Electrofishing for Upland Longjaw Galaxias in the Mackenzie Basin
Image: Sjaan Bowie | DOC


DOC offers postgraduate research scholarships for conservation related research in the natural and social sciences.

Conservation research in this context is interpreted broadly and includes a range of disciplines and perspectives, for example biophysical sciences, the social sciences (including economics), and Te Ao Māori thinking.

It covers the biodiversity, visitor and heritage related responsibilities of the Department of Conservation (DOC).

The purpose of these scholarships is to help achieve New Zealand’s conservation goals.

2023 application round

Scholarship details

The scholarships are for Masters students undertaking the research component of their degree at an approved institution. Full-time and part-time students are eligible.

There are eight scholarships worth up to $15,000 each. DOC funds six scholarships and the remaining two are funded by our scholarship partners in the Environmental Protection Authority and Tiakina Kauri – Kauri Protection Agency within Biosecurity New Zealand.

Full-time students are funded for one year and part-time students are funded for up to two years.

Selection criteria

The selection committee awards scholarships based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the research thesis topic to funding provider/s research priorities.
  • Demonstrating the implementation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles, by providing endorsement of the relationship and engagement with the Iwi, hapū and whānau of the area the research is specified (or the intention to engage by providing a plan).
  • Academic merit.
  • Genuine interest in research topic and evidence of commitment to conservation science.

Research priorities

2023 postgraduate scholarship research priorities

Who can apply

Applications for the scholarship will be open to candidates:

  • who are enrolled in, or eligible to enrol in, a full time or part time Masters degree in a New Zealand university or equivalent tertiary institution
  • whose proposed course of study includes a minimum research component of 90 credits
  • who will undertake research into a topic identified by DOC as a priority for conservation research.

How to apply 

Scholarship applications for the 2023 year opened 21 August and closed 2 October 2023.

Apply on the Universities NZ scholarships website.

Guidance on how to apply is found on the Universities NZ website. See 2023 regulations and selection process for further information.

Application rounds






For queries about the research priorities or general enquiries, email DOC's Learning and Development Team: ddouglas@doc.govt.nz

Back to top