Fellowship Application Guide



Who is eligible?

To be eligible for any Borrin Foundation Fellowship, you must have either NZ Citizenship or NZ Permanent Residency.

Each Fellowship has specific eligibility criteria. See the information for the individual Fellowships for more information:

Borrin Foundation Justice Fellowship

Borrin Foundation-Community Law Fellowship

Borrin Foundation Women Leaders in Law Fellowship

Borrin Foundation Travel and Learning Awards (coming soon)


Do I need a law degree to be eligible for individual funding/fellowships?

Yes, you must have a law degree. If you do not have a law degree but are working close to the law, you might consider applying for our project funding.


Can I apply with another person to share the Fellowship?

No. The Fellowships are only available for applications from individuals. The purpose of the Fellowships is to develop and foster individual professional development, innovation and leadership in the law. If you have an idea for project involving other people, consider applying for a grant through our project funding.


How do I apply?

You must apply online. This involves completing our online application and uploading your documents online. Before starting the application online, be sure you have your information ready. You cannot save your application part way through and return to complete it. You need to submit the application all at one time.

In addition to the questions in the application form, you will need to upload the following documents (PDF files only):

  • A CV or resume (maximum 3 pages)
  • A personal statement (maximum 2 pages)
  • A proposal (maximum 5 pages, see the templates below)
  • Names and contact details for 2 referees who have agreed to provide a written reference for you. You must ask your referees to send their written reference directly to us (see below).

If you have questions or problems completing the application or uploading any files contact us on admin@borrinfoundation.nz.

You may also choose to provide a link to video as an introduction to yourself and your proposal. This is optional. See the additional information below.


What should my personal statement include?

Your personal statement should provide more background about you and your personal motivation and skills related to your proposal. It might answer the following questions:

  • Why are you engaged in your current field of work?
  • Why are you the right person to tackle the challenge outlined in your proposal? What special knowledge, skills or networks do you have?
  • In what places or communities do you have influence, leadership or connections?
  • Why is this the right time for this fellowship, for you personally, and (if relevant) for the issue?


What information is needed for references?

Written references are required from two people to support your application. You need to ask your referees to send their written and signed reference in confidence directly to the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation office. These can be sent by email to admin@borrinfoundation.nz with your name in the subject line. We will send a confirmation to you and your referee once the reference is received.

We ask you to provide the names and contact details of your referees in our online application. We may contact your referees only if they have not submitted a written reference by the application deadline. We will not contact your references for additional information.

Referees should provide an honest and confidential assessment of the applicant. The information they provide should include:

  • the period of time that the referee has known the applicant and in what capacity
  • what the referee sees as the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses;
  • the calibre of the applicant’s work and potential for contribution to their field and proposal
  • any specific experiences or reasons why the applicant should be selected for a Borrin Foundation Fellowship
  • the applicant’s leadership qualities and experience (currently or potentially)
  • the suitability of the applicant’s proposal (if appropriate)


What should my proposal include?

We have provided proposal templates to help guide you when writing your proposal. Your proposal should be no more than 5 pages in length.

If you are applying for the Borrin Foundation – Community Law Fellowship, for the Borrin Foundation Justice Fellowship or to pursue an ‘inquiry project’ for the Women Leaders in Law Fellowship, use this proposal template. Your proposal should address the following:

  • Brief overview, purpose and plan for your idea (issue or question)
  • The significance or what is the need
  • The impact: who will benefit and in what way
  • The anticipated end-result
  • The amount of funding requested and what it is for (budget).


If you are applying for the Women Leaders in Law Fellowship to pursue professional development courses or further study including a post-graduate degree, use this proposal template. Your proposal should include the following:

  • Brief overview of your plan for professional development or further study
  • How this will help you on your leadership journey
  • The impact that pursuing this plan would have on you and others
  • The anticipated end-result
  • The amount of funding requested and what it is for (budget).


Do I need to include a video as part of my proposal?

No. You do not need to make a video. This is optional. You can choose to make a video as an additional way to introduce yourself and your proposal. The video must be no more than 3 minutes. If you make a video, you can use a service such as YouTube or Vimeo to upload your video and share the link with us in your application. 


How much funding can I apply for?

For each Fellowship there is a pool of funding available. For each Fellowship, the pool of funding may be awarded in full to one individual or we may make multiple separate awards to individuals. The amount of funding requested should match the need of the proposal. See the individual Fellowships for more information on what the funding can and cannot be used for.


What about GST and tax?

A Borrin Foundation grant is an unconditional gift. There is no contract between the Borrin Foundation and the grantee for any exchange of goods or services. The grant payments are not payments in return for services. Grants may be considered taxable and also may be subject to GST depending on your particular circumstances. Because individual situations are unique to each person/organisation, you are responsible for determining your own tax obligations. You may wish to seek tax advice in preparing a budget for your application. Please include in your proposal whether your budget is GST inclusive or exclusive.

If I am part of a project currently or previously funded by a Borrin Foundation grant, can I apply for a Fellowship or Award?

Yes. Our grant funding for projects is separate from our funding of individuals through Fellowships and Awards.


If I participated in a Fellowship selection panel can I apply for a Fellowship?

Members of a Selection Panel and their immediate families are not eligible for Borrin Foundation Fellowships for a period ending one year following the termination of that role. This does not disqualify self-supporting members of families who live apart from their parents.


Who do I contact with questions?

If you can’t find the answers to your questions here, please contact Megan, the Operations and Programme Associate, on admin@borrinfoundation.nz or 020 4184 5464.


When is the deadline to apply?

We open application rounds twice a year, approximately in March and approximately in August. See the individual Fellowships and Awards for specific deadlines.