Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Sustainability Network research awards

In an exciting new initiative of the Faculty of Science Sustainability Network, ten awards of up to $2,000 each are available to students within the Faculty of Science to support the student’s living costs. $2,000 will be awarded for a full year project that is located within a formal qualification, for example an honours dissertation or a masters project. For shorter projects $500 will be awarded.


To encourage and support student projects involving a specific piece of research related to either sustainability at the university or a broader sustainability issue.

The aim is for these awards to boost the profile of sustainability and improve sustainable practices at the university. Preference will be given to projects that are likely to lead to tangible impacts such as culture change, change in practice or process, or change in facilities and capabilities that improve sustainable outcomes.


The awards are open to applications from postgraduate students who are undertaking a research project and are enrolled (or have recently completed) in the Faculty (or whose primary discipline is administered through the Faculty of Science). Supervisors with a project can identify a suitable student and encourage them to apply. Applications for small projects that are not a formal part of the student’s degree or diploma programme will be considered. Preference will be given to non-doctoral students and those without an existing stipend.

Application process

Image of woman examining a green leaf in a petri dish, representing the sustainability network's research awards

Applications will be accepted in two rounds (funds permitting).

The first round opens on April 10th and closes May 1st and the second round opens September 1st and closes on October 2nd. Projects will begin within six months of award notification.

If there are ten (or more) suitable applications in the first round, there may be insufficient funds available for the second round. In this case, there will be no awards made in the second round but this will be communicated to potential applicants.

Students will need to identify a suitable supervisor who must agree to oversee the project.

A list of potential supervisors with some project suggestions is available on the network website, but students are not required to choose from this list. Any academic in the Faculty of Science can act as supervisor. Suitably qualified professional staff are also eligible to apply to maximise the scope of potential projects. Students can work on something within their current project or they may choose to do a new project that will occur outside formal coursework or research.

Students must submit:

  • The application form, which includes a brief summary of the intended project and how it relates to sustainability (broadly defined as investigating or promoting human or ecological flourishing). They must state if and how the project follows the university’s sustainability-related goals. No more than two pages is expected. Students should also confirm that the supervisor has agreed to supervise them.
  • A brief CV and
  • An academic transcript.

A selection panel of members of the sustainability network will rank applications and distribute awards based on the following criteria:

Preference will be given to projects that are likely to inform sustainability initiatives within the University of Auckland.

All students who receive an award will be required to give a presentation of their research. A brief summary of the findings from each project will be posted on a webpage set up and administered by the Faculty of Science Sustainability Network. Successful students who receive the full $2000 will be paid $1000 at the beginning of the project and a further $1000 on submission of a three to five page report at the completion of the project.

Please contact with any questions Erica Farrelly or Anoma Ratnayake

Application closing date

Applications will be accepted in two rounds (funds permitting). The first round opens on 10 April and closes 1 May and the second round opens 1 October and closes on 5 November.  

There are six awards remaining in Round two for 2018. We look forward to your applications.

Application form

Application form for students
(18.2 kB, MSWORD)

Past award winners

2018 student awards | May round

Mallory Sea | Shellfish Restoration in the Hauraki Gulf

Polly Holland | Pipe dreams and dirty streams

Eleanor Kearns | Design and Synthesis of Novel Donor Materials for Organic Photovoltaic (OPV) Devices

India Merrick | Establishing new marine reserves: Using species presence data to aid in increasing conservation of biodiversity

Read more about their projects.


2017 student awards

Neil Birrell | Optimising omega-3 content of black soldier fly larvae as a replacement for fish meal

Sze Looi Chin | Exploring success in mathematics problem solving with struggling students: growing sustainable learners for a sustainable future

Prem Kerai | Analysis of the Waste System in the Science Centre

Esther Chan | Analysis of the Waste System in the Science Centre

Ellinor King | The evaluation of an interdisciplinary teaching case-study on the global clothing industry

Reuben Yates | Because Desire is Endless”: Clothes,  Consumption and Conservation?

Rachel Cooper | Defining High-Impact Meteorological Events influence on the Sustainability of Agriculture and the Economy of New Zealand and Fiji

Rikki Taylor | Ecosystem Indicators for Sustainable fisheries management: 24 years on the Chatham Rise 

Ulla von Ammon | Novel molecular tools for the early detection of marine invasive species: a case study on Sabella spallanzanii

Jessica Hill | Novel luminescent materials in the application of photocatalysts for hydrogen production 

Hayley Alena | Factors Influencing Conservation Volunteering – A Case Study on Herald Island 

Daniel Clyde | A sustainable renewable hydrogen energy production technique.

Kyriakos Varnava | Green Peptide Synthesis