Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy

Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy are for outstanding mid-career American professionals to research and gain firsthand experience of public policy in New Zealand. Two to four Fellowships valued at up to NZ$58,500 are granted each year, towards seven months of research.

Closing date: 1 April annually

Established in 1995 by the New Zealand Government to reinforce links between New Zealand and the US, Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy provide the opportunity for participants to gain firsthand knowledge of public policy in New Zealand, including economic, social and political reforms and management of the government sector.

The programme has three goals:

  • to reinforce New Zealand-United States links by enabling Americans of high intellectual ability and leadership potential to come to New Zealand to gain experience and build contacts in the field of public policy development;
  • to help improve the practice of public policy in New Zealand and the United States by the cross-fertilization of ideas and experience in the two countries; and
  • to build a network of public policy experts on both sides of the Pacific, and encourage ongoing policy exchange between New Zealand and the United States.

Candidates are expected to have made contact with the organisation(s) in New Zealand they wish or expect to be placed with, prior to applying. Final decisions on placement will be made by the Fellowships Office, after full consultation with Fellows, host organisations, and the programme’s expert advisors.

Successful candidates will be based at a New Zealand government host organisation in Wellington. Fulbright New Zealand will work with the host organisation and the Fellow to finalise a suitable host agency mentor. The Fellow should utilise their US contacts and the assistance of their host organisation to source appropriate US and New Zealand academic mentors.

The organisation of the Fellow’s specific research project and fellowship programme will be left largely to the Fellow and his/her host organisation, with an orientation briefing and oversight by the Axford Fellowships Office in New Zealand (which is Fulbright New Zealand). When necessary, further consultation will be provided. In addition, Fellows will be expected to spend a substantial part of their time in contact with relevant organisations outside their host organisation to gain practical experience in their policy field in New Zealand.

At the conclusion of their fellowships, before returning to the United States, Fellows will be required to submit a policy report for publication by the Fellowships Office and to deliver a seminar on their findings to an invited audience and interested members of the public.

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To be eligible, you must:

  • be a US citizen with at least five years of 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.

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  • Return airfares for the Fellow, their partner and two children up to age 18;
  • Stipend of:
    • NZ$1,500 per month for 7 months if on paid leave with full salary
    • NZ$2,500 per month for 7 months if on paid leave with partial salary
    • NZ$5,000 per month for 7 months if unable to obtain paid leave;
  • Additional ’family allowance’ of NZ$1,500 per month for family to accompany a fellow (provided partner is without employment, grant or fellowship);
  • 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 fellowship programme, and also confirming whether you will receive full, partial or no paid leave.

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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 seven months from 1 February-31 August;
  • 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 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;
  • 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 requirements 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 report must also be completed before you depart from New Zealand.

Axford Fellowships mission

The mission of the Axford Fellowship 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.

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Application process and forms

  • You must complete and submit the application form below by the application deadline*. Candidates should 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 Information for Referees document below;
  • Interviews will be held in Washington, DC from 15-16 July 2016, 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.

Application form and support documents

Download the application form

Download information for candidates

Download the guidelines for letters of reference

Download suggested policy research topics

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

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Policy reports

As the end product of their Fellowship, each Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellow in Public Policy prepares a policy report for publication by the Fellowships Office.

Past reports are available to download from Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowship in Public Policy reports page our website, which also gives biographical information and contact details for each Fellow.

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Further information

For further information, contact our Programmes & Engagement Director Colin Kennedy - email Colin or phone 04 494 1508

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