Who is the scholarship for?

The scholarship is for those who are engaged, motivated and committed to solving old and emerging challenges in the food and fibre production.

Nuffield Scholars come from a wide range of backgrounds from practical hands-on farming across agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, aquaculture, seafood, apiculture and forestry. They all have a close affiliation with growing and producing, and a passion and desire to help shape and lead the future of their industry.

We welcome those committed to developing the people around them. And those that seek to lead conversations in the food and fibre sector.

We are looking for individuals who have the following attributes:

  • Are keen to share, explore and bring their ideas to life
  • Strive to challenge and test their thinking
  • Are not afraid to do things differently
  • Understand the importance of ‘paying it forward’
  • Lead by doing (better) and learn by trying (harder)
  • Think global, lead local
  • Have a strong sense of purpose
  • Have strong potential for strategic impact


To be considered for a Nuffield Scholarship you must:

  • be actively engaged in farming, growing, agribusiness or food production
  • be committed to continuous leadership in the food and fibre sector and/or rural community
  • exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit
  • have a solid knowledge and understanding of the New Zealand food and fibre sector
  • be a New Zealand citizen or hold New Zealand permanent residency status.

For more information or any questions, please contact Lisa Rogers on lisarogers@ruralleaders.co.nz or refer to the Q & A section below.

Selection process

Step One

Applicants are contacted by phone for a discussion about their motivations for seeking a Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarship.

Last week of August 2021.

Step Two

All applicants who meet the criteria are considered, in confidence, and are shortlisted by the Nuffield New Zealand Selection Panel (Trustees and a Strategic Investing Partner Representative).

First week of September, 2021.

Step Three

Face to face interviews will be conducted on 7-8 October, 2021 in Christchurch. Candidates will be advised of their success within three days of the interview.

Step Four

Successful candidates will attend the Nuffield New Zealand Awards Function and orientation sessions at Parliament in Wellington on Tuesday 2 November, 2021 (Partners invited).

Q & A

Up to five scholarships annually.

The total value of the scholarship is NZ$40,000.

The scholarship funding provided should be sufficient to meet the core components of the programme, depending on time away and number of return trips made. However most scholars will invest/seek extra funds as required depending on their research topic to make the most of this opportunity.

Our funding is limited to the value of the scholarship. Scholars have been successful in securing other industry and/or Trusts funding.

The scholarship is not to be used to cover home or work costs i.e. staff replacement etc.

A small number of scholars have been selected recently from the wider agri-food sector. Applicants from the agri-sector are still expected to be closely connected to farming and/or growing through family, work, land or business ownership.

Rural Leaders’ funding comes from investing partners who have a strong interest in leadership development for the benefit of the food and fibre sector and wider New Zealand economy.

Click here for our strategic and investing partners.

While scholars have the freedom to pursue a topic of personal interest, there is an expectation that the topic will contribute to New Zealand’s  agri-food sector development particularly in advancing knowledge around current challenges & opportunities facing the industry.

Nuffield scholars can use the funds of the scholarship to visit any organisation or country to research their topic, meet and interview key people or observe first hand the practices relevant to their study.

A significant and useful network of Nuffield contacts is available in member and associate countries, but scholars are also encouraged to travel outside these countries and establish contacts of their own.

Global Nuffield alumni usually offer to host scholars and are a source of valuable contacts. Previous scholars are a great source of information for potential contacts in particular areas of study or countries that you might like to visit.

Support is provided throughout the year through industry briefings, allocated mentors, specialist advice and research support to ensure our scholars, Nuffield New Zealand and respective primary industry organisations get the maximum outcomes from this unique opportunity.

The formal parts of the programme including the Contemporary Scholars Conference and the Global Focus Programme are organised by Nuffield International.  All personal research travel is organised by the scholars to meet  their needs.

Our programmes work in partnership with some of New Zealand’s leading agribusiness organisations – click here for more.​