Detecting movement in a hatching kiwi egg, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Image: Sabine Bernert | ©


DOC offers postgraduate research scholarships for conservation related research in natural and social sciences. These help achieve New Zealand’s conservation goals. Applications close 1 December 2020.

In this context, conservation science includes the biodiversity, visitor and heritage related responsibilities of DOC. They come from a range of disciplines and perspectives.

These perspectives include the:

  • biophysical sciences
  • social sciences including economics, and
  • Te Ao Māori thinking.

Scholarship details

There are 10 one-year scholarships worth up to $15,000 each. The value of each scholarship will be determined by the selection committee.

Who can apply

Applications for the scholarship are open to candidates:

  • who are enrolled in, or eligible to enrol in, a full time Masters or Honours degree in a New Zealand university or equivalent tertiary institution
  • whose proposed course of study includes a minimum research component of 30 Credits, and
  • who will undertake research into a topic identified by DOC as a priority for conservation research.

Selection criteria

The selection committee will use these criteria:

  • Relevance of research topic to the achievement of Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2020, the Visitor Strategy and DOC’s policy, strategic and operational priorities.
  • Relevance to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • Proposed research contributes to relevant body of knowledge.
  • Academic merit.
  • Genuine interest in research topic and evidence of commitment to conservation science.

Research priorities

Your application should be focused on at least one of the research priorities.

List of research priorities.

Skills we would like to grow

We accept proposals coming from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds and reflecting a variety of research approaches and skills. However, we’re wanting to grow specific capabilities we feel are required for the DOC Kaupapa.

We’re interested in:

  • behaviour change, for example, environmental psychology, behavioural economics
  • taxonomic and morphological based research that can link to function of species in a system
  • economic modelling, for example, resource economics, ecological economics
  • integrative systems thinking both qualitative or quantitative
  • bicultural perspectives for management. For example, inclusion and integration of Mātauranga Māori into mainstream conservation management 

How to apply

Scholarship applications for the 2021 year:

  • open 20 October 2020
  • close 1 December 2020.

Apply on the Universities NZ online scholarships application website.

What happens after you apply is covered by the Universities NZ website.


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