On this page:
The PhD Scholarships at the University of Cambridge are administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Rutherford Foundation Trust.
Two PhD Scholarships are jointly funded by the Rutherford Foundation Trust and the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust (CCT). One further PhD Scholarship is available in conjunction with the Cavendish Laboratory for an applicant to apply to the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge. These Scholarships are intended to provide full support to enable completion of a PhD at the University of Cambridge in pure or applied science.
Recipients of the Scholarships will carry the identity of the Rutherford Foundation. This award is expected to play a strong part in the Scholar’s professional development.
The PhD Scholarships at the University of Cambridge aim to build human capability in Science and Technology by providing early career support for New Zealand’s brightest and most promising researchers. Successful applicants will be expected to have an excellent undergraduate academic record and the potential to excel in a research environment in order to undertake the PhD course at the University of Cambridge. It is expected that recipients will complete their PhD and contribute to positive outcomes for New Zealand.
The PhD Scholarships at the University of Cambridge will provide a maximum of three years’ support for applicants demonstrating a passion for science and technology. These Scholarships are offered annually, with a closing date for applications on the 01 August 2012, with the expectation that applicants will begin their course of study in the following year (usually September or October).
Successful applicants will receive a living allowance (maintenance) of approximately £11,000* per annum, for up to a maximum of three years. For the three years a successful applicant is enrolled for study towards their PhD at the University of Cambridge, their course and college fees will be paid. In addition, they will be eligible for one, non-transferable, return airfare between the United Kingdom and New Zealand per annum.
Please note that applicants will be responsible for all other costs including, but not limited to: costs of travel to interview or videoconference for short listed applicants; visa and entry requirement costs to the United Kingdom; any travel other than the agreed New Zealand to United Kingdom air fares; and, any additional fees other than course fees incurred from applying to the University of Cambridge. Funding extensions cannot be applied for under the terms of the Scholarship.
[*This is an indicative amount, as the allowance is set annually by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust to cover annual living expenses while studying at the University of Cambridge.]
- Applicants from the disciplines of science and technology (which includes pure or applied science and the social sciences) are eligible to apply.
- Applicants must be either New Zealand citizens or have continuously resided in New Zealand for at least two years immediately prior to their application and hold, or are deemed to hold, a New Zealand resident visa.
- Applicants who hold, or are deemed to hold, a New Zealand resident visa are also required to have completed their undergraduate study in New Zealand to be considered eligible to apply.
- The application must represent the applicant’s first attempt at study towards a PhD.
- Applicants must be in a position that, if successful, they would be able to enter the United Kingdom and comply with the regulations for matriculation at the University of Cambridge.
The selection is based on an applicant’s demonstration of academic excellence, evidence of engagement with science and technology and a commitment to New Zealand.
Proposals are assessed on the information provided in the application, the accompanying forms and referee reports.
- Applicants must be prepared to take part in promoting the Rutherford Foundation and to support other Rutherford Foundation Scholars.
- The Scholarship must be taken up within a reasonable time frame of being offered.
- Applicants may only make one application per funding round.
- Rules applicable to the University of Cambridge:
- To take up the award the applicant must fulfil any academic conditions, including being accepted for admission to a University of Cambridge college.
- Applicants are encouraged to look into the process of applying for admission to a college at the University of Cambridge. Although it is unlikely a Rutherford Foundation Scholar would be denied admission, the process is not automatic, and so successful applicants will be required to complete such admission applications by the due date in December of the year before study.
- Awardees may also be required to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate depending on the proposed area of study.
It is not necessary to have a fully-defined project and supervisor at the University of Cambridge – only an indication of the applicant’s research interests and proposed supervisors are required at the time of application. Nonetheless, it is advisable to contact any potential supervisor(s) at the earliest opportunity as this enables applicants to achieve a clearer understanding of their proposed PhD topic. As such, applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors and tap into any existing networks they or their academic colleagues may have to accomplish this. However, applicants should be aware that it is often the case that staff at the University of Cambridge cannot confirm they will host a particular project until applicants have secured funding.
An indication of an applicant’s preferred College is requested on the application form, but confirmation will depend on availability of space at that College. Places are confirmed after funding, entry and allocations are made, usually around March-April.
Applications and supporting information must reach the Royal Society of New Zealand by the closing date of 01 August 2012.
Please email one electronic copy of your application to:
In addition to the completed electronic version of your application, applicants must supply electronic copies of the following documents (scanned jpeg or PDF preferred) sent to the above email address:
Proof of New Zealand citizenship or residency.
Academic transcript(s) of undergraduate studies undertaken.
Note: Original or certified copies of the above two documents will only be required if you are invited to interview.
You are also required to send one hard copy of the following by the closing date:
A signed declaration form.
Please send the declaration to one of the following addresses:
Executive Officer, Rutherford Foundation
Royal Society of New Zealand
PO Box 598
Executive Officer, Rutherford Foundation
Royal Society of New Zealand
4 Halswell Street
References are required from two academic and one personal referee. Academic referees should fill out the referee report form available on the Royal Society of New Zealand website, while the personal referee should respond in the form of a reference letter.
Applicants must ensure their three referees independently email or send their referee reports to the Royal Society of New Zealand by the closing date.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to Auckland to interview (at their own expense). If this should prove a hardship, then applicants may request to have the interview conducted by teleconference or videoconference.
Successful applicants will be notified by early October.
Please note that PhD Scholarships at the University of Cambridge are intended to be prestigious awards and will only be offered in the instance that there are applicants of exceptional promise.
Further enquiries should be made by contacting the Rutherford Foundation by email:
- 2011 Awardees Jeremy Minton and Robert Hoye
2010 Awardees Janina Voigt, Jake Howe and Michael Price
2009 Awardees Yvette Perrott, Julian Peat and Naomi White
2008 Awardees George Gordon and Rachael Shaw