New scholarship programme highlights NZ as global leaders in agricultural climate change

  • Hon Damien O’Connor

A new scholarship aimed at boosting global scientific expertise in agricultural emissions was announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

The new scholarship called the New Zealand Global Research Alliance Doctoral Scholarships (NZ-GRADS) programme will see six science students from developing countries complete their PhDs at a New Zealand university.

“New Zealand is a global leader on climate change. As part of that leadership role, we’ve created these scholarships to support global efforts to tackle climate change and foster the next generation of climate scientists. We need to ensure the world’s brightest minds have access to our world-class education,” Mr O’Connor said.

Funding for the new scholarships is being provided by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), in support of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA).

The GRA focuses on improving agricultural productivity and production efficiency while addressing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and food security. It also facilitates a wide range of capability building and research programmes.

“New Zealand is a founding member and key contributor to the GRA. Our role is at the core of our global leadership on climate change”, he said.

“Our leadership is well recognised by other countries and was praised by the United Nations Secretary General during his visit to New Zealand in May 2019.

“Through the GRA we have successfully mobilised action around the world - from governments, international organisations and producers - to better understand the opportunities we have to reduce global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are committed to supporting the scientific capability in developing countries, and to broadening the pool of innovation and ideas globally. These scholarships will help us tap into the new research and knowledge these students will bring to New Zealand, while enabling them to expand their knowledge and expertise in agriculture emissions science”.

Applications open today (3 February 2020) and close 1 June 2020.

Notes for Editors 

  • Six PhD scholarships will be offered for study in 2020. These will support students undertaking research related to greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural systems. The primary focus will be on livestock emissions, but innovative and novel aspects of other areas will be considered, especially relating to new technologies or new applications of existing technologies.
  • Applications are open to eligible students from developing countries, as defined by the International Monetary Fund.
  • Scholarship details are available on the Global Research Alliance and the Education New Zealand websites.
  • NZ-GRADS scholarships will be open to students eligible for PhD study at any New Zealand university.
  • MPI is contributing the full cost of the six scholarships totalling $650,000, which covers all major expected tuition costs, travel, visas, living and associated costs for the students to attend the university and live and study in New Zealand for three years. There is also provision for students to bring their spouse and dependants.
  • The selection panel for the scholarship applicants will include representatives of the NZ Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Research Centre, relevant Deans of Graduate Studies from the universities offering scholarships, members of the Global Research Alliance and MPI science experts.
  • Education New Zealand will provide the administration services for the programme, being experienced in similar programmes involving hosting students from developing countries at New Zealand universities.