Doctoral Research Fund

As a PhD student in Arts you can apply to the Doctoral Research Fund (DRF) for expenses related to your research that are over and above what is supported by your PReSS account.

Note on international travel and Covid-19:

Due to the on-going border restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot approve funding for any travel overseas at this time.

You can still apply for domestic travel or funding to support other kinds of research activities.

You can apply for up to $5000 to fund:

  • Research-related consumables
  • Field work
  • Literature/library searches
  • Travel, accommodation, general subsistence needs 

All applications will be considered taking into account application quality, research needs, supervisor support, project appropriateness, and total research funds available.


  • You must be enrolled for a PhD in the Arts at the University of Auckland when applying, and can receive only one DRF grant during the course of your doctoral enrolment. 
  • You can still apply if you are a PhD student funded by scholarships or outside sources.
  • If you are in your provisional year of registration, you can apply. Upon completion, you'll need to provide confirmation of re-enrolment from the Dean of Graduate Studies before being able to get funds. 
  • If you are a doctoral student and a member of the academic staff, you probably won't be eligible for the DRF. If you are eligible for the Faculty Research Development Fund, apply for that instead.

Application guidelines

  • DRF grants are for one to two years. Timelines related to expenditure must feature in the application. Unspent funding at the end of the grant period remain with the Faculty.
  • Let your supervisor know that they'll be asked to submit a confidential letter of support and talk with them about your application.
  • The  University of Auckland has a supplier agreement with Orbit for travel, accommodation and car rental. In compliance with the University travel policy, all travel must be booked through Orbit.
  • When you make a request for budget accommodation, it's expected you'll use student or youth hostels (or similar).
  • Reimbursement of approved expenditure is only made when you submit receipts and invoices. However, for application budgeting purposes, use the following per diem rates. These are a guide to the reasonable cost of meals, travel and internet access while travelling in a region.

Expenses not funded

These include:

  • Expenses incurred prior to the award of a grant.
  • Conference attendance. There's an expectation that standard PReSS account awards and School funds will provide the financial support to enable doctoral students to attend conferences.
  • Payment for computers, cameras, and video recorders. Students should seek loans of laptops, cameras and video recorders through their supervisor using the Faculty loanpools managed by Arts IT. Non-consumables such as equipment and software purchased with DRF monies remain the property of the Arts.
  • Reimbursement requests not specified in the submitted budget. They are approved only with prior permission of the Associate Dean Research, and should only involve minor variations. Expenditure may be subject to audit.
  • Travel insurance. The University has insurance that covers staff and students travelling overseas on authorised business for up to 90 days. If you'll be overseas for longer, you'll need to make private arrangements for insurance.

Timetable and post-award processes

  • There will be two application rounds per year, closing at 5pm on 1 March, 1 July. Late applications are not accepted.
  • If successful in your application, you must return the signed acceptance form within one calendar month to
  • You and your supervisor will be told of your grant, and the money will be deposited into an Arts account. Money will be released on a reimbursement-only basis.
  • You need to check your available balance before incurring costs. You must also get your supervisor's signature and approval of expenses before withdrawals. This is to verify that there has been no overspending or inappropriate spending.
  • Original tax invoices must be presented when claiming reimbursement and all expenditure must comply with the University of Auckland Travel Policy.

Research fund report

A brief written report on the research project should be submitted to by students within three months of the expiry date of the award. This should also be signed by your supervisor. Please use the report template below, which requires the following:

  • Details from the original application
  • A written report of the achievement
  • A financial statement indicating how funds have been expended and a statement as to how any unspent funds are to be used.

Reimbursements from the Doctoral Research Fund

You can make an online claim for reimbursement from the Doctoral Research Fund.

Required documents for a reimbursement

  • Tax invoice or GST receipt relating to the expense item
  • Your supervisor's approval
  • Proof of payment
  • Proof of bank account which can be either of the following:
    • A bank deposit slip
    • A bank statement
    • A void cheque
    • A letter from the bank confirming that account number and the account holder details (Dated stamped and signed)
    • A screenshot of internet banking with visible URL

EFTPOS slips are not acceptable. A maximum of three documents can be uploaded; merge these into one document where needed.



Send your application to by 1 October for Round 3.