Summer Research Scholarships recipients and projects

Summer Research Scholarships are a great way to gain valuable research experience, work with leading researchers at the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries, enhance your career opportunities and help you think about pursuing postgraduate study.

Sophie's experience

Conduct a research project under supervision for 10 weeks over the summer months. Receive a tax-free stipend of $6,000.

How do I apply?
Applications should be submitted online via the Summer Research Scholarship website at the University of Auckland.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I am completing a degree at the end of the Semester Two 2020. Am I eligible to apply?
Students who are enrolled in an undergraduate degree at the time of scholarship application and who have completed at least two years of equivalent full-time study towards their undergraduate degree at the time of scholarship application are eligible to apply.

2. How is my GPA calculated?
Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated over your two most recent full-time equivalent years of study. For 2020 applications, this would typically be:

•     Semester Two 2018
•     Semester One 2019
•     Semester Two 2019
•     Semester One 2020

All courses in the semester are counted.

3. Are DNCs, DNSs, Ws and fails counted in the GPA calculation?
Yes. Each of these counts in the calculation and is worth zero points.

4. Does ‘working in the University or elsewhere’ mean during the academic year or over the summer?
In Creative Arts and Industries we take this to mean working over the summer. We want your assurance that you will stop any full-time or part-time paid work by the end of November in order to work full-time on your Summer Research Scholarship project for 10 weeks (400 hours) from early December to late February.

5. Who is eligible to apply?
Students who are interested in progressing to an Honours or Masters degree and are completing an undergraduate degree, Honours degree, or PGDip are eligible to apply.

6. Can the project be student-driven?
Yes. Students can approach potential supervisors who have listed projects, and can tailor the topic to their interests in certain circumstances. Please read through the list of projects advertised in your area and approach the supervisor with any questions. Proposals are valued for their contributions to research outcomes for the supervisor as well as the student. In the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries, students must write their own proposals following the application template.

All proposals need to clearly define the scope of the student’s project and the expected research activities undertaken by the student during the period of the Summer Scholarship.

7. Can the project be staff-driven?
Yes. Students can approach potential supervisors who have listed projects for further information. Proposals are valued for their contributions to research outcomes for the supervisor as well as the student. In the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries, students must write their own proposals following the application template. All proposals need to clearly define the scope of the student’s part in the project, in relation to that of the supervisor, and the expected research activities undertaken by the student during the period of the Summer Scholarship.

8. What will the project be judged on?
The selection of Summer Scholarship applications involves a competitive assessment against the following criteria:

  • Grade Point Average from latest two years (or part-time equivalent) of study
  • Quality of the proposal as presented in the application
  • The student’s stated intention to subsequently enroll in a postgraduate degree. 

We reserve the right to also take into account even distribution of the Summer Scholarships across the Faculty.

9. What are some examples of outcomes for students?
Outcomes for students will usually be in a form that is accessible to other people. This might include an exhibition, performance, recording or publication. Publications include conference papers and journal articles. The outcome might be in the student’s name or it might be collaborative with the supervisor. In some cases, students will be learning about the research process by working as research assistants on staff-driven research projects. In such cases, the outcomes might be in the name of the staff member, with the student identified as a research assistant.

Please scroll down to see previous Summer Scholarships recipients.

10. What are some examples of outcomes for staff?
Outcomes for staff might include an exhibition, performance, recording or publication. If there is no published outcome for the supervisor, then the application should at least identify how the project relates to the supervisor’s research projects and research interests.

11. Who can be my supervisor?
Full-time academic staff are eligible supervisors. Contract or part-time academic staff cannot be supervisors. These are advertised in the list of available Summer Scholarships for 2020. For advice on finding a project and/or supervisor, you may contact the following department graduate advisers:

Subject areas Adviser Email
Design Dr Deb Polson
Architecture, Urban Planning,
Urban Design
AP Kai Gu
Dance Studies Dr Sarah Foster-Sproull
Fine Arts Dr Joyce Campbell
Music Dr Gregory Camp

2019 recipients

In late 2018, 23 students from our faculty were awarded Summer Research Scholarships to undertake research projects and develop their research skills during the 2018-2019 summer months. The scholarship winners worked with their supervisors on a diverse range of artistic, musical, dance-related and architectural projects.

Architecture and Planning

  • Harriet Cameron
    A collaborative project with the Auckland District Health Board, this research will produce a survey of existing design policies that aim to support the inclusion of Te Ao Maori principles in design for the built environment.
  • Samuel Moloney
    This project will document and interpret contemporary pieces of New Zealand residential architecture using scaled model making and 1:1 fragments as recording and interpretive devices.
  • Finn Forstner
    The proposed project investigates the historical context and significance of New Zealand’s historical halls which acted as community centres in New Zealand, it explores the politics and practicalities of erecting and running these as well as the architecture, research techniques will include fieldwork as well as library and archive exploration. Media will include drawing, modelling and photography as well as writing to form an understanding and reflect upon the hall typology in the context of today.
  • Ziyi Zheng
    The proposed project examines the role of drawing in the post-digital realm, using digital technology to document built architectural work, to be included in an architectural exhibition in 2019.
  • Muhammad Izzat Ramli
    Austronesian houses: The Maori, Malay, Polynesian and Indonesian.
  • Gabrielle Maffey
    The proposed project examines how inhabitation and occupancy are best represented in architectural drawings and exhibitions, culminating in an architectural exhibition in 2020.
  • Yue Jade Shum
    Guide to Taranaki Architecture.
  • Dorien Viliamu
    To conduct library and archival research and compile information for a guide to the architecture of the Cook Islands, to be published in the magazine Architecture NZ and on their website.

Dance Studies

  • Deborah Fletcher
    An exploration of how the choreographic products of emerging dance artists in Taiwan are affected by the geopolitical context.
  • Emma Broad
    Where do I stand?: An exploration of dancers’ perspectives of their role within choreographic collaboration.
  • Evie Logan
    Mistranslation Laboratory.
  • Syrai-Tiare Taumihau
    Cultural identity and its influence on Pacific perspectives: Creative and Choreographic Practice.
  • Villa Lemanu
    Defining Consent: How might I explore the issue of toxic behaviours of masculinity in South Auckland through interdisciplinary creative practice in dance and theatre?


  • Ara Ariki Houkamau
    A tatou korero: He tirohanga o mua, ki toku apopo.
  • Roma Anderson
    My project will develop an immersive real-time installation, utilising augmented reality strategies to map the Tamaki River and its estuaries, by placing virtual artworks (three dimensional models, sounds, still photographs and moving-images) in the environmental site in which they were created.
  • Honor Hamlet
    You'll Turn Into a Biscuit: Painting, Ethics, and Nonsense.


  • Felix Hayes-Tourelle
    Approaching Articulation - An investigation and comparison of saxophonists Jerry Bergonzi and George Garzone’s creative approaches to the use of articulation and phrasing in jazz improvisation.
  • Grace Leehan
    The history and contexts behind negative attitudes to the viola, and its journey from being insignificant to becoming an established and recognised instrument.
  • Joshua Kirk
    This project aims to develop a methodology for investigating the effect a conductor’s gesture has on a singer’s onset.
  • Arthur Adams-Close
    To perform Schubert’s song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin with an emphasis on melopoetic understanding of how its linguistic characteristics inform the performance.
  • David Mason
    Interactive music: exploring methods for electroacoustic composition in video games.
  • Zoe Stenhouse Burgess
    Undertaking source studies and contextual research on four programmatic works for fortepiano and a flute concerto by Johann Baptist Wanhal and computer-setting these works in preparation for making critical editions for publication.
  • Eliana Dunford
    Examining the reception history of Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto (2005) and attempting to define the work’s place in the development of the composer’s stylistic language.

For detailed information, including closing dates and how to apply, visit Summer Research Scholarships.

Reporting Guidelines

All summer scholarship students must submit their final report either as a written document, a five-minute video or an A1 or A0 poster, together with a cover sheet and supporting letter from the supervisor. The final report is necessary to receive the final payment. The report and supervisor's letter is to be submitted to the Creative Arts and Industries Student Centre.

Download the file below for more information about the Report Guidelines: