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International Scholarships

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) – New Zealand

Competition: Closed for the 2016 academic year

Who Applies: Canadian students and researchers

Description: Scholarships offered to Canadians for doctoral studies at New Zealand universities under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan.


Under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), a number of scholarships are offered by the New Zealand CSFP Committee, administered by Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara. These scholarships are available at the doctoral level in all disciplines. Programs with higher than normal fees are not supported under the CSFP.

The scholarships are tenable at the following New Zealand universities:

Scholarship Value

A scholarship under this initiative is for a scholar to undertake a specific course of study at a specific New Zealand university. The value of the scholarship is determined by each university and may vary from one university to another. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the university of their choice for the financial terms and conditions of the scholarship.

Each university's scholarship committee is responsible for the final selection, academic matters, and payments to scholarship recipients as well as for arranging travel, reception and other services.

The application process for acceptance to a PhD program at one of the New Zealand universities and the application process for a scholarship under the New Zealand CSFP are separate processes. The offer of a placement to a PhD program does not guarantee or imply the offer of a scholarship.

The scholarship generally includes:

  • airfare to New Zealand, for the scholarship recipient only, by the most direct and economical route and return airfare upon completion of the scholarship. The cost of any travel made before receipt of a scholarship is normally not reimbursed;
  • approved tuition and compulsory fees;
  • medical and travel insurance; and
  • an annual grant.

Scholarship Duration

Scholarships are tenable for one academic year, which must begin by the start of the 2016 academic year (February 2016).

The scholarship can be renewed for a maximum duration of three years. The yearly renewal of the scholarship is subject to:

  • the availability of funding;
  • good academic standing during the previous academic year; and
  • receipt of a satisfactory annual progress report from the recipient and their supervisor.


Applicants must:

  • be Canadian citizens; and
  • have completed an undergraduate degree with a minimum (A-) average or equivalent.

In addition, applicants:

Individuals already enrolled in a degree program in New-Zealand are eligible to apply. However, priority will be given to applicants who are not currently enrolled in a doctoral program in New Zealand.

Terms and Conditions

Scholarship recipients:

  • may be required to submit a medical report before the scholarship can be confirmed;
  • are required to satisfy the entry requirements of Immigration New Zealand. All scholarship offers are conditional on meeting these requirements;
  • must make travel arrangements to New Zealand in accordance with any rules and limitations of the university’s funding policy. Any additional costs must be covered by the recipient;
  • who bring their spouse and/or family to New Zealand will be responsible for their financial support during the tenure of the scholarship;
  • may not concurrently hold other scholarships or awards;
  • will be required to sign an undertaking to return to Canada as soon as their scholarship comes to an end. Recipients who seek or apply for New Zealand permanent residency while in New Zealand will automatically have their scholarship terminated;
  • are required to follow a full-time course of study and abide by the rules of the host university. Each university may have different policies, but in general scholars are expected to spend 11 months each year on full-time study. One month’s leave each year may be taken at a time, upon approval from the supervisor;
  • may be required to enroll in a preliminary course of study by way of a bridging program. The time spent on these courses is part of the total period of the scholarship term;
  • will be expected to reside in New Zealand throughout their scholarship, and to seek approval from the scholarship committee at the host university for any proposed visits abroad. Research outside of New Zealand is normally not permitted;
  • may not seek an offer of paid employment or make other arrangements to stay in New Zealand either during or immediately after the scholarship term;
  • may work part-time in the area of tutoring or demonstrating duties at the university, with the approval of the supervisor and university scholarship committee. This must not exceed 20 hours per week and must be approved by Immigration New Zealand;
  • are expected to complete the requirements of the PhD within three years. Extensions to the scholarship, either in time or funds, are not guaranteed;
  • may have their scholarship terminated at any time due to a recipient’s unsatisfactory progress, conduct or due to the breach of any of the scholarship’s conditions; and
  • are responsible to establish their tax status in New Zealand as scholarship recipients and as international students.


The deadline for the online application form is 11:59 p.m. EDT, August 3, 2015. Incomplete applications, or those received late, will not be considered.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all documents required by mail and email are received by the deadline. The scholarship administrator, the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), will not accept incomplete files. Supporting documents, other than the ones requested, will not be accepted.


Applicants will be contacted by CBIE in August 2015 regarding the status of their application.

Applicants must ensure that a permanent email address is included in their application.

Final Selection

The final selection of scholarship recipients is made by the participating universities in New Zealand. The scholarships manager of Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara will notify all applicants of their decisions in mid-September 2015.

Application Process

To be considered for the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan an applicant must complete and submit the online application form of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), available on this site, and provide the supporting documents as requested.

Applicants are recommended to list up to three universities, in order of priority, where they would like their scholarship application to be considered. Universities will be involved in the assessment process in the order in which they are listed on the online application form. Applicants who have listed only one university (first choice) will not be considered for a second round of assessment.

Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.


Applicants are encouraged to carefully read the instructions below before beginning the online form. If applicants experience difficulty filling out or submitting the form, they should send an email to

Applicants must:

  • complete the online form;
    • Individuals who do not have an account will first need to Register an account.
    • Under “For Canadians” section, applicants will need to go to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan-New Zealand and click on Apply Now.
  • enter data in the fields marked mandatory, following instructions for each item;
  • upload all required supporting documents;
  • upon completion, verify the data prior to submission;
  • print the form for their records using the print function in the browser; and
  • click SUBMIT to provide their form electronically to DFATD.

Applicants will receive a confirmation message and reference number by e-mail once their form is submitted.

NOTE: Applicants will have the possibility to save their application and complete it at a later time. Both saved and submitted applications will appear on the applicant’s profile homepage.

Supporting Documentation

All supporting documentation may be submitted in English or in French, but pre-selected applicants will be required to provide English translation.

The following documents must be uploaded and attached to the online application form in one of the following formats: .pdf, .jpg, .doc, .docx, .txt or .gif. Each document must be smaller than 5 Mb in order for the application to upload successfully:

  • Certificate of admission: certificate of admission from the host institution or copy of correspondence testifying that the applicant has requested admission or will have access to the facilities needed to complete the proposed research project.
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship: copy of a birth certificate, citizenship card, or passport; a baptism certificate is not accepted as proof of Canadian citizenship.
  • Official transcripts: a transcript of all post-secondary studies to date (complete academic records including colleges and CÉGEPs) with the cumulative grade point average for each degree or certificate.
  • Study or research proposal: An essay describing your study or research plan (maximum two pages).
  • Copy of the diploma for the highest degree obtained.

The following documents must be sent by mail or e-mail:

  • Curriculum vitae: the curriculum vitae must not include photographs or any personal information such as a date of birth (maximum four pages).
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation must be sent in PDF format, by e-mail, directly by the referees to CBIE at The New Zealand CSFP Committee attaches great importance to letters of recommendation from people who are well acquainted with the applicant’s academic or professional work. Please note that:
    • where an applicant has studied at a New Zealand university or is currently doing so, at least one referee should be from this institution; and
    • at least two of the three referees should have taught or supervised the applicant in an area of study relevant to this application. Documents and email subject lines must clearly identify the name of the scholarship program and the last name of the applicant (e.g. Subject: CSP-NEW-ZEALAND-last name of the applicant).
  • Artwork samples for applicants in fine arts, music and architectureare required as follows. Applicants in the history or theory of art, of music, or of architecture are not required to submit samples.
    • Applicants in the fine arts1 (painting, graphic arts, sculpture and photography) must submit copies or photos of three pieces of their work. Film-makers and video artists must submit at least one recent film, indicating when it was made, how the applicant was involved in its production and the running time. These must be provided on a USB Key, CD or DVD, be dated, and clearly identified with the applicant's name.
    • Applicants in music1 must submit a USB Key, CD or DVD of three original work pieces for a total of no more than 30 minutes. The recordings of singers and instrumentalists must be chosen from three different musical periods, except in the case of Baroque musicians, who must include movements from three different types of pieces. Piano accompaniments may be included.
    • Applicants in architecture1must submit up to ten reproductions of drawings, provided on a USB Key, CD or DVD.

The documents above must be sent by email to or by mail to:

Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)
Attn: Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan – New Zealand
220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1550
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5Z9

The three letters of recommendation as well as all the required documents must arrive at CBIE by the deadline for the online application to be considered.

Review Procedures

All applications received by the deadline that meet the eligibility requirements are evaluated by the Canadian Scholarship Selection Committee.

Preselected applications will be nominated to the New Zealand CSFP Committee where the final selection of scholarship recipients will be made. The results will be communicated to CBIE in September 2015. Notification will be sent out to successful candidates in September 2015 by Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara.


All recommendations of the Canadian Scholarship Selection Committee and decisions made by the New Zealand CSFP Committee are final and are not open to appeal.

The Canadian Scholarship Selection Committee is not able to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

Applications submitted directly to the High Commission of New Zealand will not be considered. Documents submitted to the scholarship administrator will not be returned.

These scholarships are subject to the availability of funding provided by the participating universities in New Zealand.

1Only samples as specified above will be presented to the Selection Committee. Samples can be returned following the competition; please indicate the return address. However CBIE, while taking all reasonable care, cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage of artwork samples.


The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) was established in 1959, with the first scholars selected in 1960. The Plan was suggested in an influential speech in September 1958 by Sidney Smith, a former President of the University of Toronto and later Canadian Minister of External Affairs. The goal of the Plan is to nurture educational links among Commonwealth countries and to strengthen the ideals upon which the Commonwealth was founded. Over 27,000 Commonwealth citizens have held awards - many going on to reach the very highest levels within their profession.

The chief contributors to the Plan are Canada and the United Kingdom (UK), with 20 other member countries having offered awards over its 50 year lifespan. In New Zealand, the CSFP is administered by Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara.

Annually, the New Zealand CSFP Committee offers a total of eight scholarships to Canada and the UK. All applications from Canada and the UK will be assessed on merit by the New Zealand CSFP Committee.


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