosing Date
Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre) Postgraduate Scholarship $25,000 per annum for up to three years Candidates must be enrolled, or intending to enrol, in a programme for a Master of Engineering (ME) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree involving research in electric Power Engineering. Candidates must be citizens of New Zealand or holders of New Zealand residence class visas.

Applications must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Electric Power Engineering Centre and can be at any time.

H J Hopkins Postgraduate Scholarship in Civil Engineering $5,000 per annum Applicable for students enrolled for an ME or PhD degree in the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury, and shall be tenable for a period of up to 18 months (for ME) or up to 3 years (for PhD).   15-Oct
Keith Laugesen Scholarship $24,500 per annum for three years Full-time enrolment for a PhD in the College of Engineering or the College of Science and must be citizens of New Zealand or holders of New Zealand residence class visas. There may be only one holder at a time. 15-Oct
Owen Browning Scholarships in Forestry Dependent on available funds Applicants must be studying towards the MForSc degree, for one year in the case of a scholar studying for the MSc degree in Environmental Science (who is wholly supervised by the School of Forestry), and for two years in the case of a scholar studying for the PhD degree in Forestry or Forestry Engineering. Shall be open to students who have been admitted or who are eligible for admission to postgraduate studies in Forestry at the University of Canterbury. 1-Nov
Scholarship NameValueWho is EligibleAddtional InformationClosing Date
B G Wybourne Scholarship in Physics or Astronomy Tuition fees - value TBD The scholarship shall be awarded to a student enrolling at the postgraduate level (either M.Sc Part II or Ph.D.) in Physics or Astronomy. It will be tenable only by a candidate who during the tenure of the award pursues full-time study in one of these courses in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Canterbury. All candidates applying for a University of Canterbury Masters' or Doctoral Scholarship (or higher award) in Physics or Astronomy by 15 October of the preceding year will be considered for the award of the B G Wybourne Scholarship. No further application is necessary.

Automatically considered when applying for the Masters' or Doctoral Scholarship.

Betty Wignall Scholarship in Chemistry $5,000 pa for three years Applicants must be enrolled, full-time or part-time, in a programme for a PhD in Chemistry at the University.  There may be only one holder of the scholarship at a time. 15-May
Brian Mason Doctoral Scholarship $25,000 per annum. In addition, the scholarship covers tuition fees for doctoral enrolment only, at the New Zealand domestic rate. Applications must be made prior to, or within six months after, enrolment in a programme for a PhD degree in Geology at the University. An applicant must have completed an appropriate qualification at a level judged to be equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree with first-class honours at the University of Canterbury (equivalent to a UC GPA of at least 7.0). You can only apply twice for this scholarship. The closing date is advertised as funding and research opportunities become available for the scholarship.
Charles Cook, Warwick House, Memorial Scholarship $1,000 The scholarship will be available to applicants who intend to conduct research or postgraduate study, either full-time or part-time, at the University of Canterbury, and who have completed the requirements to graduate from a university in New Zealand with one of the following qualifications:
a. a Master of Science degree (MSc)
b. a Bachelor of Science with Honours degree (BSc(Hons))
c. a bachelor’s degree
Preference will be given to applicants who have completed the requirements to graduate with an MSc or a BSc(Hons) and who intend to carry out research in one of the sciences. Further preference will be given to applicants who intend to complete at least 1.00 EFTS of study at the University. 1-Nov
Dennis William Moore Fund To be determinded each year. The fund will be to support research in astronomy at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory by the staff and students of the University of Canterbury.  The fund will be used each year for different purposes in response to whoever is successful.  Applications may be made to the Head of the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at any time.
Dennis William Moore Scholarship $5,000 per annum for three years.  Open to thesis student's in astronomy who has been or will be undertaking observational work at Mt John as part of his/her thesis work.   1-Nov
Evans Fund (MASTERS, PhD) $1,000 Applicants must be enrolled:
a. full-time or part-time at the University;
b. in a programme for a master’s or PhD degree in the subject of Chemistry; and
c. in one of the following courses of study:
a. BCHM 690 or BCHM 790
b. CHEM 690 or CHEM 790
c. ENVR 690 or ENVR 790.
 Applicants must be undertaking research principally within the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences. The Senior Supervisor must be a member of the School. Where there are more than two UC supervisors, the majority of the UC supervisors must be members of the School. 31-Mar & 30-Sep 
Frank and Doris Bateson Memorial Graduate Scholarship $2,000 Applicable for students studying full-time or part-time at postgraduate level (in either a MSc Part II programme or a PhD programme) in Astronomy or Astrophysics at the University of Canterbury.  The scholarship is not be co-tenable with a B. G. Wybourne Scholarship in Physics or Astronomy. 15-Oct
Frank Bradshaw and Elizabeth Pepper Wood Fund To be determinded each year.  The fund will be to support research in astronomy at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory by the staff and students of the University of Canterbury. The fund will be used each year for different purposes in response to whoever is successful. Enquiries should be directed to the Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Geography Students Conference Fund (MASTERS, PhD) $500  Master’s and PhD research thesis students in the Department of Geography to assist with expenses involved in attending conferences.  Priority will be given to applications for assistance with attending conferences of the New Zealand Geographical Society.

30-Sep

Keith Laugesen Scholarship $24,500 per annum for three years.  Full-time enrolment for a PhD in the College of Engineering or the College of Science and must be citizens of New Zealand or holders of New Zealand residence class visas.  There may be only one holder at a time. 15-Oct
Roper Scholarship in Science The scholarship provides financial assistance at a value of $26,000 per annum for three years +  tuition fees for the doctoral programme at the domestic rate. Candidates must have been offered admission to a doctoral programme at the University of Canterbury.  The scholarship is awarded to the first-ranked candidate for the UC Doctoral Scholarship who will be studying in the College of Science and has not been awarded the Brownlie Scholarship. Considered with the UC Doctoral Scholarship (rolling).
Stan and Jessie Holland Memorial Scholarship in Ecology and Environmental Science $21,000 per annum for up to three years. Full-time enrolment in a programme for a research master’s or PhD degree in Ecology or Environmental Science. Applicants must:
a. have whakapapa Māori; and/or
b. be Pasifika.
1-Nov
The Dr Gregory S C Hii Prize in Organic Chemistry $500 Available annually to students who:
a. have completed either a Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) or a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Chemistry at the University; and
b. are enrolled for a PhD degree in organic chemistry at the University.
 Applicants must be female. No application - by nomination.
The Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau PhD Scholarship $9,000 per annum for up to 3 years.  The scholarship is tenable for full-time or part-time enrolment in a programme for a PhD involving a research project approved by the Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau (GRI) and undertaken in association with the GRI.  Applicants must have applied for a UC Doctoral Scholarship and/or a UC Doctoral Scholarship for Students with Disabilities to support study in a GRI research project. 30-Apr
Vida Stout Scholarship $16,000 per annum for three years.  The scholarship will be available to full-time students studying in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury for the degree of PhD with an emphasis on limnology, or environmental science, preferably of the South Island. Applicants studying limnology will be given preference.  The scholarship may be held by only one recipient at a time. The current recipient holds the scholarship until September 2021. 15-Oct

Check out our PhD Opportunities page for other scholarships in particular study fields.