Getting started

Before you begin your application

Check how you should apply

Most applications should be completed online and this is the only option for some countries. Paper applications are accepted for some countries only. (But applications for New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships follow a different process. Read more about how to apply for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship)

Check how applications are accepted for your country and scholarship type.

If both online and paper applications are accepted, please use only one method when applying. We strongly recommend online applications.

Online applications

Online applications are for the following scholarship types:

Make sure you are fully prepared before you begin your online application:

We still find that many applications we get are low-quality and show that the applicant has not read the essential information and guidance on this website. 

The online application process has four steps, all completed on an online application site (external link). The site will explain each step in more detail.

Step one: Confirm your eligibility

Complete the Online Eligibility Test. This will give you a number that you will need when you register (step three).

Step two: Create a Real Me login

This will give you a login and password that you will use through the application process.

Step three: Register with New Zealand Scholarships online

 This creates your application account, and means you will be set up to complete an application.

Step four: Complete your application

 This step will only become available when applications formally opens. Check application dates.

If you are interested in applying for a scholarship we encourage you to do all the things under 'Getting started' before applications open. There is a lot you should do before you begin your application.

Start your online application process now:

Start your online application process here (external link).

Paper applications

Paper applications are only available for selected countries for the below scholarship types. Even if paper applications are available to you, we encourage you to apply via the Online Application Portal if you have internet access. Check how applications are accepted for your country and scholarship type.

Make sure you are fully prepared before you start your application:

We still find that many applications we get are low-quality and show that the applicant has not read the essential information and guidance on this website.

Paper applications have three steps.

Step one: Confirm your eligibility

Check your eligibility against the requirements to make sure that you are eligible for a scholarship.

Step two: Get a copy of an application form

If you are eligible, get an application form from the New Zealand High Commission or Embassy in your country. You can contact them by email, or you can submit an online enquiry form to us to request a paper application form. Note that we strongly encourage applicants to apply via the Online Application portal. If you can email us, you should be able to do the Online Application.

Step three: Complete your application

Complete the application form. See Application Guidance for advice and essential information. Older versions of the Application form will not be accepted. The Application Form must say '2018 Selection' on the front cover.

Step 4: Submit your application to your local Embassy or High Commission or direct to MFAT

Send your completed NZDS, NZAS, NZPS or NZRDS 2018 Application Form to the New Zealand High Commission, Embassy or listed address in your country by the close date. Check the application closing date for your country.

A different process applies for New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship applications - these must be submitted to a Nominating Agency. Read the information below.

Applications for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship

The application process for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship is different to other New Zealand Scholarships. Applicants must submit their paper applications to their country's 'Nominating Agency' first. The Nominating Agency then 'nominates' two applicants from the submitted applications to send to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Read the below information carefully before you submit an application.

Note: Applications will open on 1 February 2018, and will close on 28 March 2018. Applications must arrive at your country’s Commonwealth Nominating Agency by 28 March 2018.

Step 1: Prepare to apply

  • Check that you meet all eligibility criteria.
  • Follow the steps under 'Getting Started' above. (The selection process is very competitive and your choice of study must align to one of these sectors to go on to be shortlisted.) 

  • If you want to pursue a PhD or a Masters by Thesis you should also start contacting and securing a potential supervisor for your PhD. You will need to have a Letter of Support from a supervisor should you go on to be shortlisted.

Step 2: Complete your application form

The New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships Application Form for 2018 selection will be available to download here when applications open on 1 February 2018. Please use the below Application Form:

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships Application Form [PDF, 818 KB]

Refer to the Application Guidance page on this website for essential information and helpful tips.

Complete all sections of the application form, and make sure you have attached the additional documents required.

Step 3: Submit your application to your nominating agency

Send your completed Application Form to your country's nominating agency by 28 March 2018.

For the contact details of Nominating Agencies - see pages 26-30 at the back of the application form.

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

What happens after I apply?

Nominating Agencies will review all applications received and select the two candidates that best meet the eligibility conditions, preference factors and priority sectors for their country. The Nominating Agencies then send their nominated candidates to us. 

In May, we will contact you via email if you have been nominated to let you know that we have received your application as one of the two nominated applicants for your country.

We will then shortlist applications to proceed through to the next stages.

All shortlisted candidates will be assessed, interviewed and undergo reference checks through the New Zealand Scholarships office.

A final decision will be made by mid-October, 2018. Preferred candidates will be notified and go through the placement process at their selected institution. Once successfully placed, they will officially become New Zealand Commonwealth Scholars.

Supporting documents

At the application stage, we only ask for the following supporting documents:

  • Your academic transcript - it can be an unverified copy at this stage, but it must be in English.
  • The grading key/scale for this academic transcript. Sometimes this is on the same sheet as your academic transcript, sometimes it is on the back. Please make sure you include the grading scale so that assessors understand what an A, B, C means at your academic institution.
  • If you are applying for a PhD or Masters by Thesis, a letter of support from your potential supervisor can be attached, but if you do not have one yet you can still apply. See more information about Guidance for PhD applicants or Masters by Thesis.

If you are successful in reaching the later stages of the selection process, you will be required to provide the following documentation:

  1. One of the following:
    • Verified copy of passport
    • Verified copy of birth certificate
    • Verified copy of other official government issued ID
  2. Verified copies of relevant academic transcripts
  3. Verified copies of relevant completion certificates
  4. Contact details of most recent employer and two most relevant other employers (this does not apply to School Leaver applicants)
  5. A non-verified copy of an IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) or an original copy of a TOEFL test result form, completed in the last 24 months. Native English language speakers will have the opportunity to provide alternative evidence of their proficiency.

Read the Selection process timeline for more information about the later stages of our selection process and when you need to provide certain documents.

Any questions?

Please check our frequently asked questions before making an enquiry.