Summer Research Scholarships

Applications for 2020 have closed

Applications for PDH’s sponsored summer research scholarships have closed.

Reference information

Precision Driven Health will sponsor student projects to take place in summer 2020/2021. Grants give each student $6,500 tax-free for a ten-week project. Most projects will occur between November 2020 and March 2021.

Applications may be submitted by researchers to secure available funding from PDH. Researchers may recruit their own students, subject to PDH approval.

Project scope

Proposed projects should utilise available data to improve health outcomes in a way which has potential for commercialisation.

Applications must describe the project’s approach, potential health, commercial, scientific, and Māori advancement impacts, data availability, ethical requirements, and within the application form.

We are particularly interested in new scholarship proposals in the following areas:

  • Impact on Māori health
  • Economic analysis of health data to measure the effectiveness for data-driven decision making in precision health
  • Modelling healthcare pathways to enable interoperability, and the collection of data around the process of care
  • Activating patients and increasing their engagement in health data management
  • Reducing inequity in healthcare quality (distinct from healthcare outcomes) using data-driven approaches
  • Data-driven visualisation to improve healthcare quality
  • Application of genomic data to clinical practice
  • Data-driven approaches to understand and predict the impact of social interventions on health


Stage 1: Submit a project idea – by 9 August 2020
Supervisors/students apply online with details of the proposed project.
Projects will be approved/declined by 31 August.

Stage 2: Recruit a student – by 30 September
Once a project idea has been approved, supervisors/institutions may recruit a student meeting the eligibility criteria below. Supervisors must submit information to PDH about their desired student including the student’s academic performance. Students need to agree to their project, and be approved by PDH, no later than 30 September.

Research can take place over ten weeks between November 2020 and March 2021. Students and supervisors should be available for a final presentation day in February 2021.


  1. Applications should be submitted by the researcher who will act as the student’s supervisor during the term of the project.
  2. The researcher must be from one or more of the following institutions. If the researcher is not a staff member at a participating academic institution, they must nominate a co-supervisor from an academic institution for the purposes of administering the student’s project. If they cannot identify an academic co-supervisor, the project may not be approved until a co-supervisor is identified.
    • Academic institutions
      • Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
      • Massey University
      • University of Auckland
      • University of Canterbury
      • University of Otago
      • University of Waikato
      • Victoria University of Wellington
    • Other institutions
      • Auckland DHB
      • Canterbury DHB
      • Counties Manukau DHB
      • Orion Health
      • Waitemata DHB
  3. The student must have completed at least three years of study, and still be enrolled at one of the academic institutions listed above.
  4. The student and the academic supervisor/co-supervisor must be from the same institution.
  5. The student must have a GPA of at least a 6.0 in their four best papers of the most recently-completed year.

Have an idea? Create an account and apply for a Scholarship now on PDH’s Research Management System.

Expected commitments

The student and supervisor are expected to:

  • Meet together regularly,
  • Ensure research progress and outputs are documented regularly and to a high standard,
  • Submit periodic progress reports to PDH during the summer,
  • Submit a final report to PDH following completion of the project,
  • Attend PDH’s summer research events (such as an initial welcome event and a final presentation day) wherever possible, and
  • Provide suitable material for PDH marketing such as images and text about the project.

Other information

If you have queries about project ideas or existing applications, please contact PDH at

Appendix – Detailed regulations

  1. The Scholarships are known as the Precision Driven Health Summer Research Scholarships.
  2. The Summer Research Scholarships provide a tax-free stipend of $6,500 and are payable within the period of December to March inclusive. Stipends are payable through the host academic organisation, according to their terms. The final $1,000 of this stipend will be paid to the student in one lump sum when a final report is accepted and signed off by Precision Driven Health.
  3. The host academic institution receives an additional fee of $1,000 ex GST for administering the student project.
  4. Students may be required to enrol in specific courses at their host institution.
  5. The Scholarships are tenable by domestic and international students.
  6. Eligible applicants will be assessed by a selection committee governed by Precision Driven Health; The selection will be based on
    – The alignment of the proposed project with Precision Driven Health, and
    – The quality of the proposed project plan, and the likelihood of its success.
  7. Following approval of a proposal, supervisor recommendations for the student undertaking the Summer Research Scholarship will be assessed by a selection committee governed by Precision Driven Health, specifically around the academic merit of the student.
  8. By accepting a scholarship, the student and supervisor agree to the terms set out in the Master Research Agreement between Precision Driven Health and the host organisation. Please check with your research contracts office for details.
  9. Successful supervisors and students will be required to observe the research plan and frequency of meetings as agreed at the start of the project; failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the Scholarship.