Awards & Grants

PGSA Academic Conference Grants

The PGSA Academic Conference Grant provides current Victoria University of Wellington postgraduate students with up to $500 to cover costs associated with international conference attendance.

Candidates must be:

  1. current postgraduate students at Victoria University of Wellington who are presenting their research – either as an oral or poster presentation – at an international academic conference (Māori and Pasifika related applications may be considered for a domestic conference);

  2. eligible to access funding for grants via the Scholarship Office;

  3. applying for an untagged grant of $500NZD to cover conference travel-related costs only


Victorias Awards

The Victorias Awards provide the opportunity to celebrate excellence within Victoria University and recognise the support of the postgraduate students, academic and professional staff who inspire students with their verve and passion.  Every year the PGSA hosts the Victoria’s Awards Reception at the end of November, where we announce Award winners in the following categories:

The Postgraduate Teaching Awards

Each year undergraduate students nominate and vote for postgraduate students who teach at Victoria running lectures, labs or tutorials. The PGSA tallies the votes to find one finalist from each Faculty. Finalists are invited to the PGSA Victoria’s Awards Reception where we announce the winners.

PGSA Landers Postgraduate Award

Each year the faculties each nominate a postgraduate student who they think should be awarded for fostering the ideals of the Postgraduate Students’ Association - a student who has demonstrated a commitment to fostering camaraderie and collective consciousness among thier colleagues in the postgraduate community. Postgraduates vote for the winner from the faculty nominees. Nominees are invited to the PGSA Victoria’s Awards Reception where we announce the winner.

The Landers Award policy can be found here

Professional Staff Award

The Professional Staff Award recognises a staff member who has contributed to the postgraduate study experience at VUW. This could be anyone at all – from Student Services, the library, School Administrators or Associate Dean of Students. Postgraduate students nominate and vote for professional staff who inspired, helped beyond the call of duty, or simply made their time at VUW more enjoyable.

Supervisor Award  

The Supervisor Award recognises our amazing supervisors who are available, intellectually stimulating, encourage research excellence, provide timely relevant feedback, facilitate our professional growth, and build our academic autonomy and capability. Each year postgraduates nominate postgraduate supervisors and testify about how they have met the criteria. Winners of these awards are announced at PGSA Victoria’s Awards Reception.

PGSA Life Membership Award

Each year the PGSA recognises postgraduate students who have made outstanding contributions to the postgraduate community serving on the PGSA executive or as a committee representative. The PGSA Executive Committee vote on this award.

The PGSA Life Membership Award policy can be viewed here.

Research Excellence Awards

In 2009 Victoria University of Wellington established the Postgraduate Research Excellence Awards that recognises research by VUW postgraduate students which:

  • Displays academic rigour, excellence, originality, and/or creativity;

  • Demonstrates an impact within the scholarly, economic, or wider stakeholder communities;

  • Displays clarity of expression that addresses an educated but non-expert audience;

  • Advances knowledge in the field and/or contributes to knowledge.

Each award provides research funding (approximately $3000) that must be used within one calendar year. This funding will be set up as a grant in the Research Trust of Victoria University and any use must be consistent with the policies of the Research Trust. Award winners are announced at the PGSA Victoria’s Awards Reception.

Professional Development

In addition to recognising excellence through our grants and awards, the PGSA provides students with professional development opportunities in our three minute thesis competition and our research round-tables.

3 Minute Thesis

3MT is a competition that challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a general audience in just three minutes.

The 3MT competition supports a common Graduate Attribute for research degree candidates: the capacity to communicate ideas effectively to a range of audiences.

The Dean of UQ’s Graduate School, Professor Alastair McEwan, says 3MT® was designed to develop skills that will give students an important career advantage once they complete their studies because, “It is a reality that many PhD students will need to communicate their ideas and results to people who may not necessarily have expertise in their field.”


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Postgrad Talks

The PGSA organises postgraduate events that encourage networking, collaboration and research excellence with its members and the wider VUW community.  The Postgrad Talks were born out of discussions between the PGSA and Victoria International who were concerned about the level of interaction among postgraduate students and their readiness not only for giving conference presentations but the new examination process which requires all PhD students to take an oral examination on completion of their studies.

The aim of the session is to have postgraduate students (PhD, Masters, Honours, PGDiploma) present their research and ideas in a non-threatening environment among their peers, obtain constructive criticism/feedback on their work, network with other postgraduate students and forge effective relationships that enhance their personal and professional development. Postgraduate students are invited to submit abstracts on their research and are allowed to make a 15 minute presentation, after which they receive audience feedback and comments. Students are encouraged to present their work regardless of the stage they are at in their studies, or they may just attend the session for enlightenment, support, interaction, to establish a network or just to have some free food! To foster inclusiveness, the PGSA alternates the sessions between the Kelburn, Pipitea and Te Aro campuses.

Take a look at our events to sign up for the next session.