New Zealand Institute of Mathematics & its Applications (NZIMA)

Research Support Opportunities


The NZIMA has money available to support research activity in the mathematical sciences in New Zealand, largely through the funding it receives from the NZ government (through the Tertiary Education Commission) as a recognised centre of research excellence.

This support comes in five main forms:

Further information on each of these may be found below.

Application dates are as follows:

Postgraduate scholarships no further scholarships available
Visiting Maclaurin Fellowships no further Fellows being sought
Small grants 31st January 2011
Full Maclaurin Fellowships no further Fellows being sought
Proposals for NZIMA programmes no further Programmes being sought

Decisions on postgraduate scholarships, small grants and visiting Maclaurin fellowships are generally made within six weeks. Preliminary decisions on programme proposals are usually made within 10 weeks, after which full proposals are invited for submission. Final decisions on programmes and full-year Maclaurin fellowships are normally made by August preceding the year of commencement.

Some other sources of funding for research in the mathematical sciences in NZ are also listed below.


NZIMA Programmes

The NZIMA uses much of its financial support from the Centres of Research Excellence Fund to enable it to run up to two thematic programmes each year.

Each programme runs for up to three years (or more), but is expected to involve a concentrated 6-month period of activity centred around a meeting or workshop (held at any appropriate location in NZ), participation by visiting lead experts in the theme area, secondment of one or more programme directors, and the appointment of a postdoctoral fellow and a number of postgraduate research students.

The themes for these programmes are drawn from a range of topics of contemporary interest and significance in the mathematical sciences, following consultation with the NZ mathematical sciences research community and other relevant parties. The NZIMA expects that the themes for approximately half of its programmes will be selected from fundamental areas of research in the mathematical sciences, and half from areas involving the application or implementation of mathematical principles and methods in/to other disciplines and/or to significant questions faced by business, industry or local government. This balance is important for the nurturing of the mathematical sciences community in New Zealand, training the next generation of mathematical scientists, and for their engagement in activities of significant potential benefit for New Zealand.

Proposals are invited each year, and the selection of programmes is made with help from an International Scientific Advisory Board (made up of representatives from similar mathematical research institutes in other countries, prominent expatriate New Zealand-born mathematical scientists, and other international figures having a strong interest in the activities of the NZIMA).

The Executive Committee of the NZIMA Governing Board appoints a selection committee to short-list proposals, ensuring no participation in selection decisions by anyone with a conflict of interest. Advice of the International Scientific Advisory Board is sought on short-listed proposals, and the selection committee forwards its recommendations to the Executive Committee for approval (of up to two programmes per year).

The NZIMA expects that normally each programme selected should be supported with the following resources:

In order to be able to support a wider range of activity (of benefit to New Zealand), we want to encourage the possibility that some of these components are supported by other funding - such as Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarships or scholarships from the host university, NZS&T Postdoctoral fellowships, and other travel grants - in a way that doesn't compromise the NZIMA's aims or doesn't involve "double-dipping" (where one of the government's funding agencies is supporting exactly the same project). In addition, some flexibility is possible -- for example, allowing more students and fewer postdoctoral fellows, or vice versa -- depending on what is best for the development of the thematic area of research. The NZIMA invites proposals that explain how each component will be covered and state explicitly how much financial support the NZIMA would be expected to provide to cover the balance.

A full report on the programme will be expected within two months of the end of the term of the programme, including a summary of the programme's activities and research outcomes, details of the key participants, names and affiliations of all postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and other participants, any new linkages established, any additional funding or other support received, and all significant publications and other outputs resulting from the programme. Details of subsequent publications and other outcomes will also be expected to be provided at a later date.

Each initial proposal for a programme should include the following:

1) Name of theme, and brief description (50 words max.)
2) Justification of theme in terms of global significance, benefits to New Zealand, and other aims of the NZIMA and aims of the CoRE Fund
3) Names and affiliations of programme director and other members of programme committee
4) Names and affiliations of likely invited speakers
5) List of other people in NZ involved in the theme area (and likely to participate in the programme)
6) Details of any external participation (such as from business/industry or other disciplines)
7) Likely dates and venue for the programme's key meeting/workshop
8) Other sources of financial support, indicated as definite or expected or under review, and for which components of the programme
9) Any additional promotional activities, pre-workshop courses, etc.
10) Likely thesis topics for postgraduate students
11) Information on potential candidates for postdoctoral fellowship.

Closing dates for proposals for NZIMA programmes are listed here.

Proposals should be submitted by electronic mail (in MS Word or PDF format) to nzima-admin@nzima.auckland.ac.nz and a paper copy sent separately to

Initial proposals will be considered by the selection committee, which may invite revised or more fully developed versions before deciding which ones to forward to the Advisory Board. In this case, feedback will be provided to the proposers to help them develop an improved proposal (consistent with the aims of the NZIMA and the CoRE Fund).

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Maclaurin Fellowships

The NZIMA has established a scheme of annual Maclaurin Fellowships(*), to enable mathematical scientists from NZ or worldwide to take time out from their usual occupations and undertake full-time research in NZ, or partly overseas (if based in New Zealand).

(* Richard Cockburn Maclaurin was a graduate of Auckland University College who went on to study at Cambridge, where he won the Smith Prize in Mathematics and Yorke Prize in Law, and was appointed as Foundation Professor of Mathematics at Victoria University College in NZ in 1899, and later Dean of Law and Professor of Astronomy. In 1908 he was invited to become President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and helped transform that institution into the world-class research-based technological university it is today.)

Each Maclaurin fellowship will normally include either
(a) a stipend of up to NZ$90,000pa (depending on qualifications and experience) for one year, plus up to 60% overheads for the host institution, if the holder of the fellowship is normally resident in NZ, or
(b) a package of financial support of up to NZ$10,000 for 1 month, or NZ$15,000 for 2 months, or NZ$20,000 for 3 months, if the holder of the fellowship is normally resident outside NZ.

A small amount of additional funding may be available for the costs of travel of each full-year Maclaurin Fellow. Any Maclaurin Fellow appointed for a term of one year would be expected to spend at least 6 months of that time in NZ.

A full report from each Maclaurin Fellow will be expected within two months of the end of the term of their fellowship, including a summary of their research activities, details of any postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers or other participants involved in their projects, any additional funding or other support received, and all significant publications and other outputs resulting from the fellowship. Details of subsequent publications and other outcomes will also be expected to be provided at a later date.

The Executive Committee of the NZIMA Governing Board will appoint a selection committee to short-list candidates and seek referee reports as appropriate, ensuring no participation in selection decisions by anyone with a conflict of interest. Advice of the International Scientific Advisory Board will be sought on short-listed candidates, and the selection committee will forward its recommendations to the Executive Committee for approval.

Each application or nomination should include the following:

1) Name and contact details of candidate
2) Curriculum vitae of candidate
3) Up-to-date list of publications by candidate
4) A 2-page research plan, outlining the research to be undertaken by the candidate during tenure of the fellowship, the proposed start and end dates of the fellowship, places at which the research will be carried out, and names of persons with whom any joint research will be undertaken, and justifying the research in terms of the aims of the NZIMA
5) Names and contact details of three referees who can attest to the candidate's research standing and ability, and the potential of the proposed research to contribute to the world's knowledge base and the aims of the NZIMA.

Applications should be submitted by electronic mail (in MS Word or PDF format) to nzima-admin@nzima.auckland.ac.nz and a paper copy sent separately to

Nominations made on behalf of the candidate by someone else should be accompanied by a statement from the candidate that he or she is willing to be considered for award of a Maclaurin Fellowship and agrees that the NZIMA may seek referee reports as appropriate.

Closing dates for applications for Maclaurin Fellowships are listed here.

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Postdoctoral Fellowships

The NZIMA will ensure financial support for one 2-year postdoctoral fellowship for each thematic programme selected.

Each fellowship will include a stipend of up to NZ$55,000pa (plus up to 60% overheads for the host institution). A small amount of additional funding may be available for the costs of relocation of the postdoctoral fellow at the start and end of his or her tenure.

Important note: This is not a general source of funding for postdoctoral fellowships - each fellowship will be advertised in a particular theme area, with its own closing date.

The NZIMA office can handle advertisement and processing of applications for these fellowships.

Each application should include the following:

1) Name and contact details of candidate
2) Academic record of candidate
3) Research record of candidate, and list of publications to date
4) Names and contact details of two referees who can attest to the candidate's academic and research ability and potential to undertake successful work in the theme area.

The Programme Committee (supplemented if necessary by at least one person specially appointed by the NZIMA's Executive Committee) will select the best candidate and seek approval of the NZIMA's Executive Committee (through one of the Directors) prior to any offer of appointment or release of funding.

An interim report from each NZIMA Postdoctoral Fellow will be expected at the end of the first year, and a full report within two months of the end of the term of their fellowship, including a summary of their research activities, details of any other researchers involved in their projects, any additional funding or other support received, and all significant publications and other outputs resulting from the fellowship. Details of subsequent publications and other outcomes will also be expected to be provided at a later date.

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Postgraduate student scholarships

The NZIMA will allocate funds to provide for up to to one 3-year PhD scholarship and one 18-month Masters scholarship for each thematic programme selected, and also an indeterminate number of full or partial scholarships which are open for merit-based competition among postgraduate research students enrolled in mathematical science departments in NZ universities. Applications are particularly welcomed for scholarships for students engaged in research projects in areas of the application of the mathematical sciences (to business/industry or other areas of research), as well as those in more fundamental areas of research.

The expected amounts of full scholarships are currently NZ$25,000pa for a full-time PhD student, and NZ$15,000pa for a full-time Masters student enrolled for a thesis or research project. An additional $3000 is available towards the payment of tuition fees or costs of travel if necessary (but not towards the costs of other resources provided by the host institution).

The holder of any NZIMA postgraduate scholarship must be enrolled at a tertiary education institution in New Zealand that offers postgraduate research degrees approved by the NZ Ministry of Education (or Tertiary Education Commission).

Annual reports and one final report (within two months of the end of the term of the scholarship) will be expected from the holder of each NZIMA postgraduate scholarship, including a summary of their research activities, details of any other researchers involved in their projects, any additional funding or other support received, and all significant publications and other outputs resulting from the scholarship. Details of subsequent publications and other outcomes will also be expected to be provided at a later date.

For scholarships offered under the terms of one of the NZIMA's thematic programmes, the Programme Committee (supplemented if necessary by at least one person specially appointed by the NZIMA's Executive Committee) will select the best candidates and seek approval of the NZIMA's Executive Committee (through one of the Directors) prior to any offer of offer of scholarship or release of funding.

For scholarships other than those offered under the terms of the NZIMA's thematic programmes, the NZIMA's Executive Committee will appoint a selection committee to short-list applicants and seek referee reports as appropriate, ensuring no participation in selection decisions by anyone with a conflict of interest, and the selection committee will forward its recommendations to the Executive Committee for approval.

Applications are particularly welcomed from students engaged in research projects in areas of the application of the mathematical sciences (to business/industry or other areas of research), as well as those in more fundamental areas of research in the mathematical sciences, where clear benefits to NZ can be identified.

An application form and application guidelines can be downloaded from here.

Applications should be submitted by electronic mail (in MS Word or PDF format) to nzima-admin@nzima.auckland.ac.nz and a paper copy sent separately to

Closing dates for applications for scholarships (other than those offered under the terms of the NZIMA's thematic programmes) are listed here.

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Other support

From time to time the NZIMA may have sufficient funds to be able to support other forms of mathematical research activity in NZ such as specialist conferences or workshops, visits to NZ by eminent researchers in the mathematical sciences, or "research-in-pairs" retreats.

It is expected that small grants of up to NZ$5000 may be available for conferences, workshops and/or eminent visitors, or up to NZ$1500 for "research-in-pairs" activity. These grants are NOT made to enable individuals to travel to conferences overseas. All applications must be justified in terms of the benefit to NZ of the proposed activity, and the other aims of the NZIMA.

A report from the awardee of each such small grant from the NZIMA will be expected within two months of the end of the term of the activity supported by the grant, including a summary of their research activities, details of any other researchers involved in their projects, any additional funding or other support received, and all significant publications and other outputs resulting from the scholarship. Reporting guidelines can be downloaded in Microsoft Word, or Adobe PDF. Details of subsequent publications and other outcomes will also be expected to be provided at a later date.

The NZIMA Executive Committee will appoint a selection committee to short-list applicants and seek further information as appropriate, ensuring no participation in selection decisions by anyone with a conflict of interest, and the selection committee will forward its recommendations to the Executive Committee for approval.

Each application should include the following:

1) Name and contact details of applicant
2) Brief description of proposed activity(250 words max.)
3) Likely dates and venue for the proposed activity
4) Justification of proposed activity in terms of global significance, benefits to New Zealand, and other aims of the NZIMA, etc.)
5) List of other people in NZ involved in the activity
6) Details of any external participation (such as from business/industry or other disciplines)
7) Other sources of financial support, indicated as definite or expected or under review
8) Amount of funding being being sought, with a breakdown of proposed application, where appropriate.

Applications should be submitted by electronic mail (in MS Word or PDF format) to nzima-admin@nzima.auckland.ac.nz and a paper copy sent separately to

Closing dates for small grant applications are listed here.

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Other sources of funding for research in the mathematical sciences in NZ

There are numerous other sources of funding for research and postgraduate study in the mathematical sciences in NZ. Below are links to a few of these:

  • The Marsden Fund (grants "to support excellent research and researchers")
  • The NZ Science & Technology Linkages Fund (travel grants to support research collaboration with selected countries)
  • Small grants from the NZ Mathematical Society
  • Small grants from the Royal Society of NZ
  • James Cook Research Fellowships (2-year fellowships for "forward thinking" researchers)
  • Fulbright Awards (for New Zealanders to undertake research or deliver invited lectures in the U.S.)

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    Last updated on 04 Nov 2010 by webmaster@nzima.auckland.ac.nz