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Wool Industry Postgraduate Scholarship

Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand Inc and New Zealand Wool Industry Charitable Trust scholarships support people undertaking qualifications that allow them to pursue a career in the wool processing, manufacturing and marketing industries and in related service industries such as research and development.

About the Scholarship

Scholarships are offered to people who have achieved an excellent academic record, possess good interpersonal skills and have a passion for undertaking a career in the textile sector with a focus on wool based products, or contributing to the development of knowledge and new products based on use of New Zealand wool as a raw material.

Scholars will be assisted to undertake doctoral studies that support the sustainable development of the New Zealand wool industry. Priority is on research being undertaken in areas post farm gate. Financial support will be provided and contacts with New Zealand wool processors will be facilitated.

Consideration will be given to applications for study at any New Zealand university and may include linkages with New Zealand organisations undertaking research into wool and related products. In particular a focus of each Scholarship is to support research at the AgResearch Ltd Lincoln Research Centre, which is located near Christchurch in the South Island (see The textile group is the leading international textile research group.
While the degree will be supervised by an appropriate member of a New Zealand university it is likely that an industry person will be appointed as an external supervisor.
Up to two Scholarships are offered annually. The Funders may also offer a Postdoctoral Fellowship. They reserve the right to award either or both awards, or no awards in any one year.

Application form and process

Priority is now being given to applications that are directly or indirectly associated with companies involved in the NZ Wool Industry in the expectation that the studies will provide positive value to one or more commercial enterprises rather than being purely academic exercises. Again this may be either post graduate studies, or a research fellowship. To confirm whether opportunities are available contact:

Ian Cuthbertson
Research and Scholarships Manager
Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand Inc and New Zealand Wool Industry Charitable Trust Scholarship Programme
PO Box 7271
Christchurch 8022
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 337 2030
Fax:     +64 3 3372032

  • Postgraduate Scholarship Application Form 
  • Study and research topics

    Applications are invited for study and research in topics related to wool. Priority will be given to research on specific topics in the following areas, but novel areas of research not shown will be considered:
    Protein chemistry, proteomics and wool ultrastructure

    • Studies on photoyellowing, photobleaching and photodegradation of wool
    • Effects of processing (mechanical and chemical) on proteins
    • Cell component composition (eg identity of proteins in the surface layer)
    • Variability in protein composition in relation to wool traits.

    Process chemistry and materials science
    • Fibre surface modifications
    • New wool dyeing and finishing processes for enhanced and reduced environmental impact
    • Smart wool-based materials incorporating nanotechnology
    • Biopolymers and biocomposites involving wool
    • Wool-based intelligent textiles involving polymer grafting, copolymerisation and polymerisation processes
    • Reconstituted keratin particles (micro/nano) for biomaterials/biocomposites/smart packaging.

    Wool carpet and carpet yarn innovations
    • Aerodynamic fibre/yarn manipulation
    • Improving the efficiency of yarn and carpet manufacturing operations
    • New carpet construction techniques
    • Developing methods of enhancing wool carpet performance using advanced materials such as polymers, hybrid organic/inorganic materials and nanoparticles
    • Quantifying and enhancing wool carpet's contribution to human comfort and safety, for example acoustics, ergonomics and resistance to slip and fall injuries.

    Environmental issues
    • Reduced environmental impacts of the wool production and processing chain
    • Reduction of pollutants in waste streams
    • Recycle or reuse of end of life wool based products
    • Traceability of origin
    • Health benefits of wool products

    Apparel innovations
    • Fibre modifications
    • Technical (eg water repellent) textiles
    • Smart (or intelligent) textiles
    • Wool and wool blends in the clothing/human interaction

    Wool production issues
    • Urine staining of wool and possible methods of control
    • Minimising pesticide use/residue levels in wool


    Applicants for these awards (especially those from overseas who have not have had the opportunity to explore possibilities with a New Zealand university or AgResearch), should in the first instance identify the project in the list that most closely matches their interest and expertise, and present a brief case to Ian Cuthbertson (see above) on why they should be considered for this project. Previous training and experience should also be detailed.


    Applications are invited from citizens of any nationality who have a passion for undertaking a career in the textile sector with a focus on wool-based products or contributing to the development of knowledge and new products using New Zealand wool as a raw material. Preference will be given to those who seek a career in New Zealand in a field associated with wool or with an offshore entity involved in using New Zealand wool such as research and development, manufacturing or marketing.

    Applicants must enrol for full-time studies in a New Zealand university leading to a doctoral degree, but prior discussion with Ian Cuthbertson on choice of university is required. Applicants who are New Zealand citizens will be encouraged to also seek additional funding from Government or alternative sources in a partnership funding arrangement. This will be discussed with applicants at the time of application.

    Scholarship benefits

    Successful doctoral applicants will receive a stipend of NZ$25,000 per annum for up to three years, with an additional payment of NZ$4,000 per annum for research costs. In addition the annual course fee required by the host tertiary education provider will be met, and up to $3,000 for reimbursement of conference attendance costs over the life of the scholarship. All payments are on a GST inclusive basis. Supplementary research expenses will be considered, where required, on an individual application basis.


    The Scholarship will normally continue for three years. Its continuation is subject to reviews of performance. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, holders of Scholarships are required to refund the Scholarship in full or in part depending on circumstances if the full programme of study is not completed.
    There will be agreement between the applicant, the host institution, and the university if different, and the providers of the Scholarship on ownership of intellectual property generated during the research, provision of a copy of the thesis, and other matters, prior to the Scholarship being awarded.
    Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to providing benefit to the New Zealand wool industry after the study period. Applicants must also be willing to present their work to the industry.

    Selection process

    The scholarship will be awarded on the recommendation of a Wool Fellowship and Scholarship Selection Committee.
    • Academic merit of both the candidate and of the proposed project
    • The value of the study to the New Zealand wool industry, at any point along the value chain, and the likely contribution that the person's training will add to the industry
    • Evidence of and/or planned activity to support the New Zealand wool industry
    • Agreement to attend a one or two-day seminar and participate in visits to New Zealand wool processors to improve understanding of the wool and related sectors
    • Agreement to contribute to the development and promotion of New Zealand wool industry (eg school promotional visits, career days etc.)
    • Agreement not to accept any other scholarships without prior discussion.

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