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.

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.
  • Budget proposal for travel and expenses should include current written quotations in NZD (exclusive of GST).
  • The University of Auckland has a supplier agreement with Orbit for travel, accommodation and car rental quotes. Domestic and Trans-Tasman airfares may be purchased from an alternative supplier if it is more cost-effective. Accommodation may also be purchased from an alternative supplier if Orbit is unable to source the accommodation that suits you. Please note that you must first approach Orbit to provide airfare and accommodation, and you will need to provide evidence of having tried. Air travel booked through Orbit may be charged directly to the grant.
  • 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

  • One application round per year is held. Applications are considered and recommendations for awards are made in early April. Late applications aren't accepted.
  • If successful in your application, you must return the signed acceptance form to Jenny Long within one calendar month.
  • You must submit a student report at the conclusion of the grant's term. Supervisors are asked to provide comments when the grant is completed, using the supervisor report template.
  • 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.


Jenny Long
Faculty Administrator