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New scholarship to encourage Māori students in science

New scholarship to encourage Māori students in science


Cawthron Foundation and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) have launched a new scholarship for Māori undergraduate students wanting to pursue a career in science. The scholarship, 'Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi', is valued at $5,500 and will be available for the first time this coming 2017/2018 summer.

Cawthron Foundation Manager, Elizabeth Bean said, "we are very excited to add another summer intern scholarship and are especially happy to offer it in partnership with Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence.

"We recognise that there is an under-representation of Māori who choose to pursue a career in science and our goal with this scholarship is to offer undergraduate Māori students the opportunity to gain hands-on learning experience for 10 weeks at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson over the summer months.

"Our scholarships provide an opportunity for students to learn from practicing scientists, who provide intellectual stimulation and ongoing support. Working alongside Cawthron Institute scientists, recipients gain insight into fields they want to pursue."

For NPM Deputy Director and Cawthron Institute Ecotoxicologist and Māori Business Development Manager, Dr James Ataria the name given to this scholarship, 'Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi', is very apt. The word Pītau has dual meaning. The Pītau is the carved figurehead at the ihu (bow) of the waka and so suggests the breaking of the waves ahead, or a student starting out on their journey. The Pītau is also the young succulent shoot of a fern frond (leaf) and so alludes to unfurling potential. One meaning of Whakarei is to ornament; and this scholarship will embellish the recipients’ qualifications through their experiences at Cawthron. Karahipi is te reo for scholarship.

Dr Ataria said, "For the past 15 years, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga has been focused on Māori success and excellence in research and science. Partnering with Cawthron for this scholarship delivers a further and specific opportunity for our students.

"Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi will enable the successful intern to build a deeper understanding of scientific inquiry and research processes through experience and immersion in the research environment. Our hope is that this will add to the considerable work underway across our sector of creating more Māori scientists and increased pathways for greater Māori tertiary education success."

Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi will join the Cawthron Foundation funded Sir Theodore Rigg Scholarship for undergraduate students and the Kathleen Curtis Scholarship for undergraduate women. All three scholarships are made possible by generous support from individual donors and grant agencies.

Scholarships will be advertised via all tertiary education providers in July, with applications closing 7 August 2017. Visit


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