University of Otago PhD Scholarships

 Closing Date: Ongoing.

The Department of Economics at the University of Otago, one of the premier teaching and research departments in New Zealand, is seeking applicants for PhD scholarships.

Amount and type of award:

The scholarships available cover full-time domestic tuition fees and an annual stipend of $25,000 for up to three years of full-time study in the Doctor of Philosophy programme.


The PhD programme at Otago is by research only, that is, it does not include any course work. In order to be admitted to the PhD programme in economics at Otago applicants need to have a first class or second-class division one Honours or Masters degree that contains a research component. Applicants are expected to have taken courses equivalent to our own Honours programme, which includes advanced courses in micro- and macroeconomic theory and in econometrics. In addition, we require good written English skills.

University of Otago scholarships for PhD students are available on a competitive basis, regardless of nationality. Applications are considered throughout the year and there is no specific deadline. To be considered for a scholarship, the absolute minimum required is a grade of “A”, along with either an A or A+ on the previous major piece of research (e.g. dissertation or thesis) or strong objective supporting evidence (e.g. publications in high impact journals), aside from other academic achievements. (The absolute minimum required is 3.8 out of 4 for ECE Evaluation; 4.5 out of 5 on ECTS; 14 out of 20 for France; 1.3 for Germany.)

Application requirements:

To be considered for admission to the programme, applicants need to email to

1. a CV;
2. copies of their official academic transcripts, showing the courses taken and the grades obtained;
3. a 2 to 3 page research proposal, that clearly sets out the hypothesis they would like to test, the methodology to be used to test the hypothesis, and how their research will extend the existing literature;
4. an electronic copy of their Masters or Honours dissertation;
5. three letters of recommendation;
6. an English language test score from all applicants holding a degree from a non-English speaking country (see for information about the language tests); and
7. their GRE score if they have one.

If there are colleagues who are interested in supervising the proposed topic, we will advise how to go about formally applying for admission to our PhD programme.

For more information, see

AUT Business & Law Graduate Assistantship Awards


The purpose of the Business & Law Graduate Assistantship Awards is to support postgraduate research students with an excellent academic record to undertake doctoral research in the Faculty of Business and Law, and to offer students experience as Teaching or Research Assistants.  Graduate Assistantship Awards are funded by Faculty and are offered to full-time students on a contestable basis when a vacancy in a particular department or school becomes available.  Further information can be obtained from the Head of Department (


  • The number of new Graduate Assistantships available to be awarded is determined each year.  Currently, the Economics Department has one unfilled Graduate Assistantship.
  • The scholarship is available to full-time domestic and international students and consists of:
    1. the equivalent of full-time  domestic tuition fees and compulsory student services fees;
    2. an annual stipend of NZ$19,000 per year; and
    3. an offer of employment as a Teaching or Research Assistant within the AUT Business School.


  • The tenure of the award is for up to three years of full-time study in the Doctor of Philosophy programme, renewed annually.
  • Annual renewal of the award is dependent on the recipient maintaining satisfactory progress with his or her doctoral study.
  • In exceptional circumstances, a recipient may apply to the Faculty of Business & Law for a deferment of his or her award. 


  • Completion of an AUT Application for Enrolment (AFE) for the Doctor of Philosophy programme.
  • A completed AUT Scholarship Application Form submitted to the relevant Head of Department or School.
  • A written statement summarising the applicant’s prior academic and research accomplishments and any teaching experience.
  • A written summary of the applicant’s proposed doctoral research, outlining its rationale, significance and likely contribution.
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s supervisor(s).
  • An official academic transcript of the applicant’s prior undergraduate and postgraduate study if this study was completed at an institution other than AUT.


All applicants for this scholarship must:

  • Meet the normal admission criteria to the Doctor of Philosophy programme.
  • Have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in their prior undergraduate and postgraduate study, usually achieving at least an A- average or better.
  • Be proposing to undertake doctoral research in a field of study where the Faculty of Business and Law can offer supervision.
  • Be enrolling for the first time in a full-time Doctor of Philosophy programme.
  • Demonstrate applicability and suitability for teaching deployment.


  • Recipients will be selected by a Faculty of Business and Law selection panel.
  • The decision of the Faculty of Business and Law selection panel is final. 
  • If the panel is of the opinion that there is no applicant of sufficient merit, no award will be made.
  • The award is conditional on the recipient gaining entry and enrolling full-time in the Doctor of Philosophy programme.
  • This scholarship may not be held in conjunction with any other scholarship.
  • The recipient’s total employment commitment, including employment within and external to the Faculty, is not to exceed 15 hours per week.
  • The Faculty of Business and Law has the power to terminate or suspend a scholarship if it receives an unsatisfactory report on the progress of a recipient