How to apply

Applications have now closed and will re-open in 2023.

Axford Fellowships mission

The mission of the Ian Axford Fellowships in Public Policy programme is to increase mutual understanding between the United States and New Zealand. Axford Fellows are expected to understand and support this mission. To support this understanding, Fellows are required to attend an orientation programme held each February in Wellington.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a US citizen with at least five years’ experience in your profession.
  • Be a mid-career professional active in any part of the public, business or non-profit sector.
  • Be a potential leader and opinion-former in your chosen field.
  • Have an interest in learning from your experience in New Zealand and capable of putting to effective use in the US, any policy lessons learned.

Suggested research topics

New Zealand government departments are consulted each year about what they consider their “hot” policy topics. These are the topics they would be particularly interested in having an Axford Fellow research. These topics are being continuously added to as the New Zealand Government forms and sets its policy priorities for the coming few years. Click here for more details.

Entitlement

Long fellowship (six to seven months)

  • Return airfares for the Fellow, their partner and two children up to age 18.

Stipend of:

  • NZ$1500 per month for six to seven months if on paid leave with full salary.
  • NZ$2500 per month for six to seven months if on paid leave with partial salary.
  • NZ$5000 per month for six to seven months if unable to obtain paid leave.
  • Additional “family allowance” of NZ$1500 per month for dependents to accompany a fellow (provided partner is without employment, grant or fellowship and family spends at least 80% of the fellowship tenure in NZ).
  • Participation in an orientation programme run by Fulbright New Zealand during your stay in New Zealand.

Short fellowship (three to five months)

  • Return airfares for the Fellow.

Stipend of:

  • NZ$1500 per month for three to five months if on paid leave with full salary.
  • NZ$2500 per month for three to five months if on paid leave with partial salary.
  • NZ$5000 per month for three to five months if unable to obtain paid leave.
  • A one-off contribution towards flights for a visit to/from dependents, of up to NZ$4000.
  • Participation in an orientation programme run by Fulbright New Zealand during your stay in New Zealand.

Please note: Financial entitlements are based on information provided with your application and are determined at the time your application is received. Changes to these entitlements are not possible unless a change in circumstances is likely to result in a lower entitlement.

We will require a letter from your employer confirming their support for your participation in the fellowships programme, and also confirming whether you will receive full, partial or no paid leave.

Regarding leave status, please note that the Fellowships are fully funded by the New Zealand Government. Federal agency heads have broad discretionary authority regarding employee participation in training and developmental assignments. This can include time away from regular job duties with continued payment of salary as well as payment for certain travel expenses.

Alternatively, employees may request leave (paid or unpaid) in the event that participation is not possible as a training/developmental assignment. Prospective applicants should refer to their agency’s human resources policies. Since the fellowships were established in 1996, approximately one-third of Fellows have come from Federal agencies, many with salary support.

Award conditions

  • You will be required to provide Fulbright New Zealand with evidence of financial support (or not) from your employer before the value of your award can be confirmed.
  • The period of your award is from three to seven months from 1 February.
  • You must travel on a US passport, and New Zealand immigration documentation must be completed from within the US.
  • International travel will only be funded between the US and New Zealand.
  • You will be based in Wellington but are expected to travel within New Zealand to conduct research for your fellowship.
  • You will be required to produce and submit a policy report for publication by the Fellowships Office and to deliver a public seminar on your findings. The length and extent of the policy report will reflect the length of the Fellowship, i.e. a longer, more in-depth report is expected from a fellow on a seven-month fellowship.
  • You will be expected to take the opportunity to deliver seminars or speak with various groups as opportunities arise.
  • You will also be expected to participate fully in any activities arranged by Fulbright New Zealand.
  • You may be required to fulfil some Fulbright New Zealand media demands before your departure for New Zealand, during your exchange and/or on return to the US.
  • In addition to your policy report, you must provide Fulbright New Zealand with copies of any further articles, research papers or theses resulting from your fellowship. A final evaluation report must also be completed before you depart from New Zealand.

Sponsors

The Ian Axford Fellowships in Public Policy are sponsored by the following New Zealand government agencies and other organisations:

Note that not all sponsoring agencies are able to host Fellows.

Apply now

Applications for the 2022 round have now closed and will re-open in 2023.

Application process

  • You must complete and submit the application form below by the application deadline*. A strong application is one where candidates show that their proposed project will inform policy in New Zealand and the United States and contribute something of value to their policy field.
  • You must also submit all required support documents by the application deadline.
  • You must arrange for three references to be submitted by the application deadline, in the format outlined in the Guide for Referees document below.
  • Interviews will be held in Washington, DC in May (at a date to be specified) and include a mini-orientation for selected Fellows.

* Note that if the application deadline falls on a weekend or public holiday, the deadline is extended to 5:00pm on the next business day. The application deadline is typically July 31 annually, however, this is subject to change.

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