Fellowship, Award and Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Should I apply for a fellowship or a grant for projects?

Grants for fellowships and awards are given to only one individual. The funding can be administered by a host agency but only for the purpose of supporting one individual. The available amount of funding and time are limited by the specific fellowship or award. There are specific guiding principles that apply to Fellowships & Awards.

Grants for projects are grants that can be given to an organisation or to individual(s) to support their work related to a project. The length of time and amount of funding for these grants depends on the specific needs of the project. There are guiding principles that apply to our consideration of grants for projects.


Who is eligible?

To be eligible for any Borrin Foundation Fellowship, Award or Scholarship, you must have either NZ Citizenship or NZ Permanent Residency or demonstrate a significant commitment to living and working in New Zealand.

Each Fellowship, Award and Scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. See the information for the individual programme 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

Borrin Foundation – Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Postgraduate Scholarship

         Borrin Foundation Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship


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

You must have a law degree to be eligible for our Fellowships – this includes the Justice Fellowship, Women Leaders in Law Fellowship and Borrin Foundation – Community Law Fellowship. For the travel and learning awards postgraduate students of law who do not have a Bachelor’s degree in law are also eligible. If you do not have a law degree but are working close to the law, you might consider applying for our project funding.

For our Travel and Learning Awards, Borrin Foundation Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship, and the Borrin Foundation – Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Postgraduate Scholarship, see the individual awards for specific eligibility criteria.


Can I apply with another person to share the Fellowship, Award or Scholarship?

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


Does the Borrin Foundation offer scholarships for law students?

Three of our individual programmes can be used to fund postgraduate legal study. See the specific eligibility criteria and application timelines for the Women Leaders in Law Fellowship, Borrin Foundation Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship, the Borrin Foundation – Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Postgraduate Scholarship and the Borrin Foundation-Community Law Fellowship. Outside of these programmes, we do not provide other scholarships or grants for individual postgraduate study. We do not offer funding or scholarships for undergraduate law degree study. Our project funding can be used for legal research where the research team can include legal students, but the purpose of the project funding cannot be to fund an individual’s study programme.


How do I apply?

You must apply online. This involves completing our online application, preparing a proposal using our templates and then 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. See the individual Fellowships, Awards or Scholarship to determine what information you need to prepare for your application. The online application and proposal templates are available only when we are accepting applications.

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

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


What should my proposal or plan include?

We have provided templates to help when writing your proposal or plan. There is a different template for each individual award, fellowship or scholarship. Templates will be available when applications are open.


What information is needed for references?

When you submit your application you will be asked to provide names, email addresses and phone numbers for 2 referees. We will send a link directly to your referees to complete a confidential online form. You must ask your referees in advance to agree to complete the online form – you can use our template to request written references.

We may contact your referees if they have not submitted a written reference by the application deadline. We will not contact your references for additional information.

Note that if you are applying for the Borrin Foundation – Community Law Fellowship, at least one of your referees must be someone within Community Law, which could include a current or past manager, co-worker, trustee or other.


Do I need to consider ethics approval?

If your proposal involves research, you should include a statement about your plans to seek ethics approval. If your research involves people or the collection or analysis of personal information, you should plan to seek ethics review and approval. If you are unsure, ask us when you are preparing your proposal.

If you are based at a tertiary education institution, we expect that as part of your project you will seek approval from the institution’s ethics committee. If you do not have an institutional ethics committee, we recommend you seek approval from the New Zealand Ethics Committee. For more information about research ethics see the Royal Society Te Apārangi Code of Professional Standards and Ethics and Research Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand.


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

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 or plan. 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 programme there is a pool of funding available. 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 you request should match the need of your proposal or plan. See the individual programmes for information on what the funding can and cannot be used for.


What about GST and tax?

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, you are responsible for determining your own tax obligations. You may wish to seek tax advice in preparing a budget for your application.

For the Borrin Foundation – Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Postgraduate Scholarship, scholarship grants paid for attendance at an educational institution are exempt income under the Income Tax Act 2007 (CW36) and not subject to income tax. However, individual situations are unique to each person or organisation and grantees are responsible for their own tax obligations. You may wish to seek advice on your tax obligations.


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

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


If I participated in a Selection panel for Borrin Foundation Fellowships, Awards or Scholarships can I apply?

Members of a Selection Panel and their immediate families are not eligible for Borrin Foundation Fellowships, Awards or Scholarships 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.


If I am a Borrin Foundation or Nikau Foundation staff member can I apply?

Borrin Foundation Grants and Scholarship Committee and staff, Nikau Foundation Board Members and staff, and their immediate families are not eligible for any Borrin Foundation individual funding 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 Oli, the Scholarships and Engagement Associate, on admin@borrinfoundation.nz.


When is the deadline to apply?

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


When could I start my Fellowship, study or travel?

We do not provide retrospective funding. Applications to fund research, study or travel that has occurred or would take place before the decision date are not accepted. If you are part-way through study, you may apply for funding for remaining study. If you are unsure if your request or plan is eligible, please ask us. Please see individual awards for the specific timeline of when you could begin research, study or travel.


Can the minimum of 10 years’ experience required for the Justice & Women Leaders in Law Fellowships include both legal practice and academic work/research?

Yes. Our definition of legal professional includes members of the judiciary (current and retired Judges), lawyers in the private or public sector, legal academics, and postgraduate law students.


If a programme for a Travel and Learning Award is changed or cancelled, is there flexibility to use funding for a different programme or for the funds to roll over to a later year?

Any changes to timelines or programmes need to be approved by the Foundation.