Read this advice for all New Zealand Scholarship applicants whether you apply through the online portal or by paper.


General Guidance

Learn about New Zealand Scholarships

Make sure you have read and understood the information on this website about our scholarships, whether you are eligible and what we are looking for in successful New Zealand Scholars. We get a lot of applications from people who have not read our website and who do not understand about our scholarships.

Prepare for your application

• Read Our scholarships - why New Zealand offers scholarships and what you can expect

• Read your country page and ensure your application is aligned with the priority sectors for your country

• Understand our selection preferences for scholars

• Understand what we expect from you if you win a scholarship, both during your study and after you graduate.

Research your proposed study programme

In the application, you will be asked for a proposed study programme. You must do your own research about which institution and qualification is right for you and the development needs of your country.

New Zealand Scholarships are for people who are motivated to make a difference to their home country. Be clear about what your proposed programme of study is and how it will help your country’s development.

To help you work out your study programme, read:

Get your application in early

Check Application dates for the closing date for your country. You can submit your application at any time between the opening and closing dates. To avoid any last-minute technical problems make sure you submit at least 3-10 days before the closing date.

  • Application deadline is in New Zealand Time.
  • Applications close at midday (NZ Time), not midnight.
  • Late applications will not be accepted.

Make sure your contact details are correct

The application process will take several months. We need to communicate with you through the process. We will communicate with you via email. Make sure your email address is entered correctly, and is one that you will regularly access.

Make sure you respond promptly to communications from us.

Sometimes successful candidates miss out on their scholarships because they do not respond to us in sufficient time. They may have entered their email address incorrectly, or they may be on holiday. The scholarship is then offered to another candidate.

Fix any mistakes

Applications which have errors or are poorly written make a bad impression when we read them. Check your answers thoroughly.

Make sure they:

  • are spelt correctly
  • answer the question as fully as possible
  • are appropriate
  • make sense.

Answer all the questions, within word limits

  • Answer all questions in the application form.
  • Use the word counts provided as a guide for how much detail to provide when answering questions. Answers must be within word limits.
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Write in English

Answer all questions in English. Applications not in English will not be accepted.

Do not plagiarise

If there is evidence that your work is not your own or you have been guided by others in your answers, your application will be declined.

Obtain your academic transcript

For both the online and paper-based application, the application form will ask you for:

• a copy of your academic transcript

• the grading scale used at the institution

This can be an unverified copy at the application stage. Applications without the correct documents will not be accepted.

If you are shortlisted, we will also ask you for other documents. Do not provide any other documents at application stage.

Online Application Guidance

Read this important information about the online application process, as well as some helpful tips.

Remember your RealMe username and password

Once you’ve set up your RealMe username and password, this will be used whenever you want to access and edit your application. Even after applications close, you will still need to use the RealMe login if you want to view your completed application.

If you forget your password, follow the instructions on the RealMe website.

We are unable to reset your password or user name for you.

Prepare your answers offline

The application form can take some time to complete, so we suggest you prepare some of your answers offline.

For example, you may wish to do this in a Word document. This will allow you to:

  • think about how to structure and write your answer
  • write, edit, and re-write your answers
  • check spelling and grammar
  • make sure your answers are within the word limit, where specified

You can then copy and paste your answers into the online form. Do not use any elaborate formatting. Use a plain font. The online application form will accept simple bullet points, but not much other formatting.

You can preview the application form

You don’t have to complete the form in one sitting. Use your RealMe login at the bottom of the Online Application Landing page to get back to your application. Once you have access to the online application form, you can preview all the pages in the online application to give you a sense of the questions.

You can also copy the questions into a Word document if you are following our advice above about preparing your answers offline

Use the ‘Save and Resume’ button

There is no automatic save function on the online application portal.

To save your work, you click ‘Save and resume later’. This takes you out of the application form, back to the home page.

You can click ‘edit’ to edit your form again. This will bring you to the start of the application rather than where you last entered an answer. This may be annoying for users, hence our suggestion to prepare your answers offline.

Submit your online application early to avoid technical problems

The online application portal experiences very high volumes in the days just before closing dates. This puts it under stress and technical problems can be experienced, for example the online application portal may crash or not work for several hours.

  • You can submit your application any time between the opening and closing dates.
  • We accept no responsibility for technical problems with the online application portal.
  • Submit your application at least 3-10 days before the closing time in case there are technical problems.

View the application portal in a full-size screen

To read the application form easily, view it in a full-size screen on a computer.

The following browsers are compatible with the Online application form: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome.

You can edit your contact details

Make sure you enter a valid email address. If it changes after you have submitted your application, update it in the Profile section.

  • Login using your RealMe login
  • Click Profile
  • Click Edit to edit your email address

It is important that we have your correct email, otherwise you may miss out on important updates from us.

Don't use your browser's 'back' and 'forward' buttons

This will take you out of the online portal and you will lose all unsaved work. Instead, use the form’s Previous Page, Next Page or Home or Profile buttons to navigate.

Review all information before clicking SUBMIT

Before hitting the submit button, carefully read all your answers. Make sure you have answered all the relevant questions as fully as you can. When you are satisfied, click the Submit button to send us your form.

Once you have done this, you cannot edit your application except for the contact details. To edit your contact details, see Contact details advice

Paper Application Guidance

  • Complete the paper application form in English.
  • Write clearly using a blue or black pen.
  • Make sure your handwriting is readable. If your application is hard to read it may not be possible for us to assess.
  • Send your application in on time!
  • If the Online Application option is open to you, we encourage you to use the online application portal. DO NOT COMPLETE BOTH ONLINE AND PAPER. There is no advantage to you to do both. If you send both in, only the online application will be considered.
  • Make sure you are using the correct application form as older versions of the application forms are not accepted. (See How to Apply for further details)

Where to send your application

For those countries who are eligible to submit paper applications (with the exception of New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship applications), you should submit your completed application form to the New Zealand Embassy or High Commission in your country.

Applications must be received by the New Zealand Embassy or High Commission in your country on or before 14 March 2018.

Applications received after this date will not be accepted.

Kiribati application dates are to be confirmed.

Where to send your application: New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship

The application process for New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships is different from other New Zealand Scholarships.

Applications for New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships must be completed on a separate application form, and sent to your in-country 'Nominating Agency'.

Send your completed NZ Commonwealth Scholarship Application Form to your country's nominating agency by 30 March 2018.

For the contact details of Nominating Agencies - see pages 26-30 at the back of the NZCS Application Form [PDF, 827 KB].

Note: any applications received directly from applicants will not be considered. (Do NOT send your application to New Zealand). All applications must be sent to your country's Nominating Agency first. Nominating Agencies play a key role in the application process.

Make sure you read the information about on how to apply for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship, see Types of Scholarship: Commonwealth.

Guidance for PhD Applicants

PhD candidates are encouraged to start finding and securing a supervisor for your proposed PhD.

If you are shortlisted, you will be required to supply a Letter of Support from your proposed supervisor.

If you already have a Letter of Support, you can attach it to your Online Application or Paper Application.

Letter of Support is a letter from your proposed Supervisor stating they have been in contact with you regarding your proposed research and that your proposed topic is a suitable one for research. It should also confirm that the proposed supervisor is willing to supervise your PhD.

If you receive a scholarship, you will also be required to receive a formal offer of place from the institution, which would be subject to academic and language requirements.

And finally, good luck!