Motu currently funds two scholarships:

The Motu Research and Education Foundation also offers a cash prize for the top economics undergraduate student in New Zealand. The Frank Holmes Prize is awarded every year in October and is only available by nomination by university heads of department.

Motu Quantitative Economics Āheitanga Scholarship

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a student of Māori descent who intends to study economics and is planning to enrol in a second year econometrics course, or equivalent quantitative economics course.

There will be one Āheitanga Scholarship for each university. Where multiple candidates from one university apply, Motu will assess student’s academic achievement and interest in economics or a related field. We will also be guided by advice from the university on the student’s involvement in mentoring and links to their cultural heritage.

The purposes of the award are to

  • Enhance New Zealand’s research capacity and support sound public policy by encouraging students of Māori descent to learn to understand quantitative research, and set them on a track that will allow them to become quantitative researchers.
  • Provide promising students with career guidance and mentoring from top researchers.
  • Build networks between researchers and future leaders.

How to apply

To apply for the scholarship, please complete this form and send it to by 30 August 2019.

Motu Doctoral Scholarship

The Motu Doctoral Scholarship can be awarded to Motu Research Analysts who have been employed by Motu for at least twelve months and who leave to undertake a highly rated PhD course.

The objectives are to:

  • recognise the recipient’s outstanding contribution while employed at Motu, and
  • encourage the recipient to gain the qualifications needed to become an independent researcher, and thus continue to build New Zealand’s research capacity.

Previous recipients

Previous recipients of the Motu Doctoral Scholarship are Isabelle Sin (Stanford), Melanie Morton (Yale), Andrew Aitken (University College London), Simon Anastasiadis (Stanford), Alex Olssen (MIT), Athene Laws (Cambridge), Wilbur Townsend (Harvard) and Sean Hyland (Chicago).

Sir Frank Holmes Prize

In recognising Sir Frank Holmes as one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent Economists and his contribution to the development of public policy over many decades, the Motu Research and Education Foundation provide an economics scholarship for New Zealand’s top economics undergraduate student every year – The Sir Frank Holmes Prize. Sir Frank Holmes agreed to give his name to this scholarship shortly before he passed away in October 2011. The purpose of the prize is to encourage top quantitative economics student to further their studies in econometrics at graduate level. The prize will be awarded to a top student, who is moving on to honours or masters level studies in economics, including econometrics. The prize is not open for applications and is decided through nominations by university lecturers.

Past winners include:

  • 2017 - Livvy Mitchell, Auckland University of Technology
  • 2016 - Ben Davies, University of Canterbury
  • 2015 - Chris Purdie, University of Otago
  • 2014 - Wilbur Townsend, Victoria University of Wellington
  • 2013 - Athene Laws, Victoria University of Wellington
  • 2012 - Anna Robinson, University of Otago

Motu Thesis Scholarship (no longer offered)

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust offers a scholarship to a student of Māori descent undertaking an Honours or Master’s thesis on an applied topic, preferably in economics or another social science, and preferably using a quantitative methodology.

Past recipient: Hautahi Kingi

The 2016 Motu Thesis Scholarship recipient was Hautahi Kingi (Nga Rauru, Te Atihaunui a Paparangi) a PhD candidate in economics at Cornell University in the United States. Mr Kingi has two elements to his research, one around immigration and the other looking into tax and consumption. You can read more about Hautahi here.