Borrin Foundation Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship

Applications closed 4 September 2023. The next application round for this Scholarship opens August 2024.

Pool of funding available: $120,000 (to be split between multiple scholars)

The title of this scholarship is inspired by the well known whakataukī (Māori proverb):

Whāia te pae tawhiti kia whakatata mai rā. E ko te pae tata, whakamaua kia tina!

Pursue the distant horizon and bring it closer. As for the close horizon, secure it and holdfast!

At the Borrin Foundation we believe in an Aotearoa New Zealand that is just, inclusive tolerant, and free. We aim to help build capacity in the legal community, and promote a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive legal world.

We recognise that while many students aspire to pursue a postgraduate degree in law, structural inequalities, adverse conditions, financial need, and complex personal circumstances may make it more challenging for talented individuals to succeed.

We want to recognise and support law graduates to pursue postgraduate study in law despite financial obstacles and complex life circumstances.

The pool will be split between multiple scholars. We invite proposals from law graduates demonstrating financial need who wish to obtain a postgraduate degree in law overseas or domestically.



  • Be a New Zealand citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Be an LLB graduate from a New Zealand institution (or in your final year) who wishes to advance their law studies
  • Demonstrate financial need that cannot reasonably be met from other sources of funding

How it would work

  • Particular consideration will be given to applicants who:
  1. Belong to a community that is underrepresented in the legal profession, courts, and/or academia, and having a strong connection to this community.
  2. Have more complex life circumstances affecting their ability to undertake further study (for example: working several jobs to support siblings, parents, wider family, caring for a parent who is elderly, disabled or mentally ill, or other complex circumstances).
  • Applications in this round are for programmes commencing no later than September 2024. (If the commencement date for the next academic year of your proposed course begins at a later date than this, please get in touch to check your eligibility).
  • The aim of the scholarship is to support scholars meeting the above eligibility criteria to pursue a post-graduate degree in law at a New Zealand university or at an overseas institution (any jurisdiction) including multi-year degree programmes.
  • Funding can be used for costs such as course fees, living expenses, and economy class airfares.
  • While funding cannot be provided retrospectively, if you have already started your postgraduate degree you may apply to cover costs not already met for the remainder of your study.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who are working to ensure access to justice for underserved communities in New Zealand, or working in an under-resourced area of law, or working in the Foundation’s strategic focus areas of criminal justice, family law or access to civil justice.
  • Candidates who are eligible to apply for postgraduate study funding under other Borrin Scholarships or Fellowships[1] are encouraged to do so. That will often be the more appropriate avenue. However, candidates who are eligible to apply for other Borrin Scholarships or Fellowships may apply for a Te Pae Tawhiti Scholarship if they meet the criteria for this scholarship. Please note candidates should not split the amount of funding requested across applications for different scholarships in the same round.
  • Generally, awards of up to $40,000 will be considered for a one-year course of study and up to $80,000 for multiyear courses of study. These figures are indicative, and applications may be made for amounts below or above these suggested figures.

[1] Borrin Foundation – Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Postgraduate Scholarship, Borrin Foundation Women Leaders in Law Fellowship, Borrin Foundation – Community Law Fellowship.


Application dates

Applications open once a year in August. The dates for the next application round are:

Applications open: August 2024

Applications close: September 2024

How to apply

To apply you need to prepare all your paperwork first, then submit this information through our online application. The proposal template and application form are available when we are accepting applications.

  1. Complete the Borrin Foundation Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship proposal template including your proposal and personal statement. This document should be no more than 7 pages with max 5 pages for your proposal and max 2 pages for your personal statement. If you are applying for an LLM by coursework only, where the proposal template asks about your planned research, explain your plan for your degree and what your focus of study will be.
  2. Prepare your CV or resume (max 3 pages).
  3. Ensure you have a copy of your academic transcripts.
  4. Ask two people for permission for the Borrin Foundation to contact them directly to provide a written reference – you can use our template to request written references.
  5. Once all your paperwork is ready, complete our online application and upload your proposal, CV and academic transcripts as PDF files.

If you have any questions contact Oli at

Recipients of the Borrin Foundation Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship

Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship for Jae Kim

Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship for Jae Kim

Jae is pursuing a Master of Law by thesis at the University of Auckland. Jae hopes to examine how the law can protect an individual’s privacy, particularly data privacy, in the so-called age of surveillance capitalism and the commodification of personal information....

read more
Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship for Amelia Cina

Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship for Amelia Cina

Amelia is pursuing a LLM at the University of Geneva/Geneve Graduate Institute in Switzerland. Amelia hopes to identify how alternative methods of dispute resolution (such as arbitration and mediation) can be employed to enable small and medium enterprises to assert...

read more
Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship for Elise McDowell

Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship for Elise McDowell

Elise is pursuing a Master of International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. About Elise Elise was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, attending a small, rural primary school and then Carmel College. She worked in the disability sector alongside children,...

read more