The Electoral Commission Suffrage Scholarships

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Closing date: 01/11/2017   

The Electoral Commission Suffrage Scholarships
When women gained the right to vote in 1893, they gained the right to take part in New Zealand’s democracy. To celebrate 120 years of votes for women, the Electoral Commission has established scholarships that cover fees for post-graduate research into voter participation.

The research outcomes of the scholarships will be part of a much wider national discussion on voter turnout that the Electoral Commission is instigating. The Electoral Commission is committed to encouraging wide-reaching research on voter participation, and these scholarships aim to contribute to this.

Purpose
The Electoral Commission’s vision is for New Zealanders to trust, value and take part in parliamentary elections.
To help New Zealand realise this vision with respect to voter participation, the Electoral Commission has adopted a Voter Participation Strategy. Research on the factors that affect voter turnout is a key stream of the strategy.
The strategy recognises that there is an on-going need for good information about what affects voter participation in New Zealand and, in particular, what strategies, mechanisms or programmes might be effective in maintaining or increasing engagement and turnout.

The Suffrage Scholarships will encourage research that furthers our understanding of the factors that motivate voters to take part, and the barriers to voter participation. Community-specific research in cohorts that experience low turnout will be encouraged.

Eligibility
To be eligible to apply for this scholarship students must:
- be a New Zealand citizen or Permanent Resident.
- achieve a B+ average (see note 1) in their university studies.
- for the year of tenure of the scholarship (see note 2)
· be enrolled as a full time student at a New Zealand university in an Honours or Master’s programme.
· be engaged for a substantive part (ie. at least half) of their enrolment in research which satisfies the purposes of this scholarship.
Note
(1 This is the recommended grade; applications from candidates with a B- or B average will be considered on their merits.)
(2 The year of tenure of the scholarship is the year following the year of application.9


Number and Value
Up to three scholarships may be awarded each year.
Each scholarship will fund the New Zealand domestic fees for one year up to the value of 1 EFTS for study at Honours or Master’s level.
The scholarship award will not fund any non-tuition fees or levies for which the scholar is liable.

Tenure
The scholarship may be held for one year.

Applications
Applications must be submitted to the Scholarships Office of the applicant’s university by 1 November each year.
Applications will be for awards to be held during the following year.
Applications must be made on the Application Form that can be obtained through the Scholarships Office of the applicant’s university or from the Universities NZ website http://www.universitiesnz.ac.nz/scholarships/suffrage
The Application Form must be completed in full and must be accompanied by all requested documentation.

Selection Committee and Selection Process
The Selection Committee will be appointed by the Electoral Commission.
All complete and eligible applications will be assessed by the committee and the results of their assessments will be available in late November or early December.
The Selection Committee may invite short listed candidates to take part in a telephone interview.
Universities NZ will advise candidates of the result of their applications as soon as these results are available.
The Selection Committee’s decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into following the selection process.

Payments
Payment of the scholarship award will be made by Universities NZ.

Research Outcomes
Scholars will provide to Universities NZ a copy of their research outcomes, eg dissertation or thesis. This will be forwarded to the Electoral Commission.
To contribute to their Voter Participation Strategy the Electoral Commission may use all or part of the outcomes of the scholar’s research.
When any use is made by the Electoral Commission full acknowledgement will be made of the scholar’s contribution.

Co Tenure
The Suffrage Scholarship may be held concurrently with other scholarships and awards but only with the approval of the Selection Committee.
Successful candidates are required to advise Universities NZ of any further financial support gained after the award of the Suffrage Scholarship.

Application cannot be accepted before 01/08/2017.

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