Alumni of the University of Otago (AUOA) is committed to supporting and promoting the University of Otago and it's students and graduates.

Thanks to generous donations from Otago alumni and friends living in the United States, AUOA is able to help fund a number of scholarships and awards for students attending the University of Otago, as well as grants for educational programs run by the University of Otago.

Current AUOA Supported Grants, Awards, and Scholarships

research funds

Karen Chelcun HDGC Research Fund [ NEW ]

The Karen Chelcun HDGC Research Fund was established in 2017 with the generous support of Karen Chelcun. This fund will support translational cancer research with a focus on Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer

alumni memorial funds

The Brian E. Hardy Memorial Fund

Professor Hardy, who passed away in January 2013, completed his surgical training in Dunedin. During his 30 year career as Chief of the Division of Pediatric Urology at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital he built his division into one of the leading pediatric urological programs in the United States. The fund is aimed at supporting a scholarship for a medical student undertaking the BMedSc(Hons) each year. This is a one-year research based course developed to introduce students partway through their course (after 3rd or 5th year) to research.


Sir Murray Brennan Fund [ NEW ]

The Sir Murray Brennan Fund was established in 2017. This fund will support the University of Otago rowing club and medical school students who row for the University of Otago

Undergraduate Scholarship Endowment

This scholarship was established to assist students in financial need and who may have difficulty accessing tertiary education because of cost.  This is increasingly becoming a barrier for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and the funding provided by the scholarship may make a real difference in their ability to choose to continue their education at university.

AUOA Student Exchange Award

The AUOA Student Exchange Award provides financial assistance to current University of Otago students who apply for and have been selected to complete an exchange with 1 of the 18 Otago partner universities in the United States. The funding from this award helps multiple students each year broaden their global perspective and pursue their educational goals through an exchange to a US university.

University of Otago Undergraduate Rugby Scholarship

As well as providing students with a world-class education, the University of Otago aims to encourage excellence in other areas of life to produce well-rounded individuals who are prepared to take on the challenges of the future. The establishment of this scholarship for young talented rugby players is part of this philosophy of developing the whole person. Two rugby scholarships have been established in partnership with the Otago Rugby Football Union. The scholarships are aimed at helping the University of Otago attract talented young players, both local and international, who are also qualified academically, and helps cover the standard three years of an undergraduate degree.

Masters of International Studies

The Masters of International Studies (MIntSt) is a one-year multidisciplinary coursework masters program. It is a collaboration between the Department of Politics, the Department of Economics, and the National Center for Peace & Conflict Studies at the University of Otago. This scholarship provides partial funding for qualified students from the United States to enroll in the one-year Masters program at the University of Otago.


AUOA Student Accommodation Grant

The AUOA Student Accommodation Grant supports undergraduate students with an annual accommodation grant for a disabled student, so they can continue living in the supported environment of a residential college. Students with disabilities may struggle when they move away from their support base to take up tertiary study. Living in a college enables them to participate in student life while being supported by a safe and caring environment.  

Previous / Non-Current Awards

alumni memorial funds

Kevin L. Novins US Traveling Fund in Computer Science

The Kevin L. Novins US Traveling Fund was set up to enhance academic links between the United States and University of Otago in the field of Computer Science and to increase the profile of New Zealand in general, and the University of Otago in particular, in the United States. The fund assists with the travel costs plus an honorarium for an academic from the US visiting the University of Otago for a period of research and/or teaching, or the travel costs for a postgraduate student from the University of Otago traveling to the US for research.

Barbara and John Heslop Memorial Fund

The Barbara and John Heslop Memorial Fund was established to support research in the disciplines of pathology or immunology within the Otago Medical School.  The fund provides stipends and/or fees for one-year research degrees for students and early career researchers in in medicine, biomedical science or other related academic areas.  The fund also supports conference travel for PhD students or project costs for postgraduates or postdoctoral fellows, as well as summer studentships.


MacGibbon Fellowship

The MacGibbon Fellowship provides funding for PhD students in any area related to human or animal health to spend up to 12 months working in a laboratory in the United States as part of their research towards a degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Otago.


University of Otago Business Case Competition

This is a travel grant that supports University of Otago business school students participating in international case competitions around the world. Case competitions involve teams of students being presented with a business case that has a managerial problem to solve.  Students work for several hours on the problem and present their plan to address the issue in front of a panel of judges. In 2017, AUOA provided travel grants to students teams from the University of Otago competing in the Scotiabank International (Ivey Business School, Toronto), and the HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific (Hong Kong University, Hong Kong) case study competitions.

Marine Studies Oceans of Potential

The Marine Studies Oceans of Potential scholarship enables year-10 students from schools in Otago and Southland to attend the Gifted and Talented programs at the NZ Marine Studies Center.  This 8-day residential program is run by the MZ Marine Studies Center.  Students are immersed in the world of marine science research, work with live animals, explore a variety of marine habitats from the university's research vessel, and access scientific research equipment not available in schools.  In the process, year-10 students interact with postgraduate mentors and scientists in an authentic research environment.