Grants and Awards

PGSA Academic Conference Grants

Between 2010 and 2013, the PGSA offered travel grants for postgraduate research students to gain experience presenting at international overseas conferences to utilise excess funds for the year. In 2013, recognising the importance of these awards, the PGSA Executive committed to permanently offering these grants. In 2015, the PGSA reconfigured the PGSA Travel Grants to ensure improved equitable distribution of funds and increased numbers of successful candidates. From 2016, with generous funding confirmed from the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research), the we offer the PGSA Academic Conference Grants.

In 2019 the PGSA is reviewing these grants again in order to make this funding more accessible. This process is being finalized with the University and while this is happening we cannot accept new applications. Please check back here again later for more information.


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

The 3MT is an exercise in developing academic and research communication skills. All currently enrolled postgraduate students may enter the VUW competition. Participants will have three minutes (and one power point slide) to give an engaging and dynamic talk on their thesis topic and its significance in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

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


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.